Quantum Materials Design Lab

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Joint group photo of the Hallas and Aronson groups. (L-R Alannah Hallas, Jannis Maiwald, Joern Bannies, Mohamed Oudah, Dalmau Reig-i-Plessis, Graham Johnstone, Xiyang Li, Sam Mugiraneza, Samikshya Sahu)


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 Quantum Materials Design 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.

Recent News

June 2021: Two of our collaborative works on mixed B-site pyrochlores were published this month. Click here to read about the interesting magnetism in Yb2GaSbO7 and Nd2GaSbO7!

May 2021: A warm welcome to Solveig Stubmo Aamlid and Gurleen Sandhu. Solveig joins QMI as a postdoc, working jointly with the Rottler and Hallas groups as part of the Disorder Grand Challenge. Gurleen, who is currently an undergraduate at McMaster University, was awarded an NSERC USRA and a Quantum Pathways award to undertake summer research at UBC.

April 2021: Congratulations to Sam for completing his research based course and delivering a beautiful final presentation. We will miss Sam in the lab this summer as he starts a co-op work term.

April 2021: Our research update (brief review article) on non-oxide pyrochlores is published in Physical Review Materials! Read all about it here.

March 2021: The Hallas and Aronson groups had a big showing at the 2021 March Meeting. Congrats to Graham Johnstone (Y37.00007), Mohamed Oudah (C47.00008), Jannis Maiwald (M20.00003), Jörn Bannies (E51.00003), and Xiyang Li (Y39.00011) for delivering excellent talks.

January 2021: Congratulations to Mohamed Oudah, who has started a new role at SBQMI as a Research Associate in the Hallas Group working on the Entropy Grand Challenge.

December 2020: Alannah received a UBC Science Co-Op Supervisor Recognition Award on the nomination of Sam Mugiraneza. We were thrilled to have Sam work with us for 8 months this year and stay tuned for his forthcoming paper!

October 2020: Alannah did an interview with Sheryl MacKay for CBC Radio One's NXNW! Listen in here.

August 2020: Alannah has just been named a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar for 2020-2022. Read all about it here!

June 2020: The group happily welcomed its two newest members: a Bruker powder x-ray diffractometer and a Zeiss microscope camera.

March 2020: We've received the keys to our beautiful, newly renovated lab. Let's grow some crystals!

January 2020: Happy New Year and welcome to our two newest group members, Samikshya Sahu, who joins us after completing her BSc-MSc at IISER Bhopal and Sam Mugiraneza, a UBC chemistry undergrad who is joining us for a co-op term. Welcome Samikshya and Sam! A busy start to the year - Alannah, Graham, and Sam traveled to College Park, Maryland to attend the Fundamentals of Quantum Materials Winter School.

November 2019: Welcome to our newest group member -- a Quantum Design MPMS3 with all the bells and whistles (helium-3, ac susceptibility, horizontal rotator, and oven)!

September 2019: We are excited to welcome Dalmau Reig-i-Plessis to the group! Dalmau recently completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the group of Greg MacDougall.

July 2019: Graham Johnstone joins the group as a research assistant and will begin his MSc this fall. Welcome Graham!