Abdullah Al Maruf
Abdullah Al Maruf
South Dakota State University
SPS Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research
Electronic Structure and Magnetic Properties of Mn1+xPt1-xSb (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5)
I am a senior majoring in Physics and Mathematics at South Dakota State University (SDSU). I have been involved in the Society of Physis Students (SPS) since my freshman year in college, where, for the first time, I was introduced to a larger physis community nationwide. In my role as an SPS chapter officer for the last two and half years, my primary focus was to increase the gender and racial diversity in the physics community, where I outreached to both physics and non-physics majors to get involved in our SPS community.
I am also proud to be the student leader of two SPS research projects, funded by SPS Chapter Research Award in 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. In our first project, I worked to suppress the dendrites growth in Li-metal anodes to improve the cycling life of the high energy density Li-ion batteries. My next project dealt with optimizing the PTAA/PDOT layer in the hybrid perovskite solar cells to improve their power conversion efficiency and stability. Both of these projects aimed to solve critical problems in engineering research, performed at the SDSU’s Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Sustainable Energy (CAPSE) lab.
Besides my work on sustainable energy materials and device research, I have been heavily involved in high spin-polarized magnetic materials research for spintronics application since my freshman year in college. At the Physics Materials and Nanoscience (PMNS) lab, my goal was to discover novel half-metallic / spin-gapless ferromagnetic Heusler alloys using density functional theory (DFT) and synthesize them experimentally for further characterization. My research led me to present at multiple national/international conferences including MMM and APS.
Currently, I am particularly fascinated by strongly correlated and topological flat-band structures in 2D moiré materials, such as magic angle twisted bi/tri-layer graphene (MATB/TG). I am also interested in 2D antiferromagnets like exfoliated chromium tri-halides as well as 2D Kagome lattices. And I plan to purse my PhD in this interesting area of condensed matter physics in the future.
Magnetic materials with high spin-polarization are highly desired for spin-transport-based devices. MnPtSb is one such material predicted to exhibit nearly half-metallic band structure with 100% spin-polarization. In our investigation, we employed first principle calculations in the framework of density functional theory (DFT) and showed that this material undergoes a half-metallic transition in Mn-rich Mn1+xPt1-xSb compounds at x = 0.25. Further increase of Mn content makes half-metallicity even more pronounced, as Fermi level moves well inside the minority-spin band gap, accompanied by a reduction of the unit cell volume. We have successfully synthesized high purity samples of Mn1+xPt1-xSb (0 ≤ x < 0.5 ) compounds in cubic crystal structure using arc melting and vacuum annealing, which was then verified by x-ray diffraction. Furthermore, high-field magnetic measurements showed that all samples of this material have ferrimagnetic order at room temperature with the Curie temperature of about 500 K, confirming the theoretical predication. This investigation will add new knowledge to the field of spin-polarized magnetic materials for future spintronics application.*This research is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant Numbers 2003828 and 2003856 via DMR and EPSCoR.