Make new matter!
Create new crystals and materials

Metallic quasicrystals

Metallic quasicrystals
X-ray image of a quasicrystal

X-ray image of a quasicrystal
Carbon nanotube

Carbon nanotube
Ice crystal under the electron microscope. One micron in diameter

Ice crystal under the electron microscope. One micron in diameter
Glass tongue: bends under optical illumination

Glass tongue: bends under optical illumination
Model of a YbCd quasicrystal

Model of a YbCd quasicrystal
Not a plum blossom, but a helical polymer macromolecule

Not a plum blossom, but a helical polymer macromolecule
Graphene: one atomic layer of carbon

Graphene: one atomic layer of carbon

* Click image to enlarge.

Have you ever wanted to play God and create entirely new materials by yourself?

It’s a fancy form of cookery for atoms, but you cannot eat what you get. In our Graduate School there is a hive of activity in designing, making and testing new materials. From large lumps to minute molecular-sized pieces. Even tiny ice crystals are not too humble to avoid our attention.

Quasicrystals: these are peculiar crystals with a semi-regular structure. They are usually made from metals. In two-dimensions there is a similar structure known as Penrose tiles.

What we do is to make new quasicrystals, and investigate their structure and physical properties.

Carbon nanotubes: these tiny nanometer (1 nm=10-9 m) sized tubes are the strongest known material and at the same time can be made to conduct electricity.

We are calculating how electrons move in these nanotubes and also on monatomic sheets of carbon known as graphene. These may be the wires and substrates in your computer of the future.

Macromolecules: using magnetic coupling to the electron and nuclear spins, we are analysing novel organic macromolecules. Among these are helical polymers, with a structure not unlike DNA but without being alive.

Photo-electronic materials: light can produce extraordinary effects in materials. We have discovered a special type of glass that becomes soft when optically illuminated, even though it does not heat up.