Roman Mankowsky is awarded the Reimar Lüst Grant

of the Max Planck Society for his PhD studies

Read more

Marta Gibert receives SNSF Professorship

for her project on Functional oxide heterostructures by design.

Read more



Over the past decade, physicists and engineers have been forging a new frontier in the design of exotic substances, known as “quantum materials”. These can be finely-tuned to create extremely useful properties. For instance, it was recently discovered that some materials can display superconductivity -- the ability to conduct electricity without resistance -- at far higher temperatures than had previously been demonstrated. This opens up the possibility of building superconductors that work at room temperature. 


A major goal of our project is to create such stable high-temperature superconductors that can be exploited for practical applications. The greatest hurdle is that high-temperature superconductivity is a delicate property, which is difficult to maintain for prolonged lengths of time. So, the challenge is to prevent heat or other environmental factors from disturbing the system and destroying its superconductivity.


One possible technique we shall pursue is to sandwich the superconducting system between protective layers of specially engineered materials that will screen out disturbances. Our group is internationally renowned for its ability to build and control such layers. We will also investigate methods to both induce and stabilise superconductivity by highly controlled shining laser light on quantum materials.


These aims require the use of novel experimental techniques, combined with advanced computer simulations. In order to be able to design and manipulate these materials with precision, however, we must also develop an accurate theoretical understanding of the behaviour of atoms and electrons in quantum materials.


Our project will combine progress in experimental techniques, computational advances and a sophisticated theoretical understanding, to allow potentially unprecedented control of quantum materials at high temperatures.