In the Centre of Excellence “Emerging orders in quantum and nanomaterials” (EQUiTANT) we explore new materials of various ferroic orders and their potential applications. Examples include ferromagnets, ferro-electrics and ferro-elastics, which occur due to onset of spontaneous magnetization, polarization or strain. Multiferroic materials possess two or more orientation states that can be switched by an external field, show hysteresis and can be described by order parameters representing spontaneous breaking of symmetries.
Future technologies will rely on our ability to control simultaneously the electric- and magnetic characteristics of many-electron quantum systems on nanometer-scale. Multiferroic materials exhibit magneto-electric interaction that makes the magnetization and the electric polarization mutually inter-dependent, thus offering new concepts for a broad range of applications including high-accuracy sensors, data storage, ultrafast optical switches and other advanced biomedical, electronic and opto-electronic devices.
We will obtain the ability and skills to synthesize magnetoelectric nanomaterials that will open new possibilities for science and technology in Estonia.
The CoE is led by the National Institute of Chemical Physics; partners are the Laboratory of Thin Film Technology at the University of Tartu and the Nanoparticle group at the Tartu College of Tallinn University of Technology.
The head of the CoE is research professor Urmas Nagel.