In order to come to a complete understanding of the contact effects in nanostructures a variety of different methods, on the theoretical side as well as on the experimental side, has to be applied. The different groups collaborating in the PhD programme are working with different methods in the field of solid-state physics, theoretical physics, material science, and electrical engineering. In bringing together the complementary expertise of these groups from the three universities this new field of contacts to nanosystems can be addressed in a broad way. The university groups will be complemented by two groups from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).
The expertise of the 17 groups includes quite diverse fields ranging from the growth of semiconductors, optical investigations, low-temperature magnetotransport measurements, scanning-tunnelling measurements, surface electron microscopy, photoemission electron microscopy, ultrasound spectroscopy to the theoretical methods of algebraic Bethe Ansatz, density-matrix renormalization group method, quantum Monte-Carlo simulations, Density Functional Theory and Projector Augmented Wave Method. Only by the combination of such diverse methods a deeper knowledge of the contact effects can be achieved.