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  • Interactions between nanoobjects Gert-Ludwig Ingold ()
    Quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field can give rise to a force between electrically neutral objects, the so-called Casimir force. This effect becomes particularly important when the distance between objects is of the order or smaller than one micrometer. The Casimir force therefore plays an important role for the behavior of electromechanical systems on the submicrometer and nanometer scale. As these so-called MEMS and NEMS increasingly find technical applications, a very good understanding of the Casimir force, e.g. as a function of the objects' geometry and their surface properties, is required. In addition, for the description of real objects, the interaction between the electromagnetic field and the electrons in the objects involved needs to be taken into account explicitly, and in general this coupling cannot be assumed to be weak. Thus fundamental questions arise regarding the thermodynamics of open quantum systems, which receives considerable interest recently.

  • DFG Transregio 80 U. Eckern C. Schuster ()
    The functionality of nanoscale devices depends crucially on the transport across the interfaces between the different components. In order to understand and improve these devices, a realistic description of charge and spin transport for inhomogeneous systems will be developed. We will pursue two approaches: density functional theory (DFT) and its dynamic extension, and the quantum kinetic equation approach, in order to include material specific properties on the atomic scale, as well as disorder effects on the mesoscopic scale, respectively.