Figure: Non-conductor metal transition in LaMnO3: the band gap between conduction and valence electrons closes when an external pressure is applied.

Surface Physics

Many important chemical and physical processes take place at surfaces or interfaces, e.g. corrosion (rusting of iron), catalysis or the step-by-step assembly of a microchip on a semiconductor wafer.


In our group we investigate how solid surfaces can change structurally, electronically and magnetically in the nano-range. This is done in cooperation with the Surface Physics Laboratory of the TU Vienna, which is headed by Prof. Ulrike Diebold.






Transition metal oxides (TMOs) are a class of substances frequently found in the earth's crust. They are used in catalysis, electronics or alternative energy production. They have a multitude of astonishing physical properties, which result from their only partially occupied d-shells. These electrons are strongly correlated and their description usually requires methods beyond conventional DFT.