Amazing discoveries are currently being made in nanometer scale science, inspiring scientists and engineers. Scientists are learning how to measure, manipulate and organize matter on the scale of 1 to 100 billionth of a meter. There are prospects now of creating things atom by atom and molecule by molecule. These exciting promises of nanoscience and nanotechnology can be realized if we learn to understand the laws that control the behavior of quantum particles on these scales.
The group of Nicholas J. Giordano, Hubert James Distinguished Professor of Physics, studies the properties of very small metallic systems, including such phenomena as the Kondo effect in one and two dimensions, the behavior of domain walls in very narrow ferromagnetic wires, and fluid flow in extremely small structures.
The group of Ronald G. Reifenberger Reifenberger, Professor of Physics, uses innovative experimental techniques to examine the physical properties of objects in the nanoscale size range, that is, a bit larger than the size of individual atoms. Some interesting physical properties that we measure include the electronic conductivity of small numbers of atoms and molecules, the forces arising between nanoscale objects, and the transition between the quantum behavior exhibited by a few atoms and the bulk properties of a large number of atoms. A wide variety of problems that include molecular conductance, bioelectronics, nano-enabled sensing schemes, carbon nanotubes, and nanometer-size clusters are presently under investigation. We are also developing experimental techniques to improve and extend scanning force techniques.
The group of Professor Leonid Rokhinson studies electronic and spin phenomena in nanoscale semiconductor devices. Single electron tunneling, Luttinger liquids, Kondo effect, spin-orbit interaction, spintronics and quantum information processing are the partial list of topics being investigated. In parallel, novel nanofabrication techniques, such as AFM local anodic oxidation have been developed.
The group of Professor Yong Chen exploits quantum physics to manipulate electrons, photons and atoms in artificial quantum systems, with the aim to uncover novel quantum phenomena and new states of matter and to explore innovative applications in quantum information processing and nanotechnologies (such as nanoelectronics and nanosensors). Examples of systems under current investigation include graphene nanostructures and quantum gases of cold atoms/molecules.
The group of Professor Erica Carlson studies quantum wires and low dimensional electronic systems, as well as superconductivity and strong correlation effects in bulk electronic phases.
Professor Gabriele F. Giuliani's group interests are in the area of many-body physics. Current research topics include theory of the electron gas, correlations in two dimensional electronic systems in the presence of spin-orbit interaction, charge and spin transport in low dimensional nanostructures and quasiparticle properties in MOSFETS and GaAs/AlGaAs hetero structures.
The group of Professor Jiangping Hu studies spintronics, strongly correlated effects and transport properties in nano structures or devices. In parallel, the group also studies material theory, such as high temperature superconductors and low dimensional electron systems.
The effort of group of Professor Yuli Lyanda-Geller is is directed towards learning how materials confinement on nanoscale affects interaction and correlation of electrons and their coherent properties. Particular directions are mesoscopic physics, theory of coherent effects in electronics, study of dissipation and decoherence on nanoscale, metal-insulator transition, theoretical foundations of spintronics and quantum computing. Coherent effects are especially important on nanoscale and mesoscale, because of they considerably change interactions of quasiparticles, control their localization and delocalization, and metal-insulator transition. Special attention in Professor Lyanda-Geller's research is paid to quantum dots and coupled quantum dots, which are exciting artificial atoms and molecules developed by physicists, materials scientists and chemists over the past decade. One of the most interesting developments of the recent years is the increased attention to spin effects in nanostructures. Two directions of research are actively pursued: spintronics and quantum information science. Spintronics sees its goal in creating new devices that use spin degree of freedom instead of charge degrees of freedom to control device performance. Spintronics brings about exciting theoretical problems of magnetism on meso and nanoscale. Understanding spin on nanoscale is also central to physics of quantum information, a whole new area being investigated actively for its potential in encryption and quantum communications. Professor Lyanda-Geller 's interests also include Bose-Einstein Condensates, superconductivity, magnetism and magnetic materials and optics of nanostructures.
Professor Jorge Rodríguez and his group carry out first-principle electronic structure calculations to study magnetic and mesoscopic properties of molecular nanostructures. The Rodriguez group is actively developing computational methods based on spin density functional theory (SDFT), ligand field theory (LFT), and perturbation theory (PT) to interpret and accurately predict physical properties such as hyperfine interactions and in iron-containing complexes and magnetic anisotropies in molecular magnets. Some goals of this research are to understand at the most fundamental level the behavior of spin degrees of freedom in paramagnetic and magnetically ordered molecular nanostructures and their application to highly-dense molecular-level memory storage. In addition, the Rodriguez group carries out theoretical and computational research at the interface of nanoscience and bioscience to propose useful bio-inspired nanostructures of relevance to nanothechnology and 21st century preventive nanomedicine.
The Nanoscience group is an active member of the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue Discovery Park, a $100M facility which brings together researches working in the broad area of nanoscience and nanotechnology across the campus under a single roof.