Nature Communications

Orbital reconstruction in nonpolar tetravalent transition-metal oxide layers

N. A. Bogdanov, V. M. Katukuri, J. Romhányi, V. Yushankhai, V. Kataev, B. Büchner, J. van den Brink, and L. Hozoi

Sr2IrO4  is a prototypical spin-orbital Mott insulator which has attracted considerable interest in recent years. ESR experiments combined with ab initio quantum chemistry methods have enabled to untangle the 5d-shell electronic structure of Sr2IrO4, in particular an unexpected inversion of the ordering of the t2g orbital states.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 114

Mutual Independence of Critical Temperature and Superfluid Density under Pressure in Optimally Electron-Doped Superconducting LaFeAsO1−xFx

G. Prando, Th. Hartmann, W. Schottenhamel, Z. Guguchia, S. Sanna, F. Ahn, I. Nekrasov, C.G.F. Blum, A.U.B. Wolter, S. Wurmehl, R. Khasanov, I. Eremin and B. Büchner

ERC Consolidator Grant for
Dr. Christian Hess

Electronic Order, Magnetism, and Unconventional Superconductivity in Real-Space

ERC Consolidator Grant for
Dr. Alexey Popov

Surface-grafted metallofullerene molecular magnets with controllable alignment of magnetic moments

New Collaborative Research Center "Correlated Magnetism: From Frustration To Topology" (SFB 1143) with participation of scientists from the Institute for Solid State Research
(Press Release of TU Dresden)

Nature Materials

Orbital-driven Nematicity in FeSe

S-H. Baek, D. V. Efremov, J. M. Ok, J. S. Kim, J. van den Brink, and B. Büchner

Iron selenide is an appealingly clean system for understanding the origin of superconductivity in iron-based superconductors. A detailed NMR study shows that the nematic order preceding the superconducting phase is driven by orbital degree of freedom.

Physical Review Letters

Experimental Realization of a
Three-Dimensional Dirac

Using angle-resolved photoemission
spectroscopy, a 3D Dirac semimetal
phase has been observed in
Cadmium Arsenide for the first time.

  • Electron spectroscopy and microscopy

    Electron spectroscopy and microscopy

    „Microscopic understanding“ of a phenomenon is a syno-
    nym for the ability to describe it by first principles....

    Electron spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Synchrotron methods

    Synchrotron methods

    In order to understand,
    predict and control the
    physical properties of a
    material, it is necessary
    to know its electronic and
    crystal structures....

    Synchrotron methods
  • Synthesis and crystal growth

    Synthesis and crystal growth

    Our research is aiming at
    a fundamental understanding
    of functional properties of novel materials and their potential for applications....

    Synthesis and crystal growth
  • Transport and scanning probe microscopy

    Transport and scanning probe microscopy

    We investigate emergent
    phenomena of quantum

    Transport and scanning probe microscopy
  • Magnetic Properties

    Magnetic Properties

    In a coherent experimental
    effort that combines thermo-
    dynamic methods...

    Magnetic Properties
  • Surface dynamics

    Surface dynamics

    Surfaces Dynamics – this
    means to us research on
    high frequency ultrasound

    Surface dynamics
  • Nanoscale chemistry

    Nanoscale chemistry

    The morphology of nanosca-
    le materials such as the size
    and the shape of the nano-
    particles and nanocrystals
    can dramatically affect their

    Nanoscale chemistry


In our research we mainly deal with the fundamental connections of new physical phenomena in quantum materials with particular emphasis on nanoscale materials. In addition, a very applied research, ranging from electrical application to biomedicine is an important part of our research.

