Quantum matter is characterised by competing and intertwined orders. Here I will present our recent advances in using uniaxial pressure as a clean “surgical” tool to tune quantum phases while simultaneously obtaining microscopic insights via scattering experiments. In particular, we address two directions - minimizing the background and enabling the tuning in-situ.
First, we study spin order in cuprate superconductors characterized by small moments, which remains challenging for pressure studies. We overcome this challenge by designing a low-background uniaxial strain cell, optimizing the experiment based on neutron-tracing simulations and using aggressive focusing and energy analysis. We show that the spin order parameter in cuprates is uniaxial and coupled to the charge channel .
Second, to further improve the feasibility and speed of such experiments, we have designed a new in-situ uniaxial device for large-scale facility research based on an actuator-motor mechanism, efficient feedback loops and the sample-holder design enabling rapid exchange of the samples . I will demonstrate the improved capabilities of this device reporting the control of charge order in cuprates and magnetic phases in skyrmion materials, respectively.
 Simutis et al. in review and arXiv:2204.02304 (2022)
 Simutis et al. in review and arXiv:2207.13194 (2022)