RNDr. Jiří Kaštil, Ph.D.
Pressure is one of the basic thermodynamic quantities and its effect on the materials properties provide priceless information for understanding of the fundamental physical relations and nature of the observed material behaviour. Effect of pressure can be simplistically viewed as direct influence of interatomic distances and of the forces and interaction character which determines the macroscopic properties of solid state materials. Application of pressure leaves the chemical purity and composition intact. Observed behaviour of studied materials under pressure thus provide undistorted information about mutual influence of atoms and in magnetic matter also about the strength of magnetic interaction. Gained information are important for deeper understanding of basic physical rules and can also contribute to effective harnessing of the materials assets in practical applications.
Main objectives of our laboratory research are alloys and compounds of metallic elements with magnetic behaviour and mutual intertwining of their magnetic and crystal lattices (In figure 1 is an example of magneto-structural transition in Ni-Mn-Ga based compound). Furthermore, the materials with unusual properties like unconventional superconductivity or compounds which shows heavy-fermion state are investigated.
Development of new instrumentation for studying materials property under high pressure is integral part of our program.