Ultra-low temperature dilatometry
Dunn, John Leonard
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This thesis presents research of two novel magnetic materials, LiHoF4 and Tb2Ti2O7. Experiments were performed at low temperatures and in an applied magnetic field to study thermal expansion and magnetostriction using a capacitive dilatometer designed during this project. This thesis presents 3 distinct topics. This manuscript begins with a thermodynamic description of thermal expansion and magnetostriction. The design of a capacitive dilatometer suitable for use at ultra-low temperatures and in high magnetic fields is presented. The thermal expansion of oxygen free high conductivity copper is used as a test of the absolute accuracy of the dilatometer. The first material studied using this dilatometer was LiHoF4. Pure LiHoF4 is a dipolar coupled Ising ferromagnet and in an applied transverse magnetic field is a good representation of the transverse field Ising model. An ongoing discrepancy between theoretical and experimental work motivates further study of this textbook material. Presented here are thermal expansion and magnetostriction measurements of LiHoF4 in an applied transverse field. We find good agreement with existing experimental work. This suggests that there is some aspect of LiHoF4 or the effect of quantum mechanical fluctuations at finite temperatures which is not well understood. The second material studied is the spin liquid Tb2Ti2O7. Despite theoretical predictions that Tb2Ti2O7 will order at finite temperature, a large body of experimental evidence demonstrates that spins within Tb2Ti2O7 remain dynamic to the lowest temperatures studied. In addition Tb2Ti2O7 also exhibits anomalous thermal expansion below 20K, giant magnetostriction, and orders in an applied magnetic field. Thermal expansion and magnetostriction measurements of Tb2Ti2O7 are presented in applied longitudinal and transverse fields. Zero-field thermal expansion measurements do not repeat the previously observed anomalous thermal expansion. A large feature is observed in thermal expansion at 100mK, in rough agreement with existing experimental work. Longitudinal and transverse magnetic fields were applied to Tb2Ti2O7. Longitudinal magnetostriction measurements show qualitatively di erent behavior than previous observations. These measurements were taken along di erent crystal axes so direct comparison cannot be made. Thermal expansion measurements in an applied transverse field show evolution with the strength of the applied field. This evolution may relate to an ordering transition, however difficulties in repeatability in a transverse field require that these results be repeated in an improved setup.