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Contact Details

Postal Address

Dr. Michael Sutherland
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Ave.
Cambridge CB3 0HE


Phone (Cavendish): +44 1223 337389
Phone (Corpus Christi College): +44 1223 338056


Email: mls41 (at)

Dr. Michael Sutherland

Mike Sutherland

About Me

I am an Affiliated Lecturer in the Quantum Matter group with an interest in correlated electron systems such as superconductors, novel magnets and heavy fermion materials. My research makes extensive use of the Cavendish 'Big Fridge' facility, a custom-designed laboratory for exploring matter at the extremes of temperature, pressure and magnetic field. I am also a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where I direct studies in physics.

Research Interests

Low Temperature Heat and Charge Transport

Measuring the ability of a material to transport heat at very low temperatures has emerged as a useful probe of correlated electron systems, as heat transport offers direct access to the low-energy electronic excitations which are characteristic of the quantum ground state.
One interesting case involves materials which a close to a quantum critical point (QCP). This situation is depicted in the phase diagram for a material with a phase transition at zero temperature at left. The unstable point between these two phases, the QCP, is indicated here by the dark blue point. Our recent work has shown that even in this exotic situation, the standard framework for describing interacting electrons in a material, is still valid. At the QCP the same particles that carry heat also carry charge, in a way that would be expected in normal metal (Sutherland et al, PRB(R) 2015).

Such measurements can also be useful in superconductors, as they can allow us to distinguish between a superconducting gap that remains finite everywhere in reciprocal space, and one that vanishes along some special directions (ie. has nodes). See for instance, the study of LaFePO (Sutherland et al, PRB 2012).

Electronic Structure

The electronic structure of a metallic material is the fundamental starting place for understanding how interesting material properties such as magnetism or superconductivity arise. The Fermi surface is a useful concept in this regard - it is the contour of constant energy which divides filled and unfilled electron states in reciprocal space. The de-Haas van-Alphen (dHvA) effect, which occurs in a strong magnetic field, can directly measure the shape of the Fermi surface as well as give information about electron correlations. One striking example involves the use of the dHvA technique to study the heavy Fermion material YbAlB4, with the calculated Fermi surface shown at right. This compound appears to be near a magnetic instability at zero applied pressure and field, leading to unusual transport, magnetic and thermodynamic properties (O'Farrell et al, PRB 2009). Other ongoing work involves studying the quasi-skutterudite system (Ca/Sr)3Ir4Sn13, which appears to play host to quantum critical phenomena driven by proximity to a structural phase transition.

Advanced Measurement Techniques

Piezoresistive cantilever
The Quantum Matter 'Big Fridge' facility has been upgraded in 2016. It now has a superconducting magnet capable of providing magnetic fields of up to 20.4 T, which is combined with a dilution refrigerator with a base temperature in the single millikelvin regime. Postdoctoral research fellow Jordan Baglo is pictured at right removing some of the low temperature insulation ahead of the magnet upgrade. Taken together, this facilty offers an exceptionally high ratio of B/T, which improves the chance of observing quantum oscillations in systems with heavy masses, such as heavy fermion materials or those near a quantum critical point. A series of bespoke electronics including low temperature transformers is used to maximize signal to noise ratios. We are actively developing new techniques for the system, including the capability of studying quantum oscillations under hydrostatic pressure using magnetic susceptibility, and tunnel diode oscillator techniques.

PhD projects

If you are a prospective graduate student who is interested in this type of research and would like to know more, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always available to discuss potential projects and research ideas. Most of the projects on offer would involve some technique development, measurements at high magnetic fields and low temperature in Cambridge and at facilities abroad, as well as materials preparation and characterisation.

List of Publications

Publications and Preprints

  1. Experimental determination of the Fermi surface of Sr3Ir4Sn13
    XY Chen, SK Goh, DA Tompsett, WC Yu, L Klintber, S Friedemann, HE Tan, JH Yang, B Chen, M Imai, K Yoshimura, MB Gamza, FM Grosche, ML Sutherland
    Physical Review B 93, 235151, (2016).

  2. Intact quasiparticles at an unconventional quantum critical point
    M. L. Sutherland, E. C. T. O'Farrell, W. H. Toews, J. Dunn, K. Kuga, S. Nakatsuji, Y. Machida, K. Izawa, and R. W. Hill
    Physical Review B (R) 92, 041114(R) (2015).
    Featured in 'Physics Viewpoints'

  3. Anomalous pressure dependence of the superconducting transition temperature in TlNi2Se2-xSx
    S. K. Goh, H. C. Chang, P. Reiss, P. L. Alireza, Y. W. Cheung, S. Y. Lau, Hangdong Wang, Qianhui Mao, Jinhu Yang, Minghu Fang, F. M. Grosche, and M. L. Sutherland
    Physical Review B90, 1105(R) (2014)

  4. Segregation of antiferromagnetism and high-temperature superconductivity in Ca1-xLaxFe2As2
    Shanta R. Saha, T. Drye, S. K. Goh, L. E. Klintberg, J. M. Silver, F. M. Grosche, M. Sutherland, T. J. S. Munsie, G. M. Luke, D. K. Pratt, J. W. Lynn, J. Paglione
    Physical Review B 89, 134516 (2014).

  5. Direct measurement of the upper critical field in a cuprate superconductor
    G. Grissonnanche, O. Cyr-Choiniere, F. Laliberte, S. Rene de Cotret, A. Juneau-Fecteau, S. Dufour-Beausejour, M.-E. Delage, D. LeBoeuf, J. Chang, B. J. Ramshaw, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, R. Liang, S. Adachi, N. E. Hussey, B. Vignolle, C. Proust, M. Sutherland, S. Kramer, J.-H. Park, D. Graf, N. Doiron-Leyraud, Louis Taillefer
    Nature Communications 5, 3280 (2014)

  6. Diamagnetism of YBa2Cu3O6+x crystals above Tc: Evidence for Gaussian fluctuations
    I. Kokanovic, D. J. Hills, M. L. Sutherland, R. Liang, J. R. Cooper
    Phys. Rev. B 88, 060505(R) (2013)

  7. Electronic Structure of LuRh2Si2: "Small" Fermi Surface Reference to YbRh2Si2
    Sven Friedemann, Swee K Goh, Patrick M C Rourke, Pascal Reiss, Michael L Sutherland, F Malte Grosche, Gertrud Zwicknagl, Zachary Fisk
    New Journal of Physics, 15, September 2013

  8. Transport and Thermodynamic Evidence for a Marginal Fermi Liquid State in ZrZn2
    Mike Sutherland, R.P. Smith, N. Marcano, Y. Zou, F. M. Grosche, N. Kimura, S. M. Hayden, S. Takashima, M. Nohara and H. Takagi
    Phys. Rev. B 85, 035118 (2012)

  9. Low-Energy Quasiparticles Probed by Heat Transport in the Iron Based Superconductor LaFePO
    Mike Sutherland, J. Dunn, William Toews, Eoin O'Farrell, James Analytis, Ian Fisher, R.W. Hill
    Phys. Rev. B 85, 014517 (2012)

  10. Evidence for Dirac Nodes from Quantum Oscillations in SrFe2As2
    Mike Sutherland, D. J. Hills, B. S. Tan, M. M. Altarawneh, N. Harrison, J. Gillett, E. C. T. O'Farrell, T. M. Benseman, I. Kokanovic, P. Syers, J. R. Cooper, Suchitra E. Sebastian
    Phys. Rev. B. 84, 180586 (2011)

  11. Enhancement of the Superconducting Transition Temperature under Pressure in Rare-Earth Doped Ca1-xLaxFe2As2 (x=0.27)
    Swee K. Goh, Lina E. Klintberg, J. M. Silver, F. M. Grosche, S. R. Saha, T. Drye, J. Paglione, Mike Sutherland
    arXiv:1107.0689 (2011)

  12. Lifshitz critical point in the cuprate superconductor YBa2Cu3Oy from high-field Hall effect measurements
    D LeBoeuf, N Doiron-Leyraud, B Vignolle, M Sutherland, BJ Ramshaw, J Levallois, R Daou, F Laliberte, O Cyr-Choiniere, J Chang, YJ Jo, L Balicas, RX Liang, DA Bonn, WN Hardy, C Proust, L Taillefer
    Phys. Rev. B 83, 054506 (2011).

