Ben Mallett

BSc(Hons), PhD in Physics Victoria University of Wellington

Profile Image
Research Fellow


After trying his hand at philosophy, Ben graduated with Ph.D. in physics from Victoria University of Wellington under the supervision of Prof. Jeffery Tallon. He then undertook postdoctoral research in the group of Prof. Christian Bernhard at Fribourg University in Switzerland. In 2016 he returned to New Zealand and is currently is a Rutherford Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, and based in the Photon Factory there. Ben’s research interests orbit around novel physics in solids and using spectroscopy to understand it. Ben is an active member of the Faculty of Science Post-doctoral Society at the University of Auckland, which supports fellow early-career researchers, and he is regularly involved in science outreach activities.

Research | Current

My research interests lie in the field of experimental solid-state physics, in particular the physics of complex superconductors, magnetic materials and the emergent properties of thin-film multilayers. The latter topic is my current focus, studying what I’ve dubbed ‘Superconductor Sandwiches’ – thin-film multilayers of a superconductor and a magnetic material. We discovered that these systems have a new, tuneable ground-state due to an interaction between the superconductor and specific properties of the magnetic material grown on top. We believe it’s a ‘granular’ superconducting state. Remarkably, they also display magnetic-field induced superconducting coherence – one of only five known cases in the 103 year history of superconductors, and unique amongst high-temperature superconductors. This an effect which results from a novel, as yet unknown mechanism!

To undertake my research, I use techniques appropriate for the physics questions at hand (but I do have a real soft spot for[BM1]  infrared and optical spectroscopy) and I regularly make use of synchrotrons and other large-scale user facilities.

 [BM1]Specific interest??

 [BM2]Is this an agreed acronym the University uses widely?


Rutherford Post-Doctoral Fellow

Swiss Embassy International Scholarship

Areas of expertise

Condensed matter physics

Optical spectroscopies applied to solids

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Faculty of Science Post-Doctoral Society

Colloquia organiser for the Department of Physics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Khmaladze, J., Sarkar, S., Soulier, M., Lyzwa, F., Prada, R. D. A., Perret, E., ... Bernhard, C. (2019). Granular superconductivity and charge/orbital order in YBa2Cu3O7/manganite trilayers. PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 3 (8)10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.084801
  • Xu, B., Cappelluti, E., Benfatto, L., Mallett, B. P. P., Marsik, P., Sheveleva, E., ... Qiu, X. G. (2019). Scaling of the Fano Effect of the In-Plane Fe-As Phonon and the Superconducting Critical Temperature in Ba_{1-x}K_{x}Fe_{2}As_{2}. Physical review letters, 122 (21)10.1103/physrevlett.122.217002
  • Muellner, S., Crump, W., Wulferding, D., Mallett, B. P. P., Lemmens, P., Keren, A., & Tallon, J. L. (2019). Systematic Raman study of optical phonons in RBa2Cu3O6+delta (R = Y, Dy, Gd, Sm, Nd): Antiferromagnetic coupling strength versus lattice parameters. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 99 (9)10.1103/PhysRevB.99.094525
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Marsik, P., Munzar, D., Bernhard, C., & Dubroka, A. (2019). Signatures of the bonding-antibonding splitting in the c-axis infrared response of moderately underdoped bilayer and trilayer cuprate superconductors. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 99 (5)10.1103/PhysRevB.99.054513
  • Perret, E., Monney, C., Johnston, S., Khmaladze, J., Lyzwa, F., Gaina, R., ... Mallett, B. P. P. (2018). Coupled Cu and Mn charge and orbital orders in YBa2Cu3O7/Nd-0.65(Ca1-ySry)(0.35)MnO3 multilayers. Communications Physics, 110.1038/s42005-018-0046-z
  • Baldini, E., Kubacka, T., Mallett, B. P. P., Ma, C., Koohpayeh, S. M., Zhu, Y., ... Carbone, F. (2018). Lattice-mediated magnetic order melting in. Physical Review B, 97 (12).10.1103/PhysRevB.97.125149
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Marsik, P., Khmaladze, J., Minola, M., Simpson, M. C., & Bernhard, C. (2018). Superconductor sandwiches: strongly interacting states in thin-film multilayers. In T. R. Finlayson (Ed.) Our Changing World in the South Pacific: Australasian and German Perspectives, 83-88. Wellington, New Zealand: Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. Related URL.
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Marsik, P., Khmaladze, J., Arul, R., Minola, M., Simpson, M. C., & Bernhard, C. (2018). Superconductor sandwiches: cuprate-manganite multilayers with a remarkable new ground state. Paper presented at Conference on Oxide-Based Materials and Devices IX, San Francisco, CA. 28 January - 1 February 2018. OXIDE-BASED MATERIALS AND DEVICES IX. (pp. 8). 10.1117/12.2289215


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 7, Room 747
New Zealand

Web links