Research Activities

Our laboratory addresses problems of both fundamental interest & technological relevance, crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries between physics and materials science. We integrate the development of new forms of advanced instrumentation and measurement of physical properties, allowing a tight feedback between understanding the science of the novel phenomena being studied and the materials exhibiting the phenomena. Particular attention is paid in the identification and design of materials which could be useful in addressing specific physical problems and producing tailor made devices.

1. Magnetism in extreme conditions, investigations of the impact of reduced dimensionality and studies on how electrons behave in nanoscale structures.
We are concerned with the fundamental question how collective properties such as superconductivity are affected when the system's dimensions are reduced. Another issue is how energy dissipation influences quantum effects. The work of when a nanowire or a filled or coated nanotube can appear superconducting and how do electrons move through materials at their quantum limits is crucial for developments in nano-electronics and quantum-state engineering.

2. Electronic properties at nanometer thick interfaces
The study of electromagnetic phases in engineered low dimensional interfaces is a modern direction in the search for space-confined properties in nanoscale devices. In heterostructures, the variation of the surface or interface lattice symmetry from the bulk may be responsible for the emergence of novel electronic phases. Promising examples include multilayers composed of insulators with interfaces displaying properties of quasi-two-dimensional electron gases, superconductivity and possible metallic ferromagnetism.

3. Spontaneous and impurity induced electronic heterogeneity.
The correlation of electrons in a solid produces a rich variety of states, typically through the interplay between magnetism and electrical conductance. Electronic complexity has important consequences for applications of correlated electronic materials in particular, because not only charge, or charge and spin are of relevance, but in addition the lattice and orbital degrees of freedoms are active. These lead to large responses to small perturbations, increasing the potential for novel behaviour.
4. Materials driven by the prospect of controlling charges and spins by applied magnetic fields and voltages.
Further to an increased interest in applications in materials where magnetism and ferroelectricity coexist, a substantial goal is to investigate whether novel collective phenomena and quantum effects can arise when these materials are subject to tuning. We seek fundamental knowledge to assist in preparing miniaturized tailor made functional new systems at room temperature.