The Department originated from the Physics Department created by Prof. Nicolás Cabrera in the early 1970s. It currently conducts intense research in numerous fields of Condensed Matter Physics and Biophysics. Energy, transport, nanotechnology, health and environment, information and communication technologies are the key technologies of the twenty-first century. Condensed Matter Physics provides the methods to engineer and develop new ideas in most of these technologies. Using advanced instrumentation, such as state-of-the-art microscopy, spectroscopy, and calculation techniques, we can control and directly observe fascinating phenomena belonging to the challenges of technical development. The research of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics faces some of these challenges – for example, the development of new electronics and spintronics, the use of nanostructures in applications, or improvements in energy storage. Related fundamental questions in subjects such as graphene, superconductivity, or the properties of single molecules arising at extreme conditions, ranging from ultra-high vacuum to ambient pressure and from room to very low temperatures, build up the arena for debating new innovative technical solutions.
Prof. Nicolás Cabrera founded in the early 70’s the Department of Fundamental Physics, from which the present DCMP emerged in 1986. He left in our Department its indelible personal touch, and it is impossible to understand the thrust and rigor of Science in our Department without going back, albeit briefly, to its very origins. His first goal was to create a strong experimental group working in surface physics in ultra-high vacuum. His second goal was to promote the development of a low temperature physics experimental group. Finally, he created a group of theoreticians who would interact strongly with the experimental groups. Present structure and aims of the Department clearly reflect its origins.