1) Gaining new knowledge about the physical nature of martensitic transformations in alloys with magnetic shape memory and applying this knowledge to find new materials with extended functionality in the form of both crystals and nanostructures. Emphasis will be on materials with i) suitable modulated martensitic structure, ii) tuneable temperature of ferromagnetic and martensitic transformations in a range suitable for potential applications iii) high mobility of twinning boundaries.
2) Clarification of the physical mechanisms leading to the link between ferroelastic and ferromagnetic behaviour of alloys with magnetic shape memory in materials based on Ni-Mn-Ga. The knowledge of these mechanisms will be used to design new alloys with extended functionality.
3) A detailed description of the electronic structure of new alloys in the form of bulk materials and thin films in order to identify conditions leading to martensitic transformations.
4) Development and preparation of new complex hybrid materials based on a combination of different layers in nanoscopic dimensions, the physical characteristics of which are influenced by mutually-induced stresses between the layers via the interface between the active and passive material, or stress-induced substrate.
5) Using newly acquired knowledge to prepare antiferromagnetic alloys or other nonlinear arrangements of magnetic moments, which exhibit magnetic shape memory effect. The absence of macroscopic magnetic moment will lead to the creation of a new paradigm for perception and application of such materials.
6) To create a young, dynamic and competitive research team in the field of new functional materials led by a top, internationally recognised researcher from abroad comprehensively covering the whole area of research from theoretical calculations via technology for the preparation of bulk materials and thin films and nanostructures for advanced characterisation methods. To achieve the set goals, we plan to purchase complementary unique experimental equipment.