Ben Mallett

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

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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.

Research | Current

My research is in experimental solid-state physics. I study the physics of complex superconductors, magnetic materials and the new, emergent properties that result from combining these materials as thin-film multilayers.

My current focus is on ‘Superconductor Sandwiches’! We discovered that these 'sandwiches' host a novel and tuneable ground-state due to an interaction between the superconductor layer and the magnetic material layer on either side (see below). The specific properties of the magnetic material key to controlling the new superconducting state in our sandwiches.

We believe this new superconducting state is ‘granular’. Remarkably, the sandwiches 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 infrared and optical spectroscopy) and I regularly make use of synchrotrons and other large-scale user facilities.


Postgraduate supervision

Andrew Chan (PhD student)


Rutherford Post-Doctoral Fellow

Swiss Embassy International Scholarship

Areas of expertise

Solid state and condensed matter physics

Superconductivity and magnetism

Optical spectroscopies applied to solids

Thin film multilayers


Committees/Professional groups/Services

Wagga 2020 conference organising committee

Faculty of Science Post-Doctoral Society

Colloquia organiser for the Department of Physics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Wang, C. N., Marsik, P., Sheveleva, E., Yazdi-Rizi, M., Tallon, J. L., ... Bernhard, C. (2017). Muon spin rotation and infrared spectroscopy study of magnetism and superconductivity in Ba₁₋ₓKₓFe₂As₂. Physical Review B, 95 (5)10.1103/PhysRevB.95.054512
  • Baldini, E., Mann, A., Mallett, B. P. P., Arrell, C., van Mourik, F., Wolf, T., ... Lorenzana, J. (2017). Clocking the onset of bilayer coherence in a high-Tc cuprate. Physical Review B, 95 (2).10.1103/PhysRevB.95.024501
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Khmaladze, J., Marsik, P., Perret, E., Cerreta, A., Orlita, M., ... Bernhard, C. (2016). Granular superconductivity and magnetic-field-driven recovery of macroscopic coherence in a cuprate/manganite multilayer. Physical Review B, 94 (18)10.1103/PhysRevB.94.180503
  • Mallett, B. P. P., Marsik, P., Yazdi-Rizi, M., Wolf, T., Böhmer AE, Hardy, F., ... Bernhard, C. (2015). Infrared study of the spin reorientation transition and its reversal in the superconducting state in underdoped Ba₁₋ₓKₓFe₂As₂. Physical Review Letters, 115 (2)10.1103/physrevlett.115.027003


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
New Zealand

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