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HOD: Physics Department
Name: Buyi Sondezi
Location: C1 Lab 126 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
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Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 2813


About Prof. Buyi Sondezi

Rare-Earth-Based Oxides and Nanomaterials Group (REBO-NANO Group)

From a background of extensive study in the field of highly correlated materials investigated from bulk compounds and alloys, a new frontier into rare-earth-based oxides and nanomaterials is explored. In the studies of the highly correlated matter, great emphasis was put on the behaviour of the rare earth element which is mostly derived from the local moment of the f-electrons, which were observed to be species that were mostly responsible for the behaviour of the whole compound. Materials were studied under extreme conditions; high applied magnetic fields, extremely low temperatures (as low as 50 mK) as well as chemical pressures. All these were done to investigate the stability of the ordering temperature which indicated if the systems could be driven to quantum criticality. Success was achieved from ferromagnetically ordered materials using chemical pressure, where a non-magnetic element was systematically substituted into the well-ordered polycrystalline material.

Extending from this knowledge, the behaviour of the rare earth element is further investigated in oxide materials, which form pyrochlores, perovskites and double perovskite materials. These are dependent on the stoichiometry and the synthesis profile employed to get to the desired material. These classes of materials (thin films and nanomaterials) have various possible applications, ranging from energy storage devices, data storage devices, and radiation shielding as well as applications in the medical field.

Research projects in this group leverage the strengths and the advantages of the rare-earth element to achieve most of the desired results and subsequent applications.