Department of Applied Physics

Department of Applied Physics

Our pioneering research in physical sciences creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential.

Low Temperature Laboratory


Our research focuses on Materials physics, Quantum technology, Soft & living matter, and Advanced energy solutions. Topics extend from fundamental research to important applications. Department of Applied Physics educates future generations of research and development professionals, data specialists, technology experts, inventors, and scientists for industry and society.

The department hosts the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence Quantum Technology Finland (QTF, 2018–2025). Further quantum-enabling technologies are facilitated by the Centre for Quantum Engineering, that has operated as a strategic initiative of the university during 2015-2020. From 2021 onwards, quantum related activities will be organised within a broader national context.

The department is a major user of the national research infrastructure OtaNano that provides fabrication, characterisation and measurement equipment and facilities for students, scientists and high-tech businesses. The Nanomicroscopy Center and the Low Temperature Laboratory of OtaNano are critical assets for our researchers. We extensively utilise and contribute to the development of the national and international cloud and supercomputing resources and databases.

Aalto-yliopisto, liput / kuvaaja: Aino Huovio

Research excellence

The Department of Applied Physics is recognised for its research excellence through numerous national and international external funding awards.

Department of Applied Physics
Image: Aino Huovio

Publications of the Department of Applied Physics

Researchers at the Department of Applied Physics produce almost 400 international refereed journal articles annually, of which over 10% are in high impact journals

Department of Applied Physics
Quantum Explorations

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.

Olli V. Lounasmaa in Argonne in 1962.

Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize

The Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize is awarded once every four years to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to advances in low temperature physics and related fields.

Department of Applied Physics

Research Infrastructures

Kvanttibitit. Kuva: Jan Goetz.


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

Piece of code on the computer screen, colourful text


Science-IT provides infrastructure for high-level computational research at Aalto University and is coordinated by the School of Science.


Experimental Equipment of the Department of Applied Physics

Read more about the experimental equipment used by research groups at the Department of Applied Physics


Aalto Research & Teaching Infrastructure booking system

Researcher at Aalto University fixating a tool for graphene research purposes


Approximately 25 Masters of Science and 30 Doctors of Science graduate annually from the Department of Applied Physics.

Read more

Department of Applied Physics Diversity Team

The Diversity Team of the Department of Applied Physics aims to build an inclusive, diverse and welcoming work environment

Diversity at Aalto Physics- Read More!
Logo of the PHYS Diversity Team in Aalto colours


The drumheads exhibit a collective quantum motion. Picture: Juha Juvonen.
Press releases Published:

Evading the uncertainty principle in quantum physics

New technique gets around 100-year-old rule of quantum physics for the first time
Afrin Hossain stood by a wall with trees in the background
Studies, University Published:

“What I’m really looking forward to is hanging out!”

We’re interviewing our students about their experience of studying during covid. Here, we speak to Afrin Hossain about her year
Graphic with photo showing Physics graduate Aaro Väkeväinen and a nanoparticle array
Research & Art, Studies Published:

Physics graduate and supervisor reflect on challenges and shared success of PhD dissertation work

Physics graduate Aaro Väkeväinen tells how he successfully overcame multiple challenges during his dissertation work
A cartoon showing a graphene lattice with a strip of blue in the middle representing the topological superconductor
Press releases Published:

A path to graphene topological qubits

Researchers demonstrate that magnetism and superconductivity can coexist in graphene, opening a pathway towards graphene-based topological qubits


Flyer for feminist futures
Online event

Feminist Futures Helsinki

Feminist Futures Helsinki (FFH) is a hackathon which builds on feminist theories of power, emotion and intersectionality, to imagine alternative futures for the Finnish society
AQP seminar
Online event

AQP Seminar: Thermodynamics of gambling Demons

Aalto Quantum Physics Seminars (Zoom). Speaker: Diego Subero Rengel (Aalto University, Department of Applied Physics)
EVent flyer for 20 May
Online event

Releasing the full innovation potential in STEM research

Finland has some of the lowest numbers of women in STEM careers in Europe, while Lithuania has the highest.

Defence of dissertation in the field of applied physics, M.Sc. Lahja Martikainen

Title of the doctoral dissertation is "Biomimetic materials design – Towards tough nanocomposites and strain-stiffening hydrogels"

Regular departmental seminars


Brown Bag Seminars

Physics brown bag seminars highlight exciting new results arising from the physics community at Aalto.

Department of Applied Physics
AQP seminar

Aalto Quantum Physics seminars

Aalto Quantum Physics seminars are hosted at the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University, and feature both local and international speakers on a variety of topics in quantum physics.

Department of Applied Physics
Aalto University Undergraduate Center Lecture Hall / Tuomas Uusheimo

Aalto Physics Colloquium

The Aalto Physics Colloquium is a high-level colloquium series covering all branches of physics at Aalto University. We invite prestigious physicists from around the world to tell us about their research.

Department of Applied Physics
Image of Atomic scale quantum materials colloquium

Atomic scale quantum materials colloquium: new online colloquium series

The colloquium will present novel developments in the field of atomic manipulation with scanning probe techniques and atomically designed quantum matter. This Colloquium series will start on May 4th, and run once a week, preliminary until the end of June.

Information for prospective employees

Open positions

Looking for a job at Aalto University? See our open positions.

Aalto University - people

For international staff

Are you thinking of moving to Finland to work at Aalto University - or are you already an international member of the Aalto community? The information below might provide interesting insight in the practicalities of living in Finland and working at Aalto.

Campus life
Contact information

Where to find us

Nanotalo building

Puumiehenkuja 2

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


Address: Tietotie 3
Mon–Fri 8.00–16.30

Micronova cleanroom kuva: Aino Huovio

Undergraduate Centre

Otakaari 1, Espoo.

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

Find out more about our Research Groups

Active Matter

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

Atomic Scale Physics

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

group photo

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)

CEST is developing electronic structure and machine learning methods and applying them to computational materials science problems.

A screenshot showing the CEST group in a Zoom meeting.

Correlated Quantum Materials (CQM)

Correlated Quantum Materials Group (CQM)

CQM image

Fusion and Plasma Physics

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

Flux surface diagnostics: field line visualization in Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. Photo: Matthias Otte / IPP

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.


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.

Nanomaterials Group

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

Nuclear Materials and Engineering (NuME)

The Nuclear Materials and Engineering group employs computational methods to study radiation induced processes and damage formation in materials.

visualization of energetic atoms from a simulation of a collision cascade

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.


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.

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.


Topological Quantum Fluids (ROTA)

Our research is focused on topological 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 wettability of surfaces are the key research interests of Soft Matter and Wetting research group at Aalto University Department of Applied Physics.

Spherical water droplets on a superhydrophobic surface partially submerged in water. The surface is gray copper colour, while the submerged part is silvery due to thin airfilm captured by the 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
  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!