Our research-group is fascinated by new states of matter. One such state is the ferromagnetic state, known for thousands of years in, for example, the compass. Another one is the superconducting state, which is known since 1911. The current nanotechnology makes it possible to combine those different ground states.
But .. while, the nano-toolbox evolved, new states of matter continue to be discovered, such as the Quantum Hall effect, different kinds of superconductivity and topological insulators. This rich variety provides a fascinating world to explore and many new phenomena are predicted by combining these ground states.
Our main activity is a project funded by the European Research Council for Advanced Researchers. It is called Mesoscopic THz imaging of Quantum Matter with the acronym, METIQUM. It takes up the challenge of measuring spatial variations in conductivity buried in otherwise insulating materials. The challenge is to develop a method to apply locally an electromagnetic signal which is reflected from the material to be studied and further processed. We have purchased recently developed equipment, which can do this at a frequency of about 10 GHz, and we are working to extend this frequency into the THz range (for which we have experience from our former collaboration with the astronomers).
The PI has, as a Megagrant winner from the Russian Ministry of Science and Education a second appointment at the Physics Department of the Moscow State Pedagogical University in close association with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The goal is to contribute to a re-establishment of the scientific level and to provide guidance in the development towards the creation of research-universities. One motivation is also the respect for the rich and deep contributions to the theory of superconductivity provided by Russian theorists since the 40-ies of the last century.
Finally, the PI became in 2014 a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Forschungs Preis, proposed by Laurens Molenkamp from the University of Würzburg. This prize, given in recognition of his past research-accomplishments, enables also a participation in the research-program of Molenkamp’s research-group, with the unique facilities to work with HgTe and HgCdTe heterostructures, one of workhorses of the recently discovered topological insulators.