The Division of Materials Physics is involved in the fundamental and application-oriented study of physical parameters and processes describing and connecting the nano/microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic properties of condensed matter and molecules.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the most active fields of research and development in the DMP. Various types of nanostructured materials are synthesized: amorphous or nanocrystalline thin films by non-equilibrium processing (magnetron sputtering, ion implantation), nanolaminates, nanocrystalline metals, nanometer-scale ceramics, nanocomposites and spatially ordered nanoparticle arrays in amorphous matrices. The structures of the prepared materials are examined by several methods: X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering, Raman spectroscopy, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and others, while physical properties are determined by a plethora of methods: electrical and optical measurements, photoluminescence, electrochemical measurements etc.
The correlation between preparation parameters, structure and physical properties provides thorough insight into physical processes, leading to new physical phenomena and the optimization there of for eventual applications. A new nanospectroscopic instrument will provide a powerful additional impetus for such research. Some materials examined so far exhibit excellent properties as photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, catalysts and anticorrosive coatings.
Fundamental research involving the vibrational spectroscopy of molecular and condensed matter systems is being applied to materials differing according to their preparation methods and compositions: metals, semiconductors, ceramics, molecular crystals and biological substances. Intensive research on strongly nonlinear interaction of light with matter and spontaneous or self-organization processes in condensed systems complete the scope of research in the Division of Materials Physics.