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Department of Dielectrics

Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

group Dielectric and IR spectroscopy science Dielectric and IR spectroscopy group THz and pump-probe science THz science and technology group Photon and neutron scattering group Light and neutron scattering group Theory Theory and
group Solid materials science Solid-state materials science group Liquid crystal material science Liquid crystals

About us

Main activities of Department of Dielectrics cover experimental and theoretical investigations of high-permittivity insulators like liquid crystals, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, piezoelectrics, semiconductor nanostructures, and low-loss materials.

Photo of people of Dielectrics
Our mission: Understanding the materials for which the frequency dependence of dielectric function can be probed by capacitance, waveguide or optical techniques. Experimental research in the Department of Dielectrics is mostly based on dielectric, infrared, time-domain THz, Raman and neutron spectroscopy, but also calorimetry, nonlinear optics and scanning probe microscopy measurements. The information on the core research activities organized within our six principal research groups can be accessed through the following links:

The most significant fresh scientific results of our deparment are listed in the section Highlights.

Oncoming seminars & workshops
06.12.2022 10:00, Na Slovance 2, main lecture hall
Introduction to topology in the electronic structure of crystalline solids - lecture 4
Tomáš Rauch
Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Optics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany
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News & Public

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21.11.2022 Award

Best three places in the FZU Photo Competition 2022 taken by our department

Alexey Bubnov won the FZU Photo Competition 2022. by his beautiful image of liquid crystal texture.
Manas Ranjan Parida received the 2nd place for his SEM image of V2O5 nanoflower,
Fedir Borodavka & Vladimir Pushkarev got the 3rd place for their artistic picture of a superlattice roll.

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New Research Professor in Department of Dielectrics

We are happy to announce that Stanislav Kamba has received the Research Professor degree for his outstanding and o riginal scientific work in condensed matter physics, presented in his dissertation: Soft-mode spectroscopy of ferroelectrics and multiferroics.

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Open Science internships at the Institute of Physics open doors to universities worldwide

In 2018, a secondary school student, Nela Sedláčková has undertaken a one-year Open Science internship under supervision of Alexej Bubnov. At present, she is enjoying the studies of Physics at University of St Andrews supported by The Kellner Family Foundation and says: “I am convinced that the Open Science played the key role in my admittance to university in abroad”.

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Silver medal for young scientists

Team of secondary school students (nicknamed NAFTA), consisting of M. Švanda (captain), T. Čajan, B. Růžičková, P. Štencl and M. Yurchenko, representing the Czech Republic in the 35th International Young Physicists Tournament was awarded a silver medal!

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07.07.2022 Award

Dalibor Repček won the Student Poster Competition at ISAF 2022

Dalibor was awarded for his excellent poster presentation named Multiferroic Quantum Criticality in (Eu,Ba,Sr)TiO3 System in the Student Poster Competition at the International Symposium on Applications of Ferroelectrics (ISAF) within the joint ISAF-PFM-ECAPD conference held in Tours, France from June 27 to July 1, 2022.

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30.05.2022 Award

PhD students succeeded in the Young Researcher Competition of the XXIV Czech-Polish seminar

Vladimir Pushkarev, Dalibor Repček, and André Maia shined in the Young Researcher Competition, consisting of a two-minute talk and a poster presentation, at the XXIV Czech-Polish seminar.

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Young researcher brings ERC Starting Grant to our department

It is our pleasure to announce that the Solid-state materials science group led by Přemysl Vaněk will be strengthened by a young researcher Tim Verhagen. The main goal of his ERC Starting Grant is to create unique, however reproducible, multilayered heterostructures with ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties at room temperature.

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Václav Janovec has passed away

One of the founders of the Department of Dielectrics, outstanding scientist, editor and teacher, enthusiastic promoter of symmetry approaches to ferroic phase transitions and domain boundaries, Prof. Václav Janovec, our beloved friend and colleague Vašek, has passed away on February 16, 2022, at the age of his almost complete 92.

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Latest Highlights
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Multidomain ordered metal–ferroelectric superlattices

By combination of advanced experimental techniques and phase-field simulations, we found that electric dipoles in superlattices, composed of layers of a ferroelectric material separated by thin metallic spacers, form an unusual pattern of nanoscale domains that order in three dimensions. These ferroelectric multidomain ordered superlattices exhibit an outstanding dielectric response and their engineered modulated structural and electronic properties can be controlled using electric field [Nat. Mater. 20, 495 (2021)].