"Quantum materials"  

In Quantum Materials a possible potential for technological applications emerges from their complex, quantum mechanical electronic properties. The complex electronic properties of " Quantum Materials" may result from the interplay and unusual ordering phenomena of electronic spin , orbital and charge degrees of freedom and can be observed in the context of topologically protected spin or charge states

The above mentioned physical material's properties manifest in a number of material classes: in certain families of transition-metal oxides, in molecular solids and in a range of intermetallic materials. What sets these systems apart is that their valence and conduction electrons typically retain to some extent their atomic character, resulting in a rich interplay of localized and delocalized electronic degrees of freedom. This renders these materials both practically and conceptually very different from simple metals and semiconductors with well-understood itinerant quasi-particles. Often the quantum mechanical interplay between the localized and delocalized electronic degrees of freedom leads to anomalous charge transport properties, for instance due to the presence of metal-insulator transitions, and exceptional types of ordering phenomena, such as unconventional forms of superconductivity and quantum magnetism. Functionalities that arise from this are for instance large magnetocaloric effects, high temperature superconductivity, magnetism with very strong anisotropy and colossal/giant magnetoresistance.      

The plethora of spectacular and surprising phenomena that can occur in Quantum Materials poses one of the greatest set of challenges for cutting-edge experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics. As a rule material-specific predictions for the occurrence of many of these phenomena are very difficult, even if some of the presently booming research topics in this field, for instance the investigation of magnetic skyrmions and new topological states of matter, have emerged from a strong theoretical research effort and remain being strongly pushed by it. 

“Nanometer-scale Quantum Materials”

When the dimensions of materials are restricted to the nanometer length-scale, new electronic properties emerge. This is related to the fact that any macroscopic object, when scaled down to a nanometer-scale, starts exhibiting distinct quantum mechanical properties. However, at the nanoscale also entirely new physical properties may emerge, for instance at surfaces and interfaces of topological insulators (TIs) where the spin of surface electrons is locked to their momentum, a property that is interesting in the context of spintronics.

The technological ability to engineer and shape materials at the nanoscale opens up a very well-defined road to control the materials properties and functionality in a systematic manner. It requires the synthesis, modelling and structuring of nanosystems, which is pursued in the context of a broad span of nanoparticles, ranging from endohedral fullerenes, carbon-based buckytubes to intermetallic or oxide nanoparticles. This combined approach is also the basis for the design of interfaces and heterostructures of superconducting materials, magnetic systems and molecular solids. In these heterostructures charge transfer effects at or across interfaces are decisive for the properties and functionality. An advantage of such interfaces is that they can be modified and engineered to a much greater extent than bulk Quantum Materials.

Building on the traditional strength in the field of Quantum Materials, and in order to strengthen in particular this research area and its potential for device applications, in 2013 the Center for Transport and Devices of Emergent Materials (CTD) has been founded together with the TU Dresden.

Unique methodology: search, synthesis, analysis, and application potential of new materials

Our research teams search for new materials with the outlined unusual electronic properties and study their fundamental physical properties using a broad range of experimental techniques. Customized high resolution methodology is developed according to the specific scientific questions and phenomena, and finally, based on the experimental results, the chemistry, the morphology and the intrinsic physical properties of the materials are optimized with respect to technical applications. Some of the methodological developments of our institute push the limits of current condensed matter research. Such set-ups as well as the special infrastructure for materials synthesis are made available to cooperation partners at universities (crystal growth laboratory), worldwide users (ARPES measurement stations at the Berlin Synchrotron BESSY), or to industry partners (laboratory for spectroelectrochemistry).  

Application-driven research activities

Based on our scientific expertise, our methodological experience, and based on our dedicated knowledge of specific materials classes, we also perform application-driven research in close cooperation with various industry partners. In many of these activities key challenges of the modern industrial and information society are addressed. For example, there are projects in cancer research based on our knowledge of molecular nanostructures. Additionally, our specific methodology and expertise for spectroelectrochemistry, magnetic materials, and oxide nanomaterials is used in industry projects concerning energy and/or mobility. The activities on novel magnetic materials are also motivated by the urgent issues of resources and sustainability. Moreover, the industry-oriented research of our institute includes since many years the topic "Surface Acoustic Waves (SAW)" dealing with innovative micro-acoustic components and devices as well as the associated high-tech materials and technologies. The recently founded "SAWLab Saxony - Competence Center for Acoustoelectronic Phenomena, Technologies and Devices" aims to bundle our profound SAW knowledge with experience and demands of several small and medium-sized Saxon high-tech companies fostering the close cooperation of our institute with the regional industry.

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