The department uses neutron and X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy as well as optical spectroscopy and Raman scattering to explore the structure and dynamics of materials with strong electron correlations. We also have a strong effort in the development of new spectroscopic methods. As the close collaboration between experimentalists and theorists is essential for the progress in this field, a small theory group operates within the department.
Bernhard Keimer has won an "Advanced Grant" from the European Research Council (ERC) for a project on magnetic excitations in compounds and heterostructures based on 4d electrons. In the framework of this project, a new beamline for resonant inelastic x-ray scattering will be built at the PETRA-III synchrotron in Hamburg.
Resonant x-ray scattering experiments on iridium oxides have demonstrated a novel form of exchange coupling between magnetic moments, whose strength depends on the direction of the magnetic bonds. This discovery opens up new perspectives for solid-state realizations of quantum spin liquids.