Departments




Departments

The new theory group under the direction of Ali Alavi will be broadly concerned with the development of ab initio methods for treating correlated electronic systems, using Quantum Monte Carlo, quantum chemical and many-body methodologies. We will also be interested in applying ab initio methods (including density functional theory) to problems of interest in heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry, electrochemistry, and photochemistry. It is our long term aim to develop the highly accurate methodologies of Quantum Monte Carlo and quantum chemistry for application to such systems.  We welcome applications and enquiries for postdoctoral and postgraduate (PhD) positions from individuals with a strong grounding in theoretical (condensed matter) physics, theoretical chemistry, and further a field in computer science, and applied mathematics.

Electronic Structure Theory (Ali Alavi)

The new theory group under the direction of Ali Alavi will be broadly concerned with the development of ab initio methods for treating correlated electronic systems, using Quantum Monte Carlo, quantum chemical and many-body methodologies. We will also be interested in applying ab initio methods (including density functional theory) to problems of interest in heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry, electrochemistry, and photochemistry. It is our long term aim to develop the highly accurate methodologies of Quantum Monte Carlo and quantum chemistry for application to such systems.
We welcome applications and enquiries for postdoctoral and postgraduate (PhD) positions from individuals with a strong grounding in theoretical (condensed matter) physics, theoretical chemistry, and further a field in computer science, and applied mathematics.
Keimer's department studies the structure and dynamics of highly correlated electronic materials by spectroscopic and scattering techniques. Topics of particular current interest include the interplay between charge, orbital, and spin degrees of freedom in transition metal oxides, the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity, and the control of electronic phase behavior in metal-oxide superlattices. High-quality single crystals and epitaxial thin films and multilayers are synthesized in close collaboration with other groups at the institute. Experimental techniques being used include elastic and inelastic x-ray and neutron scattering, neutron spin-echo spectroscopy, Raman scattering, and wide-band spectral ellipsometry. The department operates several beamlines at the research reactor FRM-II in Garching and at the ANKA synchrotron in Karlsruhe. The department also comprises a theory group, and it collaborates closely with the theory departments in the Institute.

Solid State Spectroscopy (Bernhard Keimer)

Keimer's department studies the structure and dynamics of highly correlated electronic materials by spectroscopic and scattering techniques. Topics of particular current interest include the interplay between charge, orbital, and spin degrees of freedom in transition metal oxides, the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity, and the control of electronic phase behavior in metal-oxide superlattices. High-quality single crystals and epitaxial thin films and multilayers are synthesized in close collaboration with other groups at the institute. Experimental techniques being used include elastic and inelastic x-ray and neutron scattering, neutron spin-echo spectroscopy, Raman scattering, and wide-band spectral ellipsometry. The department operates several beamlines at the research reactor FRM-II in Garching and at the ANKA synchrotron in Karlsruhe. The department also comprises a theory group, and it collaborates closely with the theory departments in the Institute. [more]
Research efforts in the Department are centered on nanometer-scale science and technology with a focus on the bottom-up paradigm. The aim of the interdisciplinary research at the interface between physics, chemistry and biology is to gain control of materials at the atomic and molecular level, enabling the design of systems and devices with properties determined by quantum behavior on one hand and approaching functionalities of living matter on the other hand. Of particular interest are self-ordering strategies for bottom-up fabrication and assembly, molecular nanotechnology, quantum electronic transport and local probe microscopy and spectroscopy at the atomic scale. The research program explores new science relevant for future information and energy conversion technologies.

