Dr Otto Mustonen


Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Full contact details

Dr Otto Mustonen
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Otto Mustonen joined the University of Sheffield in 2018 as a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) with Dr Eddie Cussen. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry (2014-2018) from Aalto University, Finland, working on strongly correlated oxide materials under Prof. Maarit Karppinen.

He runs the Leverhulme Trust funded 'New Magnetic Materials Discovery' project in collaboration with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. The aim of the project is to discover novel magnetic phenomena in frustrated fcc antiferromagnets.

Research interests

Otto's broad research area is Quantum materials, where the materials properties cannot be understood without a full quantum mechanical approach. These properties, such as magnetism and superconductivity, depend on the collective behaviour of electrons. These quantum materials are studied using highly advanced characterization techniques including neutron scattering techniques (diffraction, inelastic, polarized) and muon spin rotation and relaxation.

Otto's main interests are frustrated magnets and quantum critical points.

Frustrated magnetism

Magnetic systems become frustrated when their interactions cannot be simultaneously satisfied due to either the geometric arrangement of magnetic ions, often triangles, or due to competing interactions. Frustration can stabilize novel magnetic states such as quantum spin liquids, in which frustration prevents magnetic order even at absolute zero. These materials could be used to form qubits in a new type of quantum computer. Otto's research focuses on frustrated oxide materials with 3d or 4d transition metal cations.

Quantum critical points

Phase transitions at absolute zero occur at quantum critical points. These transitions are driven by quantum fluctuations arising from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle instead of thermal fluctuations and can be triggered by chemical doping, magnetic field or pressure. Materials tuned to a quantum critical point can exhibit highly unusual properties. As an example, an underlying quantum critical point is thought to be at the origin of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates and pnictides. Otto's research involves tuning of quantum critical points by chemical doping in 3d and 4d oxides.


Journal articles

Professional activities
  • Member of Royal Society of Chemistry 
  • Member of the American Physical Society