Materials with high thermoelectric performance

Research with respect to technical applications is devoted to thermoelectric materials, intended to convert waste heat into useful and valuable electricity. The principal physical phenomenon is the Seebeck effect (thermopower).

Our main target is a thorough understanding and optimisation of materials like Skutterudites or Clathrates, comprising the family of cage forming compounds.

Research in this field will be strengthened throughout the next couple of years by the setup of a "Christian Doppler Laboratory for Thermoelectricity". Project start: July 1, 2013.   

Unconventional superconductivity

We aim to explore superconductivity which deviates from a simple BCS like (s-wave) behaviour.

Central activities concentrate on superconductors which miss a centre of inversion in its crystal structure. This can give rise  to a mixing of spin-singlet and spin-triplet components in the superconducting condensate.

Strongly correlated electron systems

Low temperature interactions like the Kondo effect can screen magnetic moments of certain materials (e.g., those containing cerium, praseodym, ytterbium or uranium), resulting in a loss of degrees of freedom. The system can compensate this loss by forming a narrow density of states structure right at the Fermi energy.

This many body resonance gives rise to a variety of exciting low temperature properties such as Fermi- and non-Fermi liquid, heavy fermion behaviour, intermediate valence or heavy fermion superconductivity.

By means of measurements at very low temperatures (mK), at high magnetic fields (H > 10 T) and hydrostatic pressure, we derive the most important interaction mechanisms and establish the relevant phase diagrams.