Department of Applied Physics

Department of Applied Physics

The Department of Applied Physics pursues vigorous research in physical sciences and creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential. In addition, we provide basic physics education to the entire School of Science.

Welcome to the new and developing!


Our research focuses on condensed matter and materials physics, quantum physics and nano-optics, and advanced energy sciences. Our traditions are particularly strong in experimental and computational research and theoretical physics.

The department hosts two Academy of Finland Centres of Excellence: Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials research known as HYBER (2014–2019) and Quantum Technology Finland (2018–2025). Further quantum enabling technologies are facilitated by our Centre for Quantum Engineering. We are also engaging in database-driven machine learning in materials research.

The department hosts two large, nationally significant research infrastructures: the Nanomicroscopy Center and the Low Temperature Laboratory, both part of OtaNano.

Centre for Quantum Engineering, CQE

Centre for Quantum Engineering (CQE) tackles the most challenging scientific and technological questions to release the full potential of our expertise for the benefit of industry and society. Our long and successful research tradition is recognized worldwide for pioneering work, especially in condensed matter physics and nanoscale quantum electronic devices.

Centre of Quantum Engineering logo

Academy of Finland Centres of Excellence at the Department

The Academy of Finland's Centres of Excellence (CoE) are the flagships of Finnish research. They are at the very cutting edge of science in their fields, paving new avenues for research, developing creative research environments, and training new talented researchers for the Finnish research system and Finnish business and industry.


Research excellence

The Department of Applied Physics is recognised for its research excellence through multiple external funding awards.

Aalto-yliopisto, liput / kuvaaja: Aino Huovio

Research Groups

Active Matter

The research group focuses on active matter, non-equilibrium systems and fluids and colloids in EM fields.


Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering

The Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering group specializes in the development and applications of positron-based spectroscopic tools in condensed matter research.

Antimatter and nuclear engineering

Atomic Scale Physics

We focus on the experimental study of nanostructures, where the precise nature and location of every atom matters.

Graphene - Atomic Scale Physics

Complex Systems and Materials (CSM)

The CSM group applies statistical physics to a wide variety of cross-disciplinary topics

Aalto Yliopisto/ Mikko Jalava

Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST)

The Computational Electronic Structure Theory Group is developing electronic structure and machine learning methods

Aalto University/ Computational Electronic Structure Theory

Electronic Properties of Materials (EPM)

The research of the EPM group aims at understanding the properties of materials and nanostructures including the associated physical phenomena using state-of-the-art electronic structure calculations.

Junction Fig

Fusion and Plasma Physics

The Fusion and Plasma Physics group at Aalto University investigates experimentally and by computer simulations plasma phenomena in magnetically confined fusion plasma physics. The overall goal is to create a new, clean and virtually unlimited energy source.

Ascot iter alphawallloads

Molecular Materials (Molmat)

Molecular Materials (Molmat) is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of physicists, chemists and biologists aiming at functional materials based on supramolecular and supracolloidal self-assembly and its hierarchies.


Microkelvin investigations (µKI)

In the µKI group, we study systems thermally active still in microkelvin range of temperatures.

muKi cryostat

Multiscale Statistical and Quantum Physics (MSP)

The MSP group is recognised worldwide in the development of multi-scale and coarse-graining methodologies and their application to condensed matter systems.

Multiscale Statistical and Quantum Physics (MSP)

Nanomagnetism and Spintronics (NanoSpin)

The Nanomagnetism and Spintronics (NanoSpin) Group focuses on experimental studies of magnetic, magneto-optical, and spin-transport phenomena in new functional materials and hybrid nanoscale structures.

Domain patterns

Nanomaterials (NMG)

The NanoMaterials Group, headed by Prof. Esko I. Kauppinen, is among the top aerosol technology laboratories in the world and offers a unique environment for strong interdisciplinary research and a proven track record of productive cooperation.


New Energy Technologies (Renewable)

The interest of the New Energy Technologies Group is on advanced energy systems, in particular nanomaterials for energy devices, sustainable energy systems, and multidisciplinary energy science.