  13. Novel metallic states at low temperature
    SE Rowley, RP Smith, N Marcano, MPM Dean, A Kusmartseva, LJ Spalek, ECT O'Farrell, DA Tompsett, ML Sutherland, PL Alireza, C Ko, C Liu, E Pugh, SS Saxena, GG Lonzarich
    Low. Temp. Physics 30, 2 (2011).

  14. Chemical Pressure and Physical Pressure in BaFe2(As(1-x)Px)2
    LE Klintberg, SK Goh, S Kasahara, Y Nakai, K Ishida, M Sutherland, T Shibauchi, Y Matsuda, T Terashima
    J. Phys. Soc. Japan 79 123706 (2010).

  15. Fermi surface reconstruction and two-carrier modeling of the Hall effect in YBa2Cu4O8
    P. Rourke, A. Bangura, C.Proust, J. Levallois, N. Doiron-Leyraud, D. LeBoeuf, L. Taillefer, S. Adachi, M. Sutherland, N. Hussey
    Phys. Rev. B 82 020514 (2010).

  16. Evidence of superconductivity on the border of quasi-2D ferromagnetism in Ca2RuO4 at high pressure
    P. Alireza, F. Nakamura, F, Swee Kuan Goh, Y. Maeno, S. Nakatsuji, Y.T.C. Ko, M. Sutherland, S. Julian, G.G. Lonzarich.
    J. of Phys: Cond. Matt. 20, 052202 (2010).

  17. Quantum oscillations near a quantum critical end point in Sr3Ru2O7
    J.-F. Mercure, A. W. Rost, E. C. T. O'Farrell, S. K. Goh, R. S. Perry, M. L. Sutherland, S. A. Grigera, R. A. Borzi, P. Gegenwart, A.S. Gibbs, A. P. Mackenzie
    Phys. Rev. B 81, 235103 (2010).

  18. Quantum oscillations in the anomalous phase in Sr3Ru2O7
    J.-F. Mercure, S. K. Goh, E. C. T. O'Farrell, R. S. Perry, M. L. Sutherland, A. Rost, S. A. Grigera, R. A. Borzi, P. Gegenwart, A. P. Mackenzie
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 176401 (2009).

  19. Role of f Electrons in the Fermi Surface of the Heavy Fermion Superconductor beta-YbAlB4
    E. C. O’Farrell, D. A. Tompsett, S. E. Sebastian, N. Harrison, C. Capan, L. Balicas, K. Kuga, A. Matsuo, K. Kindo, M. Tokunaga, S. Nakatsuji, G. Csányi, Z. Fisk, and M. L. Sutherland
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 216402 (2009).

  20. Marginal Breakdown of the Fermi-liquid State on the Border of Metallic Ferromagnetism
    R. P. Smith, M. Sutherland, G. G. Lonzarich, S. S. Saxena, N. Kimura, S. Takashima, M. Nohara and H. Takagi.
    Nature 455, 1220-1223 (2008) [Also featured in News and Views article in same issue].

  21. Fermi Surface Reconstruction in CeRh1-xCoxIn5
    Swee K. Goh, Johnpierre Paglione, Mike Sutherland, E. C. T. O’Farrell, C. Bergemann, T. A. Sayles and M. B. Maple
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 056402 (2008)

  22. High pressure de Haas-van Alphen studies of Sr2RuO4 using an anvil cell
    S.K. Goh, P.L. Alireza, PDA Mann, A.-M. Cumberlidgea, C. Bergemann, M. Sutherland and Y. Maeno
    Current Applied Physics, Vol. 8, 304 (2008)

  23. Doping dependence of the superconducting gap in Tl2Ba2CuO6+d from heat transport
    D. G. Hawthorn, S. Y. Li, M. Sutherland, Etienne Boaknin, R. W. Hill, C. Proust, F. Ronning, M. A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, Louis Taillefer, D. Peets, Ruixing Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, and N. N. Kolesnikov
    Phys. Rev. B 75, 104518 (2007).

