The simulation of metallic and semiconducting nano structures is the central research theme. In close collaboration with the experimental nano-optics group of our Physics Institute, we investigate plasmonic nano-particles which are important for a number of applications such as sensors, solar cells or novel light sources. As a result of this co-operation, the Matlab-Toolbox MNPBEM for the simulation of plasmonic nano-structures has been developed. Other research activities of the group are concerned with the optical properties and the quantum optics of semiconductor quantum dots as well as with the optimal quantum control of Bose-Einstein condensates in atom chips.
In this research group, we investigate the dynamics and the optimal control of quantum systems (e.g. quantum gates) in the context of realizing concepts of quantum information processing in solid state devices. Our studies in quantum transport phenomena currently focus in spintronics applications with the goal to identify solid state spin filters which can be operated at room temperature. Furthermore, we also investigate the dynamics of Dirac Fermions in topological insulators.
In this research group, we are concerned with the ab-initio calculation of electronic, optical and structural properties of materials based on a quantum mechanical treatment of the many-electron problem within the framework of density functional theory (DFT). One focus lies on the calculation of electronic and optical properties of organic semiconductors and their interfaces where also a strong in-house collaboration with the Experimental Surface Science group exists. (The picture shows the charge density and electro-static potential of an azobenzene molecule adsorbed on 2 monolayers of NaCl on a Ag(111) substrate). Another research topic is the prediction of mechanical properties of metallic alloys based on DFT and including various temperature effects in a course-graining procedure. These studies are performed in close collaboration with the Materials Center Leoben.