The Hallas Group at UBC
Crystal growth and scattering of quantum materials


Anyone who has visited a museum with an exhibit on minerals knows that nature can produce beautiful crystals. These crystals have many shapes (morphologies), from nearly perfect cubes (3-dimensional) to flat plates (2-dimensional) to needles (1-dimensional). However, these crystals found in nature represent only a tiny fraction of what is possible using all the ingredients on the periodic table. Furthermore, the conditions in nature are far from pristine and these naturally occurring crystals, though beautiful, often have high levels of disorder or impurities at the atomic level. In the Hallas Lab, part of the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at the University of British Columbia, we design and grow crystals of materials that are not found in nature. In particular, the Hallas Group seeks out materials with strong quantum mechanical effects, giving rise to exotic magnetic and electronic properties. We aim to understand the behaviors of these quantum materials by studying their properties with neutrons, muons, and x-rays. 

Recent News

March 2023: What is the role of entropy in high entropy materials? Check out our new Perspective article, published in JACS to hear our view on the topic. 

February 2023: Alannah has been named a 2023 Sloan Research Fellow!

December 2022: Mohamed, Solveig, and Dongjoon returned from a four week stay in Stuttgart, where they were visiting the lab of Hide Takagi at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, exploring high pressure synthesis of new materials. 

November 2022: Congrats to Mario and Graham for their jointly first authored paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, our groups first work on high entropy oxides!

October 2022: Megan and Dalmau travelled to the High Flux Isotope Reactor in Oak Ridge National Lab for the group's first in-person neutron experiment and got some fantastic data!

September 2022: We are thrilled to welcome Gargi Kodgirwar and Isaac Hoffman to the group. Gargi, who joins us from Leipzig University is starting her MSc working jointly with the group of Ke Zou and Isaac is doing his Honours thesis. 

The group was well-represented at the UBC-Max Planck-UTokyo meeting with Samikshya winning first prize and Mario receiving first runner up - congratulations!

July 2022: Samikshya, Mohamed, and Alannah journeyed to Amsterdam to attend the Strongly Correlated Electron Systems Meeting. The meeting was a great success - Samikshya gave an excellent contributed talk, Mohamed won an award for best poster, and Alannah received the Bryan R. Coles Prize.

May 2022: As we look forward to summer, we warmly welcome Dhruv Kush and Jocelyn Baker to group. Dhruv joins the group as an MSc student and Jocelyn is an undergrad researcher. 

Dhruv and Jocelyn join at an exciting moment, as we have just completed the installation of our two floating zone image furnaces

Alannah joined MIT's Pablo Jarillo Herrero to talk all things superconductor in a CIFAR Virtual Talk - check it out here!

April 2022: Sam and Alannah's tutorial article on interpreting magnetic susceptibility data is out now, published in Communications Physics. Read about the inspiration for this article here

This month, Samikshya, Mario, and Alannah also ventured to Toronto to attend the CIFAR Quantum Materials Meeting.

January 2022: We are thrilled to welcome Senior Scientist Dongjoon Song to the group. We look forward to learning the art of floating zone crystal growth from him!

For older news items - Click Here.