Condensed Matter Physics

In condensed matter physics (CMP), we study the unique and often surprising manifestations of quantum mechanics on the physical properties of matter. Examples of physical systems which can be studied include quantum dots and quantum wells, superconductors, and nano-magnetic elements.

Condensed matter research offers students a comprehensive education in all aspects of physics research, theoretical or experimental. From conceiving an experiment or a theoretical model; to designing the experimental setup; to creating the samples you wish to study; to performing the measurements or the calculations and finally writing up the results. Collaborations in CMP are typically small, giving students a great deal of recognition for their work.

Experimental condensed matter research at UVic focuses on the ultrafast dynamics (nanosecond to femtosecond time scales) of magnetic systems and their interaction with light. Theoretical condensed matter research focuses on multiferroic materials and electrical control of magnetism, as well as on noise and decoherence of superconducting and semiconducting systems of interest to quantum computation. Our faculty collaborate with other research groups nationally and internationally, and with local high tech companies such as D-Wave Systems, inc.

Experimental Studies are performed using optical and electrical pump/probe techniques such as time-resolved scanning Kerr microscopy, Faraday rotation and junction mixing scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Experiments can be carried out at room temperature down to almost absolute zero (2.2 K) and in magnetic fields as high as 7 Tesla. Our major facilities include molecular beam epitaxy, low temperature STM, a magneto-optic cryostat and a plethora of lasers including Ti/Sapph oscillators and a 100 kHz regenerative amplifier.

Recently the CMP group initiated the formation of UVic Nanofabrication Centre in support of nano research activities at the University of Victoria.  The UVic Nanofab is a multi-disciplinary user facility that facilitates the fabrication of nano-scale structures for fundamental and applied research in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. The Nanofabrication Centre provides the capability of designing, fabricating and characterizing materials with feature size as small as sub 100 nm.

Faculty:

Dr. B.C. Choi - Nanomagnetism and Spintronics
Dr. R. de Sousa - Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Dr. G.M. Steeves - Dynamics in Nanoscale Systems