Condensed Matter Physics‌ Institute

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Checking the low-energy electron diffraction pattern of a sample surface grown in ultra-high vacuum.

Schematic of laser-induced ultrafast magnetic reversal

Schematic of laser-induced ultrafast magnetic reversal.

A PhD student working with a plasma beam for the deposition of magnetic thin films.

A PhD student working with a plasma beam for the deposition of magnetic thin films.

Condensed Matter Physics group 2014

Condensed Matter Physics group 2014.

CMPI Atoms to Material Banner

The Condensed Matter Physics Institute aims to capitalise on its unique strengths to cement its leadership in strategic areas of Spintronics & Magnetism, Nanomaterials, Quantum Science, Biophysics & Biomaterials and Photonics.

The Condensed Matter Physics Institute is the largest research unit in the Department of Physics with 25 academic staff members, 100 PhD and post-doctoral researchers. The Institute draws particular strength from its large size
and critical mass, comprising excellence in the complete foodchain of Condensed Matter research from materials design and theoretical modelling to materials synthesis and device fabrication, with a special focus on nanoscale characterisation. The Institute includes the recently established biophysics activity which enjoys particular synergies with the nanomaterials, nanostructuring and computational expertise.

The Institute is organised into 5 technical groups:

Spintronics & Magnetism

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Spintronics & Magnetism combines theory, modelling and experiment to study the rich interplay between charge, orbital and spin degrees of freedom, and how these can be explored to manipulate the electron’s spin at fundamental length and time scales.


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‌Nanomaterials develops and employs advanced techniques such as electron microscopy and predictive materials modelling to uncover new fundamental understanding and help drive technological innovation in materials with nanometre-scale size and structure.

Biophysics and Biomaterials

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‌Biophysics and Biomaterials conducts fundamental research related to understanding biological processes at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.

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Quantum Science

Quantum Science aims to understand and harness complex phenomena in large-scale quantum systems, from correlated electron dynamics in nanowires to emergent metallicity in disordered graphene, and exploit them for new applications in communications, sensing and computing.



Photonics aims to understand and shape light-matter interactions in photonic and optomechanical nanostructures, which includes more applied research leading to applications in healthcare technologies.


In addition, CMPI is strongly involved in the following interdisciplinary Centres and activities:

The York JEOL Nanocentre is a UK centre of excellence for in-situ and environmental aberration-corrected electron imaging and spectroscopy that provides an environment for interdisciplinary nanotechnology research and
teaching for academia and industry.

The York Centre for Quantum Technologies (YCQT) is an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at further developing the University’s substantial expertise into quantum research. The Centre aims to foster new collaborations across all areas of quantum theory, and in particular their applications to emerging quantum technologies.

The Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI) serves to stimulate collaborative activities at the interface between the Physical and Life Sciences, encompassing multiple research teams across different departments, including
Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Mathematics, Psychology and Computer Science.

The Centre for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) brings together over 30 PIs from the departments of Physics, Chemistry and Electronics. The goal of CEEM is to study novel materials for energy-related research such as photovoltaics and materials related to the reduction of energy consumption such as spintronics as well as energy storage and conversion. The focus of this centre is on engagement with industry to develop innovative nanoscale materials for energy efficient technologies.


Computational Chemistry Downunder: from Ice Inhibition to Minerals (PDF  , 585kb), Prof. Paulo Raiteri, Curtin University, Australia, Tuesday 20th September, 13:00, G/020


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