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Press Release 019/2015

KIT Physicist Receives ERC Consolidator Grant of EU

Fundamental Research to Understand the Dynamics in Ferromagnets / EUR 2 Million for Five Years
2015_019_KIT-Physiker_erhaelt_ERC_Consolidator_Grant_der_EU_72dpi
For the studies, the physicist uses dilution refrigerators, among others: The refrigerators reach very low temperatures near absolute zero of minus 273°C. (Photo: Dr. Martin Weides, KIT)

The “QuantumMagnonics” project of Dr. Martin Weides of the Physikalisches Institut of KIT deals with dynamic processes inside ferromagnets, such as iron or cobalt. Results of his fundamental research might be used for magnetic data processing components. The Research Council of the European Union funds the project with EUR 2 million.

 

“We are interested in the behavior of ferromagnets in the quantum regime,” the physicist says. To explore physical processes in the atomic range, the researcher studies layers of thin material films structured in the nanometer range. These films are produced by KIT’s DFG Center for Functional Nanostructures. With the help of experiments complementing and extending conventional measurement methods of classical physics, Weides hopes to better understand damping – loss – of energy while passing the magnetized material. Work focuses on intrinsic rotations of the individual electrons, called spins. The project is aimed at generating a single spin wave excited by an electromagnetic impulse. To measure the dynamic processes of the excited state, quantum bits, briefly called qubits, are to be applied as detectors and information units. The long project title is “QuantumMagnonics – Coupling of Spin Waves with Superconducting Quantum Circuits for the Generation and Detection of Individual Spin Waves.” This fundamental research is expected to produce findings that will be of relevance to the use of magnetic materials in data processing, e.g. for storage media or logics elements.

 

Für seine Forschung zum Verständnis  der Dynamik in Ferromagneten erhält  Dr. Martin Weides einen ERC Consolidator Grant der EU (Foto: privat)
For his research to understand the dynamics
in ferromagnets, Dr. Martin Weides receives
an ERC Consolidator Grant of the EU. (Photo: private)

 

One third of the funds of EUR 2 million granted by the European Union for five years will be spent by Weides for purchasing measurement instruments. Two thirds of the funds will be used to cover personnel costs for doctoral students and post-docs involved in the project. For his experimental studies, the physicist among others applies dilution refrigerators that reach extremely low temperatures near absolute zero of minus 273°C.

 

With ERC Consolidator Grants, the European Research Council (ERC) support projects of excellent scientists, who were conferred the doctorate seven