More new materials have been synthesised in the past twenty years than in the rest of history! There have been two strands of development driving this progress: increasing complexity and increasing subtlety, where competition between magnetic, electronic and structural properties can be skillfully manipulated.
A major focus of this theme concerns magnetic materials. Virtually everything that we know about magnetic structures at an atomic scale has been revealed by neutron scattering, and neutrons will continue to be the method of choice for studying new magnetic materials.
Artificial structures of nanoscale dimensions are key model systems for understanding the fundamental properties of matter. At the same time they form the basic building blocks for new applications, such as magnetic recording devices, in the rapidly expanding area of spintronics, where the magnetism of electrons is manipulated in addition to the charge.
New opportunities for advanced materials science
- Crystalline, magnetic, disordered and engineering materials, including complex inorganic and organic assemblies, clathrates, intercalates, zeolites, nano-structured materials, high temperature superconductors, giant magneto-resistance materials, magnetic films and multi-layers, spin valves, glasses, complex fluids, porous media
- Structural details of giant/colossal magnetoresistive materials, non-stoichiometric oxides, piezoelectric, ferroelectric and negative thermal expansion materials
- Composite multi-crystalline materials, such as mixed geological phases, magnetoresistive manganates, toughened engineering materials and high-temperature superconductor materials
- Studies under extreme conditions, catalysis, in-situ chemical reactions (including electrochemistry and battery function), ultra-high pressures, novel processing routes
- Structure of nano-scale materials, sol-gel processing, ceramics
- Structure of complex materials: role of zeolites in ion exchange materials and catalysis, novel electrodes and electrolytes, clathrate formation, nano-structured materials
- Determination of new magnetic structures: materials with novel ground states
- Magnetic thin films, multilayers, spin electronics
- Nucleation and growth processes, molecular clustering, glasses
- Complex fluids in porous media; oil recovery; waste disposal; supercritical fluids
- Stress/strain mapping in engineering materials