The Institute "Quantum Phenomena in Novel Materials" is investigating fundamental aspects of magnetism in condensed matter. We are aiming at understanding the macroscopic properties of magnetic materials from their microscopic structure and dynamics. For this purpose, the samples under study are frequently exposed to extreme conditions such as temperatures close to absolute zero, high magnetic fields, and high pressure. The spectrum of investigated systems ranges from magnetic model materials that are approximate realizations of idealized theoretical concepts, to technologically interesting systems such as magnetic nanomaterials.
In the area of quantum magnetism and frustrated magnets current work includes neutron scattering experiments on various systems like the quasi-one-dimensional spin-1/2 Heisenberg insulating antiferromagnet, KCuF3, the distorted triangular antiferromagnet α-CaCr2O4, and the diamond chain compound azurite. In the area of strongly correlated electron systems, we have participated, e.g., in the study of charge order in La1.8−xEu0.2SrxCuO4 as a first example of static charge order independent of a structural phase transition and in the absence of long-range magnetic order, and in the observation of long-range incommensurate charge fluctuations in (Y,Nd)Ba2Cu3O6+x. In the area of novel oxides, we focus on transition metal oxides which are of great potential for technological applications since they show a wide range of extraordinary properties like multiferroic behavior, colossal magnetoresistance, and high-Tc superconductivity. Finally, in the area of magnetic nanomaterials, our research activities focus on systems related to potential applications in spintronics and magnetoelectrics.