Prize Recipient

Veronika Sunko
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids


"For thesis topic, "Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy of Delafossite Metals.""


Veronika Sunko studied physics at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, from which she obtained a masters degree in 2014. Her PhD work was jointly supervised by Prof. Phil King and Prof. Andrew Mackenzie, from the University of St Andrews and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, respectively. In her PhD she used angle resolved spectroscopy to reveal the electronic structure of delafossite metals, notable for their extraordinarily high conductivity. As well as studying the electronic structure responsible for the high conductivity, she reports two unexpected findings. Firstly, the transition metal terminated surfaces of delafossites support unusually large spin-splitting, which she successfully explained evoking the large energy scale associated with inversion symmetry breaking at those surfaces. Furthermore, she found that the coupling between metallic and strongly correlated insulating layers leads to a novel type of spectroscopic signature, allowing angle resolved photoemission to become sensitive to spin-spin correlations. Both of these findings are relevant for the design of future materials, heterostructures and experiments. Veronika obtained her PhD from the University of St Andrews in 2019., and has been awarded the Springer Thesis Award for her dissertation work. Currently she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, developing an optical setup targeted at probing symmetry breaking in quantum materials.

Selection Committee:

2020 Selection Committee: Richard Greene (Chair), David Campbell, Vesna Mitrović, Ni Ni, Kyle Shen