PHYS 401 Seminar Series

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Library Building 5-175
Prince George
Title:  Probing Materials with Nuclear Techniques: What Can Spin-Polarized Radioactive Probes Tell Us About the Behaviour of Matter at the Microscopic Level?

Speaker:  Dr. Iain McKenzie, Simon Fraser University and TRIUMF

Abstract: μSR (muon spin rotation, relaxation and resonance) and βNMR (β-detected nuclear magnetic resonance) are incredibly sensitive magnetic resonance techniques that use implanted radioactive particles to probe microscopic material properties. I will show how μSR can be used to obtain unique information about a wide range of phenomena in bulk materials, such as magnetic ordering and spin dynamics, internal field distributions in superconductors and dynamics in soft matter. I will also show how βNMR can provide an unprecedented window into magnetism, superconductivity and polymer dynamics near surfaces, in thin films or at buried interfaces. TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics, provides world-leading μSR and βNMR facilities that are available to Canadian and international scientists.

Biography: Dr. Iain McKenzie was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1976 and received his Ph.D. in 2004 from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada where he worked with Prof. Paul W. Percival and studied isotope effects on the dynamics of free radicals using μSR (muon spin rotation, relaxation and resonance). He was a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Dr. Emil Roduner at the University of Stuttgart, Germany from 2004 to 2006 where he used muoniated radicals as probes in soft matter systems and studied chemical reactions in zeolites. From 2006 to 2011 he was a facility scientist at the ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Facility in the U.K. where he was involved in the development of the HiFi μSR spectrometer and conducted research on muoniated spin probes in nematic and discotic liquid crystals. Since 2011 he has been a facility scientist at the TRIUMF Centre for Molecular and Materials Science ( and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University. His research is focused on using μSR and β-detected NMR to probe the microscopic dynamics of soft matter systems, particularly polymers and liquid crystals.

Contact Information

Dr. Elie Korkmaz
Phone: 250-960-5769

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