1. Condensed Matter Physics

Chair: Prof. Laura Heyderman, Prof. Henrik Rønnow


This section brings together researchers who explore novel properties of condensed matter. For this, many experimental and theoretical methods are implemented to create new materials, as well as to characterise them and understand their behaviour.

In particular, the knowledge gained about the structure of the materials at the atomic level, as well as their electronic, magnetic and optical properties, provides a way to interpret their behaviour at different timescales.

This behaviour includes conductivity, magnetic order, ferroelectric polarization, elasticity and reflectivity, which are very important for technological applications that play a key role in our daily lives.

Indeed, the area of condensed matter physics is very broad and includes semiconducting and superconducting phenomena, photonics, mechanics, plasmonics, and (multi-)ferroics that can be investigated in a number of different systems such as metals, ceramics, nanostructures and nanomaterials, as well as at surfaces and interfaces.

The characterization methods are correspondingly broad and can be highly complex, with experiments being performed in the laboratory as well as at large scale facilities. These experiments are often supported by theoretical work.


Other organisations working in the field

Swiss Society for Cryistallography (SSCR)
Swiss Neutron Science Society (SNSS)


[1] Programmable Quantum Technology: By repositioning Xe atoms one by one, coupled quantum dot states can be programmed to define different electronic states of the whole 2D array.
[2] Strain-induced ferroelectric domains in a 50x50 µm2 SrMnO3 thin film imaged by electrostatic force microscopy.
[3] Three dimensional nanostructure created with laser lithography and imaged with synchrotron x-ray tomography.
[4] Chiral magnetic skyrmions (right) near room temperature as observed using neutron scattering (left).

Picture Credits:
[1] S. Nowakowska et al., Small 12, 3757 (2016)
[2] C. Becher et al., Nature Nanotechnology 10, 661 (2015)
[3] C. Donnelly et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 115501 (2015)
[4] Y. Tokunaga et al., Nat. Commun. 6, 7638 (2015)