The Materials Science by Nuclear Methods Department carries out experimental research in materials science, primarily using nuclear physics methods. To this end, the group develops nuclear research methods, the theoretical background and the evaluation methods used. The different groups, beyond making use of the domestic research environment, also use great European research infrastructures.
In collaboration with the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Budapest) and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), our researchers also take part in physics teaching. We organise advanced-level practical sessions that fit into university syllabuses and we offer BSc, MSc and PhD places to interested students.
In the course of its research, the group studies the electron configuration of transition metal compounds that have special conduction and excitation properties, chiefly using X-ray spectroscopic techniques based on synchrotron radiation. The major systems examined are oxides with strongly correlated electrons and the functional molecules that have a great importance and potential in molecular switches, solar energy use, photo-catalysis and molecular biology. In addition to static examinations, we have recently been making an important effort to use the methods of X-ray spectroscopy for examining the dynamics of electronic and molecular structures, applying them as probes in femtosecond time-resolution experiments.
The subsidy won in 2013, in the framework of the MTA Lendület programme, provides the opportunity for new research, enabling us to set up a femtosecond transient optic absorption installation in the HELIOS laboratory of the research center, in collaboration with the Ultra-fast, high-intensity light-material interactions group. This installation offers new possibilities for exploring the elemental steps of the transformations of functional molecules.
The research of the group focuses on the examination of the properties of metallic, especially magnetic and supra-conductor nanostructures and biological/biomimetic membranes. The group primarily studies the new quantum phenomena deriving from the close effects of the layers. Of the solid state physics methods used, the reflectometries using neutron reflectometries and synchrotron radiation are of paramount importance, and are further developed experimentally, theoretically and also with respect to data analysis.
The methods of ion beam physics are used in a great number of research, development and technology fields, on the one hand, to determine the composition of the near-surface layers, and on the other, to modify surface properties. Their activity includes research in biology, environment studies, material science, archaeology and the history of art.
The ion-beam laboratory is part of the Hungarian Ion-beam Physics Platform, HIPP.
Group leader: Dániel Merkel