Extreme length scales (regular and disordered nano-engineered pinning arrays) and conditions (entangled flux lines, low temperatures, high magnetic fields, etc.) will be used to study systematically and to optimize the vortex confinement in superconductors, thus increasing their critical parameters (current and field) up to the theoretical limits. The fundamental principles of the quantum design of these parameters will be worked out. Novel vortex phases, such as multiquanta and composite vortex lattices, vortex fluid coexisting with vortex solid, driven vortex lattices, entangled vortex matter, etc., will be studied experimentally by various unique vortex visualization techniques, including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning Hall probe and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopes, and small angle neutron scattering. These phases will be modeled using modem theoretical and numerical techniques. The fundamental research in the framework of this program will form the basis of the advanced knowledge of the vortex matter in superconductors and will also be of importance for other scientific fields including superfluidity, turbulence, liquid crystals, and plasma physics. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.