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Superconducting and Nonsuperconducting Nanoclusters


Superconducting and Nonsuperconducting Nanoclusters of Non-Random Geometry with a Fixed Number of Atoms for the Simulation of Nanostructures with Desired Properties

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics
  • PHY-ANU/Atomic and Nuclear Physics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Safronova O N

Leading Institute
Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Universite Paul Valery / Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microelectronique de Montpellier, France, Montpellier\nNational Research Council Canada / Institute for Microstructural Sciences, Canada, ON, Ottawa\nCNRS / Centre de Recherches sur les Tres Basses Temperatures, France, Grenoble

Project summary

One of the unique features of atomic clusters the most important from a technological point of view is rapid variation of their specific characteristics with changes of the number of atoms N in a cluster. Thereby the fixation of N and cluster shape gives a possibility to design nanometer- size structures with desired properties. Such mesoscopic structures can serve as building blocks for constructing the electronic devices. Consequently necessity studying the cluster thermodynamic properties results from their potential needs of nanostructures for medicine, biotechnology and electronics.

Recent advances in the development of new techniques for the experimental mesoscopic physics make it possible to fabricate the inpidual superconducting and normal (nonsuperconducting) nanoscale clusters of controllable non-random geometry with a fixed particle number N. As a consequence current experiments are capable to investigate the influence of electron number variations on properties of mesoscopic structures. The theoretical analysis and the predictions of the properties of superconducting and normal cluster properties as function of N should be carried out in the framework of the canonical description to take into account the N conservation. However the current canonical methods are impractical ones for systems with N>1000. Thus the development of the canonical methods free of restrictions on the electron numbers and temperatures still remains an actual problem.

The aim of the project is to study of the thermodynamic and magnetic properties of the superconducting and normal nanoclusters of non-random geometry with a fixed particle number N.

For this purpose new theoretical methods will be elaborated:

  • a new method for the canonical description of the normal finite fermi-systems applicable for arbitrary values of particle number N and temperature T;
  • a new canonical method free of restrictions on N for the description of the superconducting finite fermi-systems.

These methods will be exploited to investigate properties of nanoparticles with a fixed particle number in superconducting and normal states that includes:
  • electron heat capacity oscillations in normal 2D (two-dimensional) -, and 3D –normal mesoscopic systems produced by the changing shape of the system;
  • the de Haas – van Alphen oscillations of the magnetic susceptibility and heat capacity in superconducting and normal 3D –systems and the crossover of the 3D – oscillations to the 2D – oscillations;
  • study of the contributions of pairing fluctuations to the thermodynamic and magnetic properties of superconducting nanoclusters in the post-critical temperature and magnetic regimes;
  • study of the possibility a novel phenomenon - the temperature re - entrance of the pairing in nanoclusters in the post-critical magnetic fields;
  • effects related to the fluctuations of the pairing gap in π electron systems and the role of these fluctuations in the high temperature superconductivity of organic molecules.

The project includes 2 Doctors and 3 Candidates of Sciences having a long experience in different fields of theoretical physics (pairing correlations, mesoscopic physics, nuclear physics, quantum and statistical physics).

The proposed researches are fundamental in the field of finite fermi-system physics. Methods elaborated in this project are expected to be appropriate for the study of any finite fermion system including atomic nucleus. The urgency of the theoretical investigations the normal and superconducting mesoscopic systems and the variations of their the electronic and thermodynamic properties depending on N is provided by wide prospects of their applications in medicine and the advanced technology.

The realization of this project will provide those CIS scientists who was involved in weapons development with opportunities to redirect their skills onto peaceful applications and to facilitate integration of the CIS scientists into the international scientific community.

The joining of efforts and the cooperation between the participants will be realized through mutual visits, meetings on International Conferences and on the basis of permanent contacts via electronic mail. Prof. V.Kresin (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, USA) has participated in preparing the project and will take part in the proposed research concerning the superconductivity in mesoscopic systems. Prof. F. Philippe (Laboratoire d’Informatique de Robotique et de Microelectronidue, Computer Science Universite Paul Valery, France) is the leading expert in the field of the mathematical physics and will take part in the proposed research concerning the development of polynomial formalism to construct the partition function of normal canonical ensemble. Dr. O. Bourgeois (Centre de Reacherches sur les Tres Basses Temperatures, laboratory of the Centre National de la Recherche Scintifique France) is engaged in the pioneer research on nanoscale thermodynamics at ultralow energy scales that provides an unique opportunity to test the new canonical approaches developed in the project.

The project duration is 36 months. The total project effort is 4680 person*days.


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