The CMP Group
Primarily we are interested in systems that have application in modern technologies, for example in nanoscience and biophysics. Current projects are related to novel devices in the fields of molecular and opto-electronics, quantum information theory and magnetic sensing. We are increasingly working with industrial organisations concerned with nano-fabrication of electronic devices and high-density magnetic recording.
1 year postdoc position in 'Electronic structure calculations of Magnetic
Nanoparticles' currently available.This is part of a Leicester-Demokritos collaboration on the medical applications of nanoparticles funded by the Greek Aristeia programme.
More information is available from the website http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/jobs/jobDetails/33845697
What is Condensed Matter Physics?
Broadly speaking, condensed matter physics is concerned with the behaviour of matter on an atomic scale. The CMP group at Leicester are interested in the relationship between atomic configurations, electronic structure and function.
- More information on CMP research projects is available on the research page.
We are primarily interested in the structural and electronic properties of semiconductor nanostructures and the electronic properties of magnetic nanoparticles.
We use numerical and analytical techniques to model both the single particle and strongly correlated quantum states of semiconductor nanostructures.These, artificial atom-like systems have important applications in opto-electronics and quantum computing. We study many types of semiconductor nanostructures: self assembled MBE grown dots, electrostatic dots, and quantum dots formed in carbon nanotubes (image: right) or graphene.
The group, in collaboration with Prof JA Blackman, is studying the electronic properties of nanoscale magnetic clusters. The primary goal is the design of high magnetic moment and high anisotropy materials. We employ electronic structure techniques to study the properties of single element, binary and encapsulated clusters of sizes up to about 1000 atoms. A particular focus for encapsulated clusters is the sensitivity of the properties to the interface between the two components.
The group is also interested in X-ray and electron scattering. We use advanced computational techniques to accurately solve the quantum mechanical behaviour of electrons interacting with non periodic arrays of atoms or ions.
Atomic resolution STM image of a cleaved InGaAs quantum dot. The dot was imaged at the Technical University of Eindhoven (D Bruls et al, Appl. Phys. Lett. ,81, 1708 (2002).
Isosurfaces of the electron wavefunction (4th excited state) confined in the self assembled InGaAs quantum dot shown. The wavefunctions are calculated by exact diagonalisation of the Hamiltonian.
We use a wide range of techniques to produce and investigate novel nanoscale materials.
Much of our research program is based upon a custom made nanocluster source: L.U.M.P.S. (image: right) is capable of producing size selected metal nanoclusters of roughly a few hundred atoms. The clusters have novel structural and magnetic properties and we are currently developing more advanced cluster sources capable of producing nanoclusters with core-shell geometries.
The CMP scanning probe facility is also equipped with a low temperature AFM/STM (image: left). We are currently using the AFM to investigate the Casimir force - one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. A large proportion of our experimental work, including the microscopy, is carried out at ultrahigh vacuum (< 10-10mbar).
The group is a large user of central facilties in both the UK and abroad. We use synchrotron radiation techniques including magnetic x-ray circular and linear dichroism (MCXD, MCLD), surface x-ray diffraction (SXRD), photoelectron spectroscopy, and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS).