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Institute of Physics, PAS


Name: Institute of Physics, PAS

Address: al. Lotników 32/46, 02-668 Warsaw, Poland



Founded in 1953, The Institute if Physics (IFPAN) is a high-calibre academic and research institute in Warsaw that has been consistently ranked in the outlying group of top 3 physics centres in Poland in terms of research impact and output. It has a strongly interdisciplinary body of just over 300 researchers with state-of-the-art infrastructure and expertise in various areas of theoretical and experimental physics. Prominent research profiles include condensed matter physics of many varieties including spintronics, topological matter, and nanomaterials, as well as ultracold atoms, optics and spectroscopy, general theoretical physics, biophysics, and soft matter. All results are published in highly-ranked international journals, there were about 300 publications affiliated at IFPAN in 2019. IFPAN currently hosts of the order of 100 externally funded research projects. This includes a number of  EU-funded actions, and sizeable focused centres supported by EU funds (such as the International Centre 'MagTop' for cutting edge research into topological materials). IFPAN is the publisher of the long-running open-access research journal Acta Physica Polonica A. The institute and its Centre for Technology Transfer (CTT) has received numerous awards, both domestic and foreign. IFPAN is an independent, non-profit governmental research institute operated by the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS).

Disciplines: physics, material sciences

Fields of activity

Condensed matter physics of many varieties including spintronics, topological matter, and nanomaterials, as well as ultracold atoms, optics and spectroscopy, general theoretical physics, biophysics, and soft matter:

  • Semiconductor physics and technology: bulk crystals and thin layers of II-VI, IV-VI and III-V semimagnetic semiconductors, multilayer quantum semiconductor structures, Eu, Mn, Gd chalcogenides, heterostructures. Crystal growth via standard and high pressure Bridgman techniques, Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth, vapor transport methods, growth of monocrystals. Wide band-gap semiconductor nanostructures, spin interactions in semimagnetic semiconductors, deep-level defects, studies by photemission spectroscopy, High-Tc superconductivity. Theoretical studies of crystal growth.
  • Radiation physics and spectroscopy: photophysical processes, alkali-metal and nucleobase spectroscopy, rotational spectroscopy, growth of heterostructures by pulsed laser deposition. Quantum and classical chaos, microwave billiards.
  • X-ray spectroscopy: investigation of electronic structure, local, crystal, elastic properties and strain. Electron diffraction studies. Crystal defects, SIMS trace element detection, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, Ion implantation. Study of semiconductors, ceramics, nanostructures, biomedical materials, thin films, oxide materials, high Tc superconductors.
  • Magnetism: amorphous, crystalline and high-Tc superconductor magnetic materials, Heusler alloys and thin films, half-,etallic oxides, domain structure, ferromagnet/antiferromagnet interfacs and phase transitions, disorder, finite size effects in heterostructures, GMR, piezomagnetism, Jahn-Teller phase transitions, photochromism, nanocomposite magnetic materials, biotech and medical applications.
  • Cryogenics: ferromagnetic superconductors, phase transitions, spin-dependent localization, mesoscopic effects, fabrication of nanostructures, development of new cryogenic techniques.
  • Topological matter: Theoretical and experimental study of the interface with magnetism and superconductivity. Topologically protected electronic states - Dirac, Weyl, and Majorana fermions. Low dimensional systems. Fabrication, applications to electronics, spintronics, sensorics, energy harvesting.
  • Quantum physics: ultra-cold Fermi and Bose gases, quantum droplets, few-body physics, quantum metrology, simulation techniques for many-body quantum dynamics, dissipative systems, quantum noise, Bose-Einstein condensates of atoms and polaritons, nanopillars, fundamentals of quantum mechanics, low-dimensional systems, noise spectroscopy.
  • Soft matter: two-fluid hydrodynamics, droplet coalescence, superspreading, development of multi-scale methods.
  • Biophysics: bionanotechnology, protein biosynthesis and mechanical manipulation of biomolecules and virus capsids.

Latest achievements:

  • Nanoscale observations of enhanced ferromagnetism in cylindrically confined MnAs nanocrystals embedded in wurtzite GaAs nanowire shells
  • Demonstration that the metallic topological surface states wrap on all sides the three-dimensional topological crystalline insulator SnTe
  • Theoretical prediction of existence Pauli crystals for a system of N identical atoms trapped in a harmonic potential. The result has been experimentally confirmed by researchers from Heidelberg University
  • Wide studies of molecular aspects of life processes in a cell, such as protein biosynthesis and mechanical manipulation of biomolecules and virus capsids. One important result concerns searching for molecular origins of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Showing that lattices of exciton-polariton condensates accomplish neuromorphic computing with outstanding accuracy thanks to their high optical nonlinearity.
  • Combined spectroscopic measurements and theoretical calculations bring to light an ultrafast excited-state deactivation process in peptides that may contribute to the ultraviolet photostability of proteins
  • Achieving Low voltage control of exchange coupling in a ferromagnet-semiconductor quantum well hybrid structure
  • We have developed a new generation of fluorescent markers based on wide-gap metal oxides (mainly ZnO, ZrO2) activated with rare earth ions (Eu, Er, Tb) for use as cancer detectors and in photodynamic cancer therapy
  • Developing of a method of bio-functionalization of surfaces of modified implants for osteoporosis patients 

Research facilities:

There is a large number of high technology labs for world-leading fabrication of semiconductors and nanostructures in the specialties of the institute, material characterisation, and cryogenics, as well as computational resources and a Helium reprocessing plant. Key equipment include:

  • Fabrication: 7 MBE (Molecular beam epitaxy) growth chambers for fabrication of nanostructures, including a newly installed dual growth chamber GENXplor MBE system from VEECO; Facilities for implementation of standard and high pressure Bridgman techniques, as well as vapor transport techniques for single crystal growth of Bi, Sb, Pb, Sn, Zn, Cd chalcogenides and Cd, Zn arsenides, and doping with transition metals. Electron beam lithography (EBL), focused ion beam (FIB) lithography, and photolithography labs. Facilities for reactive Ion Etching (RIE) Inductive Coupled Plasma (ICP) Source (Chlorine) and ICP-RIE with deposition PECVD (Fluorine). Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) – Remote plasma & thermal ALD FlexAL Oxford. UHV Sputtering System with electron gun sources.
  • Material studies: SEM (scanning electron microscope) ZEISS Auriga – CrossBeam Workstation (electron imaging resolution 1 nm, ion imaging 2,5nm). Several atomic force microscopes (AFM). Electron microscope ZEISS EVO HD15. Labs for quantum transport measurements and optical characterization, cathodoluminescence and Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) measurements. down to 5 K. Two SQUID magnetometers, working range up to 800K, 5T in AC, DC, RSO modes. Facilities for Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS), EDX measurements of elemental composition and distribution, Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). NMR spectrometers for magnetic materials. Thermoluminescent dosimeter of ionizing radiation. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) - FEI Titan 80-300 Cubed. Facilities for UV-Vis Spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction measurements (XRD). Experimental setups for the measurements of Seebeck effect and thermoelectric figure of merit parameter. X-ray/UV photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/UPS) and low energy electron diffraction (LEED).
  • Theoretical groups: several computer clusters dedicated to numerical calculations in: ultracold atoms, molecular structure, biophysics and molecular dynamics (several hundred cores).
  • Cryogenics: Dry Dilution Refrigerator Triton 400 Oxford Instruments (10 mK – 300 K). Finally, 2 complete helium liquefier systems.

Contact person:

dr hab. Piotr Deuar, Prof. IF PAN
Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs

(+48 22) 1162131