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Walther-Meißner-Institut (WMI), Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Chair for Technical Physics (E23), Technische Universität München

High Temperature Superconductivity:
New Research Unit of the German Science Foundation


March 01, 2004

WMI (gif)
March 01, 2004

New DFG-Research Unit on High Temperature Superconductivity at the Walther-Meißner-Institute

The Grants Committee on General Research Funding of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has resolved to establish 14 new Research Units. In these Research Units scientists and academics work on special scientific questions in an interdisciplinary and interregional manner. With the funding in this programme, which is designed to last for six years, the DFG is pursuing the objective of promoting the collaboration of outstanding scientists and academics and, thereby, also creating new areas of research at the universities. The DFG will provide more than 20 million euros for funding the Research Units during the next three years.

The goal of the Research Unit 538 "Doping Dependence of Phase Transitions and Ordering Phenomena in the Cuprate Superconductors" is to clarify the mechanism of high temperature superconductivity, one of the most puzzling phenomena of modern solid state physics. In a coordinated both experimental and theoretical research effort of different groups an extensive understanding of the phase diagram of the cuprate superconductors has to be developed. The DFG has granted  seven positions for PhD students and Postdocs for 3 years as well as funds for instruments and consumables. After reviewing, the Research Unit can be extended for further 3 years.

Within the last five years the relevant sample fabrication techniques as well as the experimental and theoretical methods have been matured noticeably. Therefore, there is a good chance to clarify the phenomenon of high temperature superconductivit, which already has been discovered by Bednorz and Müller in 1986, by a coordinated research effort. On the one hand, this is supported by the development of new theoretical methods allowing for model calculations on realistic, that is on sufficiently large and complex systems. On the other hand,  various experimental techniques have been systematically improved and thereby obtained a sufficiently high precision to allow for a quantitative comparison of the results of different spectroscopic methods. Therefore it is expected that the understanding of the phenomenon high temperature superconductivity can be developed further now by the coordinated research in the established Research Unit.

Within the Research Unit 538 seven German research groups have been joint under the overall coordination of the Walther-Meißner-Institute (WMI) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (chair for Technical Physics, E23, of the Technical University of Munich).  An important ingredient is the high quality sample basis, which is mostly provided by the WMI (Dr. A. Erb, Prof. R. Gross). At the Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (Dr. M. Knupfer, Dr. S.V. Borisenko, Prof. J. Fink) the electronic properties of the high temperature superconductors will be investigated using high resolution photo electron spectroscopy (ARPES). Neutron diffraction (Prof. B. Keimer) and infrared ellipsometry studies (Dr. C. Bernhard) will be performed at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research at Stuttgart. By adding the Raman- (Dr. R. Hackl, Prof. R. Gross) and tunneling spectroscopy (Dr. L. Alff, Prof. R. Gross) at the WMI, an almost complete combination of complementary experimental methods is achieved. The group at the Institute for Theoretical Physics I of the Universität of Würzburg (Prof. W. Hanke, Prof. F. Assaad, Prof. E. Arrigoni, Dr. M. Potthoff) takes on the job of the development of theoretical models and large part of the data analysis.  For more information please contact the coordinator (Dr. R. Hackl, WMI) of the Resarch Unit.

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