The State Key Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures


The National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, was set up in 1984 as one of the first state key laboratories in China. As a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, NLSSM is aimed at making new artificial micro-structured materials through the design and tailoring of the energy band structures in reciprocal space, finding new macroscopic and microscopic quantum effects and principles, developing new theories and methodology based on quantum physics, and endeavoring to meet the scientific challenges and technological requirements encountered in the post-Moore era and the post-petroleum era.


With Professor Xing Dingyu as the director of the academic committee and Professor Wang Mu as the director of the laboratory, NLSSM has a faculty of 48, including 8 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 15 special professors of “Cheung Kong Scholars Program,” and 15 professors receiving the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. In 1994, the faculty published the first paper in Nature about the mechanisms of the interfacial growth and this was a breakthrough for publishing papers in the highest quality academic journals. Later, a set of papers about dielectric superlattice were published in high quality international journals, including three papers in Science. In all the assessments of state key laboratories, NLSSM was regarded as an excellent laboratory and was ranked first in a group of mathematics and physics laboratories in 2000. In 1997, the journal Nature announced that NLSSM was one of the institutes in the Pacific rim of Asia (excluding Japan) approaching world-class standards in research [Nature 389, 113 (1997)].


As one of the major research centers in the field of condensed matter physics in China, NLSSM carried out researches projects on various sub-fields: artificial microstructure physics, quantum physics and the associated electronics, nanostructure properties and devices, soft condensed matter physics and computational physics. These research efforts are funded by several national, provincial and ministerial research funds, including 6 projects by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), 15 sub-projects of the 973 Program, 4 projects of the National High-Tech R&D Program of China, 7 projects of the Key Program of National Natural Science Fund of China and so on. Since 2002, NLSSM’s faculty members have won the first prize of the National Natural Science once and the second prize of the National Natural Science 6 times.


Currently, 27 project leaders and their teams are working in the Cyrus Tang Building with a total laboratory space of over 20,000 m2. The major state-of-the-art facilities at NLSSM include field-emission transmission electron microscope (Philips F20), spin-resolved ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (Omicron), field-emission scanning electronic microscope (LEO 1530VP), solid state nuclear magnetic resonance system (Bruker Arance 300), and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) (MPMSXL-7). In addition, there are thin film/bulk material fabrication facilities and structural and spectrum characterization facilities. An advanced nanofabrication center, equipped with electron beam lithography system (Raith e-Line) and focusing ion-beam fabrication facility (Philips FB201), has been established, which will serve the needs for fabrications of nano/micro sized structures. Moreover, the supporting facilities include the super-computer system and low temperature workshop for providing liquid helium and liquid nitrogen.


Between 2005 and 2009, the laboratory published 1,858 peer-reviewed research papers, of which 39 were in Physical Review Letters, 209 in Physical Review Series, and 178 in Applied Physics Letters. During this period, the number of authorized patents reached 90, 86 new applications in pending.


NLSSM serves as a platform for international exchange and cooperation. It has accommodated many internship students, post-doctoral research associates and visitors from at home and abroad. It has collaboration agreements with research institutes and universities in USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and others. In collaboration with colleagues overseas, its faculty has published many joint research papers in Science, Nature Photonics, Advanced Materials, and Physical Review Letters.


NLSSM sincerely welcomes international cooperation in areas of material design, quantum physics, nanooptics and plasmonics, clean energy and environment-related studies.


Website of the laboratory

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