Experimental materials physics uses ion beams, x-rays and synchrotron light for fundamental and applied research. We use local particle accelerators at Kumpula campus as well as international large scale-facilities such as CERN, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, MAX-IV, JET, and ITER.
Using various kinds of ion beams has a long tradition in basic and applied research in experimental materials physics at the University of Helsinki. We are a member in the Finnish Centre of Excellence in ALD. The efforts are focused on study of fundamental and applied aspects of nanosystems and nanostructured materials, formed using ion and cluster beams. The key question is how surface and embedded nanostructures can be formed and modified at will to acquire the desired properties and functionality. The research based on energetic ion beams is linked to the physical processes taking place in solid matter during and after irradiation. We also have profound experience in materials characterization using ion beams.
Modern synchrotron light sources have revolutionized x-ray based materials research and we use these international large-scale facilities actively. We use all aspects of light-matter interactions for fundamental and applied research on materials. Most commonly we use x-ray imaging, inelastic x-ray scattering spectroscopy, x-ray scattering, as well as absorption and emission spectroscopies for studying materials physics and chemistry. Our local microtomography laboratory is used for three-dimensional nondestructive imaging of materials with sub-micrometer spatial resolution, and is used for studies on biological samples as well as soft and hard condensed matter. We use European Synchrotron Radiation Facility for advanced studies on the nanoscale and for inelastic x-ray scattering spectroscopy for studies of materials microscopic structure.
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