  24. Bulk evidence for single-gap s-wave superconductivity in the intercalated graphite superconductor C6Yb
    Mike Sutherland, Nicolas Doiron-Leyraud, Louis Taillefer, Thomas Weller, Mark Ellerby, S.S. Saxena
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 067003 (2007).

  25. Onset of boson mode at superconducting critical point of underdoped YBa2Cu3Oy
    Nicolas Doiron-Leyraud, Mike Sutherland, S.Y. Li, Louis Taillefer, Ruixing Liang, D.A. Bonn, W.N. Hardy
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 207001 (2006)

  26. Thermal conductivity in the vicinity of the quantum critical endpoint in Sr3Ru2O7
    F. Ronning, R.W. Hill, M. Sutherland, D.G. Hawthorn, M.A. Tanatar, J. Paglione, Louis Taillefer, M.J. Graf, R.S. Perry, Y. Maeno, A.P. Mackenzie
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 067005 (2006)

  27. Nearly Free Electrons in the Layered Oxide Superconductor Ag5Pb2O6
    Mike Sutherland, P. D. A. Mann, C. Bergemann, S. Yonezawa, and Y. Maeno
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 097008 (2006)

  28. Non-vanishing energy scales at the quantum critical point of CeCoIn5
    Johnpierre Paglione, M. A. Tanatar, D. G. Hawthorn, F. Ronning, R. W. Hill, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, C. Petrovic
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 106606 (2006)

  29. Delocalized Fermions in Underdoped Cuprate Superconductors
    Mike Sutherland, S.Y. Li, D. G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, M.A. Tanatar, J. Paglione, H. Zhang, Louis Taillefer, J. DeBenedictis, Ruixing Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 147004 (2005)

  30. Unpaired electrons in the heavy-fermion superconductor CeCoIn5
    M. A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, S. Nakatsuji, D. G. Hawthorn, E. Boaknin, R. W. Hill, F. Ronning, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, C. Petrovic, P. C. Canfield and Z. Fisk
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 067002 (2005)

  31. Heat Transport as a Probe of Electron Scattering by Spin Fluctuations: the Case of Antiferromagnetic CeRhIn5
    Johnpierre Paglione, M.A. Tanatar, D.G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, C. Petrovic and P.C. Canfield
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 216602 (2005)

  32. Giant electron-electron scattering in the Fermi-liquid state of Na0.7CoO2
    S. Y. Li, Louis Taillefer, D. G. Hawthorn, M. A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, M. Sutherland, R. W. Hill, C. H. Wang and X. H. Chen.
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 056401 (2004).

  33. Transport in Ultraclean YBa2Cu3O7: neither Unitary nor Born Impurity Scattering
    R.W.Hill, Christian Lupien, M.Sutherland, Etienne Boaknin, D. G. Hawthorn, Cyril Proust, F. Ronning, Louis Taillefer, Ruixing Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy and Robert Gagnon.
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 027001, 2004

  34. Field-Induced Quantum Critical Point in CeCoIn5
    Johnpierre Paglione, M.A. Tanatar, D.G. Hawthorn, Etienne Boaknin, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, C. Petrovic, P.C. Canfield
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 246405, 2003

  35. Thermal Conductivity across the Phase Diagram of Cuprates: Low-Energy Quasiparticles and the Doping Dependence of the Supercondting Gap
    Mike Sutherland, D.G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, S. Wakimoto, H. Zhang, C. Proust, Etienne Boaknin, C. Lupien, Louis Taillefer, Ruixing Liang, D.A. Bonn, W.N. Hardy, Robert Gagnon, N.E. Hussey, T. Kimura, M. Nohara and H. Takagi.
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 197004 2003

  36. Field-Induced Thermal Metal-to-Insulator Transition in Underdoped La2-xSrxCuO4+
    D. G. Hawthorn, R. W. Hill, C. Proust, F. Ronning, Mike Sutherland, Etienne Boaknin, C. Lupien, M. A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, S. Wakimoto, H. Zhang, Louis Taillefer, T. Kimura, M. Nohara, H. Takagi, and N. E. Hussey
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 197004 2003

  37. Heat Conduction in the Vortex State of NbSe2: Evidence for Multiband Superconductivity
    Etienne Boaknin, M. A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, D. Hawthorn, F. Ronning, R. W. Hill, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, Jeff Sonier, S. M. Hayden, and J. W. Brill
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 117003, 2003

  38. Conference Proceedings

  39. Quantum Criticality and Unconventional Order in Magnetic and Dielectric Material
    Rowley, S. E.; Smith, R.; Sutherland, M. L.; et al.
    Proceedings of LT26. JPCS 400, 032048 (2012).

  40. Shubnikov-de Haas measurements on LuRh2Si2
    S. Friedemann, S. K. Goh, F. M. Grosche, Z. Fisk, M. Sutherland.
    Proceeding of SCES 2011. JCPS 391, 012011 (2012).

  41. Shubnikov-de Haas measurements on LuRh2Si2
    E. O'Farrell, DA Tompsett, N. Horie, S. Nakatsuji, ML Sutherland.
    Proceeding of SCES 2011. JCPS 391, 012053 (2012).

  42. Low temperature thermal and electrical transport properties of ZrZn2 in high magnetic field
    Y. Zou, M. Sutherland, S. Friedemann, SM Hayden, D Rothfuss, A. Fleischmann, C. Enss, FM Grosche
    Proceeding of SCES 2011. JCPS 391, 012116 (2012).

  43. Ferromagnetic and ferroelectric quantum phase transitions
    S. Rowley, R. Smith, M. Dean, L. Spalek, M. Sutherland, M. Saxena, P. Alireza, C. Ko, C. Liu, E. Pugh, S. Sebastian, G. Lonzarich.
    Physica Status Solidi B, 247, 469 (2010).

  44. Observation of de Haas-van Alphen Oscillations Across the Phase diagram of CeRh1-xCoxIn5
    M L Sutherland, S K Goh, E C T O’Farrell, C Bergemann, J Paglione, T A Sayles, M B Maple.
    J. Phys.; Conf. Ser. 150 042193 (2009).

  45. Properties of the Nearly Free Electron Superconductor Ag5Pb2O6 Inferred from Fermi Surface Measurements
    P. D. A. Mann, M. Sutherland, C. Bergemann, S. Yonezawa, Y. Maeno
    (submitted to Physica C, proceedings of M2S 2006)

  46. Doping dependence of superconducting gap in YBa2Cu3Oy from universal heat transport
    Mike Sutherland, D.G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, S. Wakimoto, H. Zhang, C. Proust, E. Boaknin, C. Lupien, M.A. Tanatar, J. Paglione, R. Liang, D.A. Bonn, W.N. Hardy, Louis Taillefer.
    Physica C 408-10, 672 (2004)

  47. Multiband superconductivity in NbSe2 from heat transport
    Etienne Boaknin, M.A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, D.G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, J. Sonier, S.M. Hayden, J.W. Brill
    Physica C 408-10, 727 (2004)

  48. Field-induced quantum critical point in CeCoIn5
    Johnpierre Paglione, M.A. Tanatar, D.G. Hawthorn, Etienne Boaknin, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, M. Sutherland, Louis Taillefer, C. Petrovic, P. C. Canfield
    Physica C 408-10, 705 (2004)

  49. Field-induced thermal metal-to-insulator transition in underdoped LSCO
    D.G. Hawthorn, R.W. Hill, F. Ronning, Mike Sutherland, Etienne Boaknin, M.A. Tanatar, Johnpierre Paglione, S. Wakimoto, H. Zhang, Louis Taillefer
    Physica C 408-10, 725 (2004)