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19 december 2018

Closed FOM programme

Number 88.
Title Materials-specific theory for interface physics and nanophysics (MTIN) 
Executive organisational unit BUW
Programme management Prof.dr. R.A. de Groot
Duration 2004-2014
Cost estimate M€ 3.7

The aim of this programme is to understand the electronic, optical, magnetic and structural properties of materials and devices which are structured on a length scale of the order of nanometres. Basing this work on modern, parameter-free electronic structure calculations and simulations, ideally suited for problems of this size, makes materials-specific interpretation and predictions possible and allows studies complementary to phenomenological theories and experiment.

Background, relevance and implementation
One of the most important driving forces in condensed matter physics in the last thirty years has been the controlled growth of layered structures so thin that interface effects dominate bulk properties and quantum size effects can be observed. The huge success of this venture with virtually all classes of materials (semiconductors, magnetic materials, superconductors etc.) is the reason for wanting to reduce lateral dimensions to the nanoscale ‑ leading to NanoScience. As lateral dimensions approach the nanoscale, surfaces, interfaces and ulti­mately nano-structures come to dominate the physical properties.

Structures and properties on the atomic level are determined by complex interactions that require a full quantum-mechanical treatment. Microscopic characterisation of nano-scale sys­tems presents a great challenge to experimentalists as well as theorists. The systems are small enough to allow studies from first-principles, and modern electronic structure calculations can make a significant contribution to this field. Computational studies can provide reliable and complementary information. Materials-specific theory provides a unique possibility to corre­late electronic, magnetic and mechanical properties of nanosystems and interfaces with their atomic composition, structure, and environment.


In 2009 there has been a midterm evaluation of the programme.
The final evaluation of this programme will consist of a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader and has been submitted in 2015.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2014 within this FOM programme here.
Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2013 within this FOM programme here.