Category Archives: Condensed matter

Atom scattering at low energies has a long history as a useful probe of surface properties. The most common atomic projectiles are helium atoms formed into a monoenergetic beam directed toward the surface with energies in the thermal range, meaning […]

Many methods can be used to synthesise non-molecular inorganic solids. Some solids can be prepared by a variety of routes but others, especially those that are not thermodynamically stable, may be much more difficult to prepare and may require special […]

The wave nature of light expresses itself in the propagation all over space, showing an intrinsic limitation to be localized beyond the so-called diffraction limit which is of the order of half the wavelength of the photons propagating. However when […]

Since the discovery that graphene, the two dimensional carbon allotrope, can be isolated and incorporated into electronic devices intense research efforts have been triggered. Driving forces usually mentioned behind the experimental and theoretical studies of graphene are the exceptional electronic […]

The electronic wave function of an n-electron molecule depends on 3n spatial and n spin coordinates. In a sense, the wave function of a many-electron molecule contains more information than is needed and is lacking in direct physical significance. This […]

Topological insulators are materials with special universal properties, which are protected against perturbations. Such properties are theoretically described by topology, a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of geometrical objects that are unchanged by continuous deformations. Concretely, topological insulators […]

A class of materials of utmost fundamental and applied interest is that of semicrystalline polymers. Actually, all solid synthetic polymers are, in general, partly crystalline and partly amorphous. The degree of crystallinity depends on the polymer structure and on how […]

The scattering of conduction electrons in metals owing to impurities with magnetic moments is known as the Kondo effect, after Jun Kondo, who analysed the phenomenon in 1964. This scattering increases the electrical resistance and has the consequence that, in […]

Metal complexes are typically regarded as catalysts that convert organic substrates into more valuable compounds; however, to date, catalytic transformations of metal complexes are practically unknown and represent a complete new way of thinking in catalysis. Their development can expand […]


Imagine a bucket filled with hard spheres. As these spheres are free to pack together as closely as geometry allows they tend to adopt a close-packed structure, a structure in which there is least unfilled space. X-ray diffraction studies […]