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Ferroelectric and antiferroelectric phases in liquid crystalline compounds with terphenyl in the molecular coere

We designed a new type of antiferroelectric liquid crystalline structure with terphenyl in the molecular core and two lactate units attached to the chiral chain [J. Mol. Liq. 336, 116267 (2021)].

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New material for 5G mobile networks

Epitaxial strained thin films of (SrTiO3)n-1(BaTiO3)1SrO were found to be a promising new material for mobile network of the 5th generation [Nature Mater. 19, 176 (2020)].

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Ferroelectric phase transition in water molecules localized in mineral cordierite

We discovered that hydrogen bonds are eliminated and the Coulombic interactions dominate in water molecules localized in nano-channels of mineral cordierite. Their dipole moment is perpendicular to the channel axis c and our dielectric spectroscopy study have revealed their ordering at ~3 K. The critical relaxation tending to this ordering is polarized along the a-axis direction and lies in the radiofrequency range. Spontaneous polarization measurements yield the saturated value of ~3 nC/cm2 at 0.3 K [Nat. Commun. 11, 3927 (2020)].

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Making EuO multiferroic by epitaxial strain engineering

Optical soft mode driven ferroelectric phase transition was discovered in IR spectra of tensile strained ferromagnetic EuO thin films [Commun. Mater. 1, 74 (2020)].

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Latest Key Articles

Y. Li, E. Zatterin, M. Conroy, A. Pylypets, F. Borodavka, A. Björling, D. J. Groenendijk, E. Lesne, A. J. Clancy, M. Hadjimichael, D. Kepaptsoglou, Q. M. Ramasse, A. D. Caviglia, J. Hlinka, U. Bangert, S. J. Leake, and P. Zubko

Electrostatically driven polarization flop and strain-induced curvature in free-standing ferroelectric superlattices

Adv. Mater. 34, 2106826 (2022).
H. Hempel, T. J. Savenjie, M. Stolterfoht, J. Neu, M. Failla, V. C. Paingad, P. Kužel, E. J. Heilweil, J. A. Spies, M. Schleuning, J. Zhao, D. Friedrich, K. Schwarzburg, L. D. A. Siebbeles, P. Dörflinger, V. Dyakonov, R. Katoh, M. J. Hong, J. G. Labram, M. Monti, E. Butler-Caddle, J. Lloyd-Hughes, M. M. Taheri, Jason B. Baxter, T. J. Magnanelli, S. Luo, J. M. Cardon, S. Ardo, and T. Unold

Predicting solar cell performance from terahertz and microwave spectroscopy

Adv. Energy Mater. 12, 2102776 (2022).
A. Poryvai, M. Šmahel, M. Švecová, A. Nemati, S. Shadpour, P. Ulbrich, T. Ogolla, J. Liu, V. Novotná, M. Veverka, J. Vejpravová, T. Hegmann, and M. Kohout

Chiral, magnetic, and photosensitive liquid crystalline nanocomposites based on multifunctional nanoparticles and achiral liquid crystals.

ACS Nano 16, 11833 (2022).
W. Banarjee, A. Kashir, and S. Kamba

Hafnium Oxide (HfO2) – a multifunctional oxide: a review on the prospect and challenges of bafnium oxide in resistive switching and ferroelectric memories

Small 18, 2107575 (2022).
M. A. Belyanchikov, M. Savinov, P. Proschek, J. Prokleška, E. S. Zhukova, V. G. Thomas, Z. V. Bedran, F. Kadlec, S. Kamba, M. Dressel, and B. P. Gorshunov

Fingerprints of critical phenomena in a quantum paraelectric ensemble of nanoconfined water molecules

Nano Lett. 22, 3380 (2022).
V. Lavrentiev, J. Pokorny, D. Chvostova, M. Klementova, I. Lavrentieva, J. Vacik, and A. Dejneka

Relevance of Rabi splitting effect for tunable enhancement of Raman scattering in self-assembled silver – Fullerene nanocomposite films

Carbon 196, 988 (2022).
A. Singh, T. Hiroto, M. Ode, H. Takakura, K. Tesař, H. Somekawa, and T. Hara

Precipitation of stable icosahedral quasicrystal phase in a Mg-Zn-Al alloy

Acta Mater. 225, 117563 (2022).
H.-H. Chen, M. Cigl, C.-T. Cheng, K.A. Bogdanowicz, A. Iwan, N. Podoliak, P. Vaňkátová, V. Hamplová, K. Dysz, W. Przybył, P. Nitschke, E. Schab-Balcerzak, D. Pociecha, and A. Bubnov

Self-assembling discotic materials with low symmetry for organic photovoltaics

J. Mol. Liq. 354, 118868 (2022).

Last update: November 21, 2022 (admin)