About The Group

The University of Birmingham Condensed Matter Group


Birmingham has a long history of superconductivity research extending back to the formation of the Condensed Matter Group by Prof W F Vinen, FRS in 1962. This was strongly focussed on the magnetic, ultrasonic and thermal properties of very clean niobium single crystals, involving extensive collaboration with Metallurgy and Materials Science.

At the time of the discovery of high temperature superconductors in 1986/7 additional collaborations also existed with Chemistry, working on Chevrel phase superconductors and with Electronic and Electrical Engineering investigating superconducting microwave structures within the context of a macroscopic quantum physics experiment. Extensive collaboration were therefore already in place when the University wide, interdisciplinary Superconductivity Research Group was set up in March, 1987.

The group were the first to demonstrate that electrons were paired in the newly discovered HTc superconductors and the first to demonstrate a HTS SQUID using granular ceramic material. In collaboration with ICI and Electrical Engineering, it also developed a simple HTS microwave antenna, demonstrating the potential of HTS for microwave applications. HTS research has included experimental and computational investigations of quantum effects at the individual flux quantum level, magnetic and electrical transport properties of single crystals, microwave properties and most recently tunnelling spectroscopy across the intrinsic molecular junctions in the layered cuprates.

The Group provides extensive physical characterisation facilities for the Chemists, Material Scientists, and interdisciplinary Pulsed laser Deposition Facility.

Who's Who

You can find out about Individual group members on the Who's Who page

Group Socialising

In addition to our day to day research, as a group we enjoy partaking in numerous social activities. Every few months a group meal is organised by the group's social secretary, which may mark an occasion such as a group member' arrival or farewell, or for example a Christmas celebration dinner. Group members can also voluntarily take part in a weekly cake club, where each week a nominated person bakes a cake for everyone to enjoy. To see photographs of the group's Cake Club competition, please visit the Cake Club page

To see more images of our group's social activities, please visit the Group photo gallery page

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