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The MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Broadening Participation in DC Field Facility by Bridging a Research Infrastructure Gap

Published March 26, 2021


Researchers based at four-year colleges and universities outside of the Research-1 (R1) tier face more obstacles to performing research than their colleagues from R1 universities or national laboratories with robust research infrastructures. Recognizing the need to bridge this infrastructure gap, the MagLab's DC Field Facility expanded access by adding two low-field magnet systems. These "on-ramp" systems facilitate critical access to materials research instrumentation by faculty and students from non-R1 institutions.

What did scientists discover?

Providing instrumentation and expertise on low-magnetic-field systems at the MagLab creates a new path for scientists from non-Research 1 (non-R1) institutions to perform research at the MagLab. Results from these initial low-field experiments can create a stronger scientific case and greater access for future magnet time requests on the MagLab's unique, oversubscribed and highly-competitive high-field magnet systems.

Why is this important?

One of the requirements of the MagLab's competitive, peer-reviewed process for accessing high field magnet time is prior data taken at lower magnetic fields that demonstrates a need for access to higher-field magnets. Most non-R1 institutions do not have low magnetic field research instruments on their campuses due to the costs associated with purchase, operation (specifically access to liquid helium), and maintenance of these systems. This additional capability eliminates a de facto exclusion of non-R1 schools - including a large number of state universities, historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions - from accessing the MagLab's high field user facilities.

Who did the research?

C. Dhital1, J.F. DiTusa2

1Kennesaw State University; 2Louisiana State University

Why did they need the MagLab?

The MagLab’s addition of two low-field research magnets to its DC Field Facility user program created an opportunity for Chetan Dhital, an early career faculty member from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, to perform important low-field characterization of topological skyrmion excitations in two materials on a 7 tesla Quantum Design superconducting magnet that is not available at his home university. This research lead to intriguing results published in Physical Review B.

Details for scientists


This research was funded by the following grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490, NSF DMR-1644779); J.F. DiTusa (DOE DE-SC0012432)

For more information, contact Tim Murphy.

Last modified on 26 December 2022