Research Areas

Structure and dynamics

Understanding the macroscopic behavior of various materials, i.e. thermal and electrical conductivity, mechanical, magnetic and optical properties, for example, relies on the understanding of their structure. The complete picture requires structural information at all hierarchical levels starting from the electronic structure at atomic level, extending to the nano- and microscales and finally to the macroscopic domain.

The static structural information is an essential starting point but it cannot adequately describe materials behavior under the intrinsic and externally triggered dynamic changes within materials. Therefore, the dynamical studies of materials under influence of electromagnetic field, temperature, pressure, ultrasound, stress and chemical reaction are required. These studies are closely related to materials properties and tailoring research programs within material physics.

Material physics has versatile instrumentation for the structural studies including atomic level microscopy, x-ray diffractometers and spectrometers, ion-beam characterization facilities as well as x-ray imaging, ultrasonic and laser instrumentation. The biophysics program is accomplished in close collaboration with Viikki Campus offering modern NMR-laboratory facilities. Material physics has also strong theoretical and computational research programs addressing the structural and dynamical properties of materials. The close interplay between experiments and theory is the key element for the successful scientific outcome.