Nanoscale Science (Klaus Kern)

Research efforts in the Department are centered on nanometer-scale science and technology with a focus on the bottom-up paradigm. The aim of the interdisciplinary research at the interface between physics, chemistry and biology is to gain control of materials at the atomic and molecular level, enabling the design of systems and devices with properties determined by quantum behavior on one hand and approaching functionalities of living matter on the other hand. Of particular interest are self-ordering strategies for bottom-up fabrication and assembly, molecular nanotechnology, quantum electronic transport and local probe microscopy and spectroscopy at the atomic scale. The research program explores new science relevant for future information and energy conversion technologies. [more]
The main focus of the scientific work in the von Klitzing department (in close cooperation with the Solid State Nanophysics group of Jurgen Smet, the Nanostructuring Lab of Jürgen Weis, and the former MBE group of Werner Dietsche) is on electronic properties of 2-, 1-, and 0-dimensional electron systems, in particular the influence of quantum phenomena on the transport and optical response. Measurements in magnetic fields up to B = 20 Tesla and temperatures down to 20 mK are used to characterize the systems. The quantum Hall effect is studied by analyzing the electrical breakdown, the time-resolved transport, the edge channels, the behavior of composite fermions and new incompressible electronic ground states.  Electron-phonon interactions in low-dimensional systems and surface acoustic waves are used to investigate wave vector dependent excitations. Time-resolved photoconductivity, luminescence, and Raman measurements in magnetic fields are methods of characterizing the low dimensional electronic systems. A strong current interest is the preparation of nanostructures either by self-organized growth or by lithographic and synthetic routes and the investigation of coupled low-dimensional electronic systems. State-of-the -art MBE machines for III-V crystal growth allow the provision of high quality electronic systems useful for research projects on exciton condensation and topological quantum computation. The growth of high quality devices will be continued in close cooperation with the Advanced Semiconductor Quantum Materials group of Werner Wegscheider at ETH Zürich. The experiments are supported within the group by theoretical investigations of the transport and dynamic response of these low-dimensional electronic systems.

Low Dimensional Electron Systems (Klaus v. Klitzing)

The main focus of the scientific work in the von Klitzing department (in close cooperation with the Solid State Nanophysics group of Jurgen Smet, the Nanostructuring Lab of Jürgen Weis, and the former MBE group of Werner Dietsche) is on electronic properties of 2-, 1-, and 0-dimensional electron systems, in particular the influence of quantum phenomena on the transport and optical response. Measurements in magnetic fields up to B = 20 Tesla and temperatures down to 20 mK are used to characterize the systems. The quantum Hall effect is studied by analyzing the electrical breakdown, the time-resolved transport, the edge channels, the behavior of composite fermions and new incompressible electronic ground states.  Electron-phonon interactions in low-dimensional systems and surface acoustic waves are used to investigate wave vector dependent excitations. Time-resolved photoconductivity, luminescence, and Raman measurements in magnetic fields are methods of characterizing the low dimensional electronic systems. A strong current interest is the preparation of nanostructures either by self-organized growth or by lithographic and synthetic routes and the investigation of coupled low-dimensional electronic systems. State-of-the -art MBE machines for III-V crystal growth allow the provision of high quality electronic systems useful for research projects on exciton condensation and topological quantum computation. The growth of high quality devices will be continued in close cooperation with the Advanced Semiconductor Quantum Materials group of Werner Wegscheider at ETH Zürich. The experiments are supported within the group by theoretical investigations of the transport and dynamic response of these low-dimensional electronic systems. [more]
A central paradigm of nanochemistry is the rational synthesis of macroscopic materials based on nanoscale building blocks à la "Chimie douce". Imprinting materials with a nanostructure invokes fundamental changes in their properties, thereby opening up new avenues to the design of multifunctional materials with tailor-made properties. The group of Prof. Lotsch employs modern techniques of nanochemistry and combines them with classical methods of solid-state synthesis to develop chemical approaches to functional materials such as two-dimensional systems, porous framework materials, photonic nanostructures and layered heterostructures assembled with precision at the nanoscale. The underlying theme of our research is the development of new materials with application potential in nanophotonics, sensing, catalysis, as well as photo- and electrochemical energy conversion and -storage.

