Topics in flux compactifications of type IIA superstring theory
Realistic four-dimensional model building from string theory has been a focus of the string theory community ever since its inception. Toroidal orientifold constructions have emerged as a technically simple class of candidate models. Novel ingredients, such as background fluxes, have been discovered and intensely studied over the past few years. They allow for a (partial) solution of several long standing problems associated with model building in this framework. In this thesis, I summarize progress that has been made in toroidal orientifold constructions in type IIA string theory.This includes a detailed discussion of moduli stabilization and (non-) supersymmetric AdS and Minkowski vacua. Furthermore I commence a systematic study of generalized NSNS, i.e., metric and non-geometric, fluxes. The emergence of novel D-terms is presented in detail. While most of the discussion applies to generic orientifolds of T⁶, most features are exemplified by and studied in terms of a certain orientifold of T⁶/ℤ₄ owing to its somewhat richer structure compared to simpler models studied before. It is also briefly reported on efforts of finding de Sitter vacua and inflation in this class of models.