Energy Technology Detail

Optics and Photonics

The research of the Optics and Photonics group covers a range of topics of modern optics and photonics, encompassing various aspects of light-matter interaction, optical coherence and polarization, development of methods to manipulate light with nano- and micro-structures, design and construction of novel light sources, optical metamaterials and optical imaging.

Optics and phonotics

Pico - Quantum Phenomena and Devices

We investigate mesoscopic physics and its sensor applications. The main focus is on charge transport and thermal properties of metallic, superconducting and hybrid nanostructures.


Quantum Circuits and Correlations (NANO)

Nano group of the Low Temperature Laboratory investigates fundamental quantum phenomena in nanostructures using low temperature and electronic transport measurements.

Nano cryostat

Quantum Computing and Devices (QCD)

We have a major effort on experimental low-temperature physics, but we also carry out computational and theoretical work down to fundamental quantum mechanics.

Cryostat QCD Labs Aalto University

Quantum Dynamics (QD)

The research interests of the QD group are quantum coherent dynamics and quantum many-body phenomena in designed nanosystems.

Plasmon BEC

Quantum Nanomechanics

The NEMS group focuses on studies of micro- and nanomechanical resonators near the quantum ground state of moving objects.

An illustration of the 15-micrometre-wide drumheads prepared on silicon chips used in the experiment. The drumheads vibrate at a high ultrasound frequency, and the peculiar quantum state predicted by Einstein was created from the vibrations. Image: Aalto University / Petja Hyttinen & Olli Hanhirova, ARKH Architects.

Quantum Transport (QT)

The research group works on theoretical problems in quantum transport.

Aalto-yliopisto, liput / kuvaaja: Aino Huovio

Rota - Topological superfluids

Our research is focused on the properties of superfluid 3He at ultra-low temperatures

A half-quantum vortex combines circular spin flow and circular mass flow, leading to the 
formation of vortex pairs that can be observed experimentally. Image: Ella Maru Studio.

Soft Matter and Wetting

Functional soft materials and the wettability of surfaces are they key research interests of the Soft Matter and Wetting research group situated in the Aalto University Department of Applied Physics.

Water droplets rolling on a superhydrophobic copper surface

Superconducting Qubits and Circuit QED (KVANTTI)

Our group is part of the effort in nanoelectronics in the Low Temperature Laboratory, Department of Applied Physics. The group is doing research in such fields as quantum information and quantum-level effects in superconducting devices, quantum coherent matter, and interaction of electromagnetic fields with nano-structured materials.

Artistic impression of the sample, the pulse sequence, and the density matrix. Image by Antti Paraoanu.

Surface Science

The Surface Science group studies structures, bonding, and reactivity at solid surfaces on the atomic and molecular scale using advanced surface sensitive tools in Ultra High Vacuum environment.

Surface science

Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale (SIN)

In the SIN group we apply and develop various atomistic and quantum mechanical simulation methods to study surface and interface physics at the nanoscale, with particular emphasis on working closely with experimentalists and technologists.

SIN group

Theory of Quantum Matter (TQM)

Our research concentrates on fundamental properties of matter.

Aalto University/Theory of Quantum Matter


Otaniemi research infrastructure for micro- and nanotechnologies (OtaNano) is a national research infrastructure (RI) focusing on competitive research in nanoscience and -technology, and in quantum technologies.

Read more about our research infrastructure
Aalto yliopisto piisirulla

Learn more about our research infrastructure



Where to find us

Nanotalo building

Puumiehenkuja 2. Mon-Fri 7.45-16.00

Nanotalo. Puumiehenkuja 2. Kuva / Image: Aalto-yliopisto / Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University


Tietotie 3. Opening hours Mon–Fri 8.00–16.30

Undergraduate Centre

The Undergraduate Centre designed by Alvar Aalto was previously known as the University of Technology main building, and it is still a landmark on the Otaniemi campus.

Aalto-yliopisto / Kandidaattikeskus / katsomo / kuva: Tuomas Uusheimo