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The Ångström Laboratory
The Faculty of Science
and Technology
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY : Department of Engineering Sciences : Solid State Physics Research

Research in Solid State Physics

Research areas:
Magnetic - Superconducting - Optical - Nanocrystaline materials
Magnetism and superconductivity
Built Environment Energy Systems
Nanocrystalline materials, nanoscale physics, technical applications
History of the Solid State Physics Research Group

Dissertations (new window)

Magnetic - Superconducting - Optical - Nanocrystaline materials

Research on magnetic, superconducting, optical, electrical, and other properties is carried out in a large number of projects. The work is geared towards fundamental understanding of the solid state as well as towards application in new and emerging technology. The studied materials range from bulk-type, through thin films and multilayers, to composites and particulate matter. Collaboration takes place nationally and internationally with researchers in all parts of the world; several projects are carried out within EU frameworks, or in other constellations. Direct industrial collaboration is joined with academic freedom in some projects.

The division possesses equipment for accurate measurements of electromagnetic properties, including several state-of-the-art SQUID magnetometers and a range of units for sample preparation through physical vapour deposition. Sputtering systems of unique and versatile character are used extensively. A one-of-its-kind unit for gas evaporation and nanocrystalline materials is in operation. Fully equipped laboratorities for optical meassurments and for electrochemical characterization are available.

The work in the Division of Solid State Physics represents a blend of basic physics, physical electrochemistry, theory and computation, and, in some projects, advanced technology - often in the domains of solar energy utilization, energy efficiency and advanced magnetic materials. Cross-fertilization of several fields, and the exciting possibilities associated with an integration of solid state physics research in the Ångström laboratory, makes us strive with much vitality and enthusiasm.

Magnetism and superconductivity

Work on magnetic and superconducting materials has been performed intensely during the last years. A detailed presentation of present activities can be found at http://www.angstrom.uu.se/magnetism/

For further information about magnetism and superconductivity please contact: Per.Nordblad@angstrom.uu.se or peter.svedlindh@angstrom.uu.se


Optical research takes place on a wide set of materials. It includes studies of energy-efficient Smart windows and coatings for solar collectors. Among the ongoing projects one may note studies of:

For further information about optics please contact:
or Ewa.Wackelgard@angstrom.uu.se

Built Environment Energy Systems

The introduction of new and emerging energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements in our built environment raises a number of relevant research questions. For example, what is the potential for solar energy utilisation in the built environment? How can we construct smart grids with active buildings and distributed power generation? How are district heating systems affected by energy efficiency improvements in buildings? In the Built Environment Energy Systems Group we study energy systems in buildings and buildings as part of larger energy systems.

In our research team we approach these questions with systems analytic methods and interdisciplinary collaborations. Our ongoing research includes, for example, construction of mathematical models for describing and analysing electricity use in households, optimisation studies of local and national power and district heating systems, studies of net zero energy buildings (NZEBs) and their grid interaction and impacts, and development of simulation tools for solar energy systems.

For further information please visit our group website: http://www.teknik.uu.se/ftf/energysystems/

You may also contact:
Prof. Ewa Wäckelgård, ewa.wackelgard@angstrom.uu.se
Dr. Joakim Widén, joakim.widen@angstrom.uu.se

Nanocrystalline materials, nanoscale physics, technical applications


Publications of the Divison of Solid State Physics (separate window, link to the Uppsala University Publication Documentation System)

The Solid State Physics group and its history

The Division of Solid State Physics originates from 1960 with Olof Beckman as group leader. In connection with the new school of engineering, Beckman was appointed associated professor (laborator) in 1963 and full professor in 1968.


From the beginning, financial support was allocated by the Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR), and for some years from United States Air Force through the European Office of Aerospace Research. In 1961 the Swedish research councils formed a "committee of solid state physics" in order to support the development of this field in Sweden. Several members of our research group have benefitted from the program through travel grants for studies abroad. In 1970 one of the group members, Olof Vingsbo, formed a separate research group in metals physics, presently namned materials science, and in 1979 C G Ribbing formed our subgroup "optics research".

Basic equipment

As regards basic equipment, a Collins helium liquefier was installed in 1960 (replaced in 1990 by a Koch 1410 liquefier). High magnetic fields were first produced by a 15 T pulse magnet (condenser discharge), but later superconducting magnets, 8 and 12 T, have been used. The first SQUID magnetometer was built in 1972, later replaced by modern commercial instruments. A Siemens transmission electron microscope dates from 1960. In 1970 it formed the first basic equipment of the present materials science group.

Early research projects

Thermoelectric materials, specifically the alloy system (Bi,Sb)2 (Te,Se)3 was studied in order to produce materials for Peltier cooling (in collaboration with AB Electrolux, Stockholm).

Ultrasonic pulse technique was used for the determination of sound velocity and elastic constants of ionic crystals (mainly alkali halides). In collaboration with the quantum chemistry group, a theoretical study was undertaken in order to calculate the cohesive energy, lattice constants and elastic constants on a strictly quantum mechanical basis.

Fermi surfaces of metals have been investigated through geometric resonance with ultrasonic waves and deHaas-van Alphen effect, partly by 15 T pulsed fields. Later the modulating field technique of DHVA was used for high precision measurements in superconducting magnets. Specifically the transition elements Rh, Pd, Ir, Pt were investigated.

Magnetic properties of compounds of 3d elements formed a main research field for several years. Single crystals (e g iron germanides and phosphides) were produced and characterized at the department of inorganic chemistry. Magnetic properties were studied by vibrating sample and SQUID magnetometers. Low temperature specific heat measurements were made in a 3He-cryostat. Later the research was directed towards metglass of the iron, nickel-phosphide, boride type with special emphasis of the critical behaviour at the magnetic transition. Relaxation effects were studied in the spinglass systems Au(Fe) and Cu(Mn) over a frequency range of eight decades (kHz to less than mHz).

As mentioned above the optics group was formed in 1979 with C G Ribbing as the leader. The projects were at the beginning directed towards selective transmission for energy-saving windows as well as coloured stainless steel and oxidized copper as selective absorbers for solar energy research.


Until 1996 around fifty students have passed the PhD exam.

List of professors in solid state physics:
Olof Beckman 1968-1987
Lena Torell 1987-1989
Claes-Göran Granqvist 1993-