The Institute of Metal Physics was founded in 1932 under the active participation of Academician A.F. Ioffe, the Member of Russian Academy of Sciences. Since that times the Institute has been one of the major centers of fundamental physical studies in the Urals. Such prominent scientists as M.N. Mikheev, V.I. Arkharov, S.V. Vonsovsky, I.K. Kikoin, V.D. Sadovsky, S.P. Shubin, M.V.Yakutovich, R.I.Yanus, Ya.S. Shur and others have made a great contribution to its formation.
The scientific schools on magnetism, physical metallurgy, and nondestructive testing of materials, having the international authority, were founded at the Institute.
The polar and s-d models of metals proposed by S.P. Shubin and S.V. Vonsovsky are known worldwide. On the basis of these models and in the course of their development numerous scientific investigations, concerning the fundamental theory of magnetism, electrical and other properties of transition and rare-earth metals, their alloys and compounds, have been carried out at the Institute.
The ideas of the two-stage mechanism of phase recrystallisation and structural heredity in steels, that made an essential contribution to the theory of heat treatment of metals, were proposed and developed in the works of V.D. Sadovsky and representatives of his school.
The physical foundations of ferromagnetic materials, magnetic nondestructive testing and magnetic structural analysis methods were created by R.I. Yanus, M.N. Mikheev and their disciples.
The achievements of the Institute are recognized in the country and abroad. 20 works were awarded by the state prizes of the USSR, RSFSR, RF, Ukraine, and premiums of the USSR Council of Ministers, Government of the Russian Federation, Lenin's Komsomol, and Demidov's prizes, 42 scientists of the Institute being the laureates of those prizes. Six research projects completed by 11 scientists working at the Institute have been awarded gold medals and prizes in honor of outstanding scientists.
During more than 65 years of the Institute's existence 125 monographs and several thousands of the scientific articles have been published by its scientists (about 300 articles annually), 540 patents have been obtained. 120 scientists have been mentored at the Institute to become Doctors of Sciences and 645 researchers – to become Candidates of Sciences.
There are 33 scientific laboratories at the Institute with 920 employees. Among the 405 scientific researchers of the Institute there are one Member and seven Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 82 Doctors, and 244 Candidates of Sciences.
The Institute closely cooperates with the Urals State and Urals State Technical Universities, it has three branches of their chairs and 12 joint educational-scientific laboratories. There are three Specialized Councils for the awarding of scientific degrees and the Urals Center on Certification of the Specialists in Nondestructive Testing at the Institute.
The basic lines of scientific research at the Institute are closely linked to the most urgent problems of the condensed matter physics and materials science:
· electronic structure and its relation to the physical properties of transition and rare-earth metals, their alloys and compounds, semiconductors and semimetals; the nature of the cooperative phenomena, including magnetism and superconductivity, and conductivity mechanisms in the strong electrical and magnetic fields;
· physics of magnetic materials and magnetic measurements; nonlinear phenomena and domain structure of magnetics; development of new magnetic materials, including amorphous, nanocrystalline and multilayered materials; the nature of electromagnetic losses at magnetization reversal; magnetic, electromagnetic and acoustic methods of nondestructive testing;
· crystallographic structure and properties of solids: theory of real crystals; structural imperfections and their role in crystallization, phase and structural transformations, plastic deformation and destruction; development of new materials and technologies of their processing; influence of high pressures, shock waves, magnetic fields, radiation, aggressive environments on physical and mechanical properties; physics of strength and plasticity.
The Institute is well equipped with modern research and technological instruments enabling to manufacture and study bulk materials (both in poly- and single crystalline forms) and epitaxial films, amorphous and nanocrystalline materials, to certify their composition, structure and properties, magnetic, electric, mechanical, etc. The investigations are carried out in the widest range of temperatures and pressures, in magnetic fields, ultrahigh vacuum, and under the influence of laser, electron, ion and neutron irradiation.
The analytical techniques utilizing NMR, ESR, Mossbauer and FMR resonance methods, as well as practically all kinds of spectroscopy, i.e. X-ray, electron, optical, neutron, and SIMS, are at the disposal of the researchers. Methods of materials composition control by means of Rutherford scattering and nuclear reactions are also well developed.
New materials and technologies, instruments and equipment are being developed on the basis of the results of fundamental studies:
· permanent magnets with energy product up to 324 kJ/m3;
· radiation- and corrosion-resistant high-strength nonmagnetic steels;
· alloys with improved wear-resistance for the sliding low-current contacts;
· multilayered metallic films with regulated magnetic structure;
· metallic resistors with the values of electrical resistance specified in the wide temperature range;
· superconducting shields of high efficiency;
· coercimeters, microscopes, defectoscopes of different designs for various applications;
· medical instruments and apparatuses;
· new methods of heat, thermomechanical and thermo-mechano-magnetic treatment, increasing the operational properties of steels, aluminum, titanium and nickel alloys;
· non-waste fabrication technologies of hollow products of a particularly complicated shape.
The Institute has its own design department, experimental shops, and a scientific library with more than 120500 volumes.
Nation-wide scaled coordination of scientific research is carried out by the Problem Scientific Councils of the Russian Academy of Sciences on "Nondestructive physical methods of control" and "Radiation solid state physics", working at the institute. All-Russia scientific journals "Physics of Metals and Metallography" and "Russian Journal of Non-Destructive Testing" are also being published at the Institute.
The Institute develops and supports vast contacts with scientific and educational organizations in Russia and abroad, participates in international projects and programs, personnel exchanges, joint investigations and publications. Symposiums, conferences and meetings with participation of the domestic and foreign scientists, representatives of firms and enterprises, are being held on regular basis.
Director of the Institute,
Corresponding Member of the
Russian Academy of Sciences V.V. Ustinov