Student’s Spotlight – Karthika Kariattukarakaran Thilakan

Karthika is a PhD student from Uppsala University, working on the structure-property relationship in magnetic materials. Her primary focus involves working with metallic alloys, specifically magnetic quasicrystal approximants.

Her research project consists of two main parts: the first delves into complex magnetic structures, with a focus on understanding non-trivial magnetic ground states and identifying universal behaviors in quasicrystal approximants. The second part concentrates on magnetic materials used for refrigeration purposes.

To investigate these materials, she employs neutron diffraction, allowing her to study the nuclear structure, arrangement of magnetic spins, and their interactions. Additionally, she utilizes inelastic neutron scattering to elucidate the magnetic excitations present in these materials.

Karthika finds the most enjoyable aspect of her work to be the opportunity to travel to neutron sources for experiments. She values the chance to collaborate closely with experts on various beamlines, providing her with valuable learning experiences. However, she acknowledges that working with neutrons poses challenges, particularly the high demand for beamtime. When her PhD project is on a tight timeline, she feels that the process of writing proposals and securing acceptance to the desired beamlines is quite competitive.

Being part of the neutron-scattering community as a PhD student within SwedNess is truly exciting. The experience opens up numerous opportunities to connect with fellow students working on neutron-related projects in and around Sweden. The annual Neutron Days serve as a pivotal event, offering valuable insights into the ongoing research using neutron scattering techniques and providing a platform to explore opportunities within academia and industry.



Contact Karthika on LinkedIn