Since obtaining his PhD, Nikolai Sobolev has been working on ion implantation and defects in semiconductors and quantum size semiconductor structures, predominantly using optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, but also electrical and structural characterization techniques. He has found dozens of new luminescence lines in irradiated silicon, descried coherent amorphization of different layers in Si/Ge and AlAs/GaAs superlattices, demonstrated an enhanced radiation hardness of InAs/GaAs quantum dot lasers.
Later, Nikolai gained an interest in magnetic nanostructures, such as magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ), and invented a method of obtaining the easy-cone magnetic anisotropy in perpendicular MTJ. He is now actively working on composite multiferroics and resistive switching devices.
He was chair, co-chair or committee member of 30 scientific conferences, has co-edited four article collections, and reviewed hundreds of scientific articles and research projects. He has also co-ordinated a series of national and international research projects, and is now the coordinator of the European H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017-778308 SPINMULTIFILM project (2018-2021).