Oxford Instruments is delighted to announce the winner of the 2015 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize for Europe as Dr Isabel Guillamón, from the Condensed Matter Physics Department at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Dr Isabel Guillamón is recognised for her work on vortices in superconductors, particularly for imaging experiments made with exquisite detail covering four orders of magnitude in size, from looking on the spectroscopy of vortex cores at atomic scale, to viewing thousands of vortices at micron scale.

Dr Guillamón was presented with the prize trophy at EUCAS 2015 conference in Lyon, France on 9th September, 2015, where she gave a presentation on her research work.

Dr Guillamón is an outstanding physicist. During her PhD, Guillamón set up a scanning tunnelling microscope in a dilution refrigerator and produced results of the highest experimental quality. She made experiments in superconducting thin films grown by focused ion beam and in single crystalline superconductors of only a few tens of microns. She has pioneered microscopy of vortices with atomic resolution showing the influence of charge density waves in the properties of vortex cores. She also directly visualised the melting of a two dimensional vortex lattice, finding that melting is characterised by intermediate phases, a hexatic phase with free dislocations and an anisotropic smectic phase. She tested the transition theory of Berezinskii, Kosterlitz, Thouless, Nelson, Halperin and Young.

During her post-doctoral stay at the University of Bristol, UKshe worked at the high magnetic field facilities  of LNCMI (Toulouse, France), HZDR-HLD (Dresden, Germany) and NHMFL (Tallahassee, FL, USA), and studied quantum oscillations in pnictide materials and the prototype two-gap superconductor MgB2. In her recent Nature Physics paper, her work deals with fundamental properties of low dimensional systems. Guillamón studied a two-dimensional vortex lattice embedded in a nanofabricated one-dimensional modulation. Both are incommensurate above a certain magnetic field. Viewing thousands of vortices, she has shown that symmetry breaking modifies zero temperature criticality. She determined the critical exponents of the transition, and showed experimentally the features of scale invariant disorder. Her latest project in Madrid combines direct observation of electronic properties together with quantum oscillations, using a scanning tunnelling microscope. She will directly image how correlations lead to Cooper pair formation and open new avenues of imaging vortices and other systems at high magnetic fields.

The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize selection committee was very pleased to recognize her relentless effort to gain detailed understanding, and exhibit outstanding scientific skills in experimental physics. The committee consists of leading European physicists and is chaired by Professor George Pickett, Lancaster University, UK.

Find a list of her publications below:

1. Superconducting density of states and vortex cores of 2H-NbS2 I.Guillamón, H. Suderow, S. Vieira, L. Cario, P. Diener, P. Rodière.Physical Review Letters 101, 166407 (2008)


2. Direct observation of melting in a 2-D superconducting vortex lattice, I. Guillamón, H. Suderow, A. Fernández-Pacheco, J. Sesé, R. Córdoba, J.M. De Teresa, M.R. Ibarra, S. Vieira. Nature Physics 5, 661 (2009)


3. Enhancement of long range correlations in a 2D vortex lattice by an incommensurate 1D disorder potential I. Guillamón, R. Córdoba, J. Sesé, J.M. De Teresa, M.R. Ibarra, S. Vieira, H. Suderow. Nature Physics 10, 851–856 (2014)


For more Information about Dr Guillamon's work, Click here





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