Nanochemistry (Bettina Lotsch)

A central paradigm of nanochemistry is the rational synthesis of macroscopic materials based on nanoscale building blocks à la "Chimie douce". Imprinting materials with a nanostructure invokes fundamental changes in their properties, thereby opening up new avenues to the design of multifunctional materials with tailor-made properties. The group of Prof. Lotsch employs modern techniques of nanochemistry and combines them with classical methods of solid-state synthesis to develop chemical approaches to functional materials such as two-dimensional systems, porous framework materials, photonic nanostructures and layered heterostructures assembled with precision at the nanoscale. The underlying theme of our research is the development of new materials with application potential in nanophotonics, sensing, catalysis, as well as photo- and electrochemical energy conversion and -storage. [more]
Maier's department is concerned with physical chemistry of the solid state, more specifically with electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics and transport properties. Emphasis is laid on ion conductors (such as inorganic or organic proton, metal ion and oxygen ion conductors) and mixed conductors (typically perovskites). As local chemical excitations (point defects) are responsible for ion transport and simultaneously represent the decisive acid-base active centers, a major theme of the department is the understanding of mass and charge transport, chemical reactivities and catalytic activities in relation to defect chemistry. This includes experiments (in particular electrochemical studies) as well as theory (in particular phenomenological modeling), and comprises investigations of elementary processes but also of overall system properties. In this context, interfaces and nanosystems are to the fore. Since electrochemical investigation immediately affects the coupling of chemical and electrical phenomena, the research is directed towards both basic solid state problems and the technology of energy and information conversion or storage (fuel cells, lithium-batteries, chemical sensors). Conceptually speaking, we want to address the following questions: Can we – given the materials, the control parameters and the driving force – understand or even predict concentrations, mobilities and reactivities of ionic charge carriers? How do these properties change at interfaces and in confined systems? What are the basic mechanisms of ion transport and ion transfer? How can we use this fundamental knowledge to develop at will materials for given (or novel) applications?

Physical Chemistry of Solids (Joachim Maier)

Maier's department is concerned with physical chemistry of the solid state, more specifically with electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics and transport properties. Emphasis is laid on ion conductors (such as inorganic or organic proton, metal ion and oxygen ion conductors) and mixed conductors (typically perovskites). As local chemical excitations (point defects) are responsible for ion transport and simultaneously represent the decisive acid-base active centers, a major theme of the department is the understanding of mass and charge transport, chemical reactivities and catalytic activities in relation to defect chemistry. This includes experiments (in particular electrochemical studies) as well as theory (in particular phenomenological modeling), and comprises investigations of elementary processes but also of overall system properties. In this context, interfaces and nanosystems are to the fore. Since electrochemical investigation immediately affects the coupling of chemical and electrical phenomena, the research is directed towards both basic solid state problems and the technology of energy and information conversion or storage (fuel cells, lithium-batteries, chemical sensors). Conceptually speaking, we want to address the following questions: Can we – given the materials, the control parameters and the driving force – understand or even predict concentrations, mobilities and reactivities of ionic charge carriers? How do these properties change at interfaces and in confined systems? What are the basic mechanisms of ion transport and ion transfer? How can we use this fundamental knowledge to develop at will materials for given (or novel) applications? [more]
Induced by quantum mechanical phenomena, heterostructures grown from complex materials offer a fascinating potential to create novel electron systems. Many have outstanding properties that are not otherwise found in nature. The design, growth, and exploration of such electron systems are at the focus of the department “Solid State Quantum Electronics”. Heterostructures are fabricated by building on recent advances made in the quantum engineering of novel materials, using advanced epitaxial growth techniques to deposit complex compounds with atomic-layer precision. Our experimental and theoretical efforts are interwoven with the other departments at the Institute. The goal of our research is to unravel the physics underlying artificial electron systems generated by interfaces and superlattice-type structures, to design and realize new ones, and to understand their potential for novel nanoscale devices that use the stunning effects of the quantum world to surpass the limits of today's electronics.

Solid State Quantum Electronics (Jochen Mannhart)

Induced by quantum mechanical phenomena, heterostructures grown from complex materials offer a fascinating potential to create novel electron systems. Many have outstanding properties that are not otherwise found in nature. The design, growth, and exploration of such electron systems are at the focus of the department “Solid State Quantum Electronics”. Heterostructures are fabricated by building on recent advances made in the quantum engineering of novel materials, using advanced epitaxial growth techniques to deposit complex compounds with atomic-layer precision. Our experimental and theoretical efforts are interwoven with the other departments at the Institute. The goal of our research is to unravel the physics underlying artificial electron systems generated by interfaces and superlattice-type structures, to design and realize new ones, and to understand their potential for novel nanoscale devices that use the stunning effects of the quantum world to surpass the limits of today's electronics. [more]
Electronic properties of solids are analyzed and computed in Metzner's department with a main emphasis on systems where electronic correlations play a crucial role, such as cuprates, manganites and other transition metal oxides. Besides symmetry-breaking phase transitions leading to magnetism, orbital and charge order, or superconductivity, correlations can also cause electron localization and many other striking many-body effects not described by the independent electron approximation. Our research focuses in particular on high-temperature superconductors with their complex interplay of magnetic, superconducting and charge correlations, and also on manganites, titanates, and vanadates, whose electronic properties are determined by the interplay of orbital, spin and charge degrees of freedom. Besides bulk properties of one-, two- and three-dimensional systems, also surface states of topological phases, as well as problems with a mesoscopic length scale such as quantum dots, quantum wires, and quantum Hall systems are being studied. The correlation problem is attacked with various numerical and field-theoretical techniques: exact diagonalization, density matrix renormalization group, dynamical mean-field theory and functional renormalization group. Modern many-body methods are not only being applied, but also further developed within our group.

Quantum Many-Body Theory (Walter Metzner)

Electronic properties of solids are analyzed and computed in Metzner's department with a main emphasis on systems where electronic correlations play a crucial role, such as cuprates, manganites and other transition metal oxides. Besides symmetry-breaking phase transitions leading to magnetism, orbital and charge order, or superconductivity, correlations can also cause electron localization and many other striking many-body effects not described by the independent electron approximation. Our research focuses in particular on high-temperature superconductors with their complex interplay of magnetic, superconducting and charge correlations, and also on manganites, titanates, and vanadates, whose electronic properties are determined by the interplay of orbital, spin and charge degrees of freedom. Besides bulk properties of one-, two- and three-dimensional systems, also surface states of topological phases, as well as problems with a mesoscopic length scale such as quantum dots, quantum wires, and quantum Hall systems are being studied. The correlation problem is attacked with various numerical and field-theoretical techniques: exact diagonalization, density matrix renormalization group, dynamical mean-field theory and functional renormalization group. Modern many-body methods are not only being applied, but also further developed within our group. [more]
Entanglement of electrons (electron correlations) in solids, in combination with details of the crystal lattice structure, produce a surprisingly rich variety of electronic phases, that are liquid, liquid-crystal and crystalline states of the charge and spin degrees of freedom. These complex electronic phases and the subtle competition among them very often give rise to novel functionality. The department will be studying these interesting novel phases in transition metal oxides and related compounds where the narrow d-bands, which give rise to strong electron correlations, in combination with the rich chemistry of such materials provides excellent opportunities for new discoveries. The goal of this research will be to hunt for new materials exhibiting exotic electronic states of matter, showing phenomena such as superconductivity or high thermoelectricity, and to explore them with advanced measurement techniques to unveil the physical mechanisms that could be drivers of potentially highly desirable functionality.

Quantum Materials (Hidenori Takagi)

Entanglement of electrons (electron correlations) in solids, in combination with details of the crystal lattice structure, produce a surprisingly rich variety of electronic phases, that are liquid, liquid-crystal and crystalline states of the charge and spin degrees of freedom. These complex electronic phases and the subtle competition among them very often give rise to novel functionality. The department will be studying these interesting novel phases in transition metal oxides and related compounds where the narrow d-bands, which give rise to strong electron correlations, in combination with the rich chemistry of such materials provides excellent opportunities for new discoveries. The goal of this research will be to hunt for new materials exhibiting exotic electronic states of matter, showing phenomena such as superconductivity or high thermoelectricity, and to explore them with advanced measurement techniques to unveil the physical mechanisms that could be drivers of potentially highly desirable functionality. [more]
 
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