The scientific aims of this program, involving 14 researchers, are (i) the synthesis of novel magnetic and superconducting materials, in bulk form (alloys/powder/ single crystals) as well as thin films and nanoparticles, (ii) functionalization of nanostructures with selected properties, and (iii) their detailed experimental and theoretical study at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. The ultimate goal is to exploit their intrinsic magnetic, electronic, optical and structural properties in innovative applications, such as magnetic information storage systems, permanent magnets, electromechanical devices, microelectronics/ nanoelectronics, spintronics, energy storage, environmental protection, photocatalysis, biomedical and medical applications. The program carries out research within several disciplines including: condensed matter physics (magnetism/superconductivity), material science, inorganic chemistry, chemical engineering, and metallurgy.
In line with the Horizon 2020 strategy of economic growth through excellence in science, the program’s current research activities concern experimental and theoretical studies of fundamental physical problems in areas such as: (a) magnetic properties and interactions in nanoparticles, thin films, bulk alloys and oxides, molecules and molecular complexes, polymers and strongly correlated electronic and multiferroic systems, (b) metal insulator transitions, spin and charge density waves, (c) superconductivity in conventional, new and hybrid superconductors, (d) graphene, batteries and supercapacitors, (e) topological phenomena in thin film nanostructures, and (f) photocatalytic pollutant decomposition and hydrogen production.
The program’s laboratories host a comprehensive and complementary set of experimental techniques: state-of-the-art preparation techniques for bulk and nanostructured magnetic/superconducting materials, characterization techniques such as x-ray single-crystal and powder crystallography, magnetic, resistivity and heat capacity measurements, and Mössbauer, Raman and solid state broad band NMR/EPR spectroscopies and computational infrastructure. In addition systematic and regular experiments at Large Scale Neutron and Synchrotron X-ray facilities worldwide are carried out on the above materials, accompanied by in depth structural analysis at INN.
Low temperatures studies are supported by the Helium Liquefaction Unit supervised and operated by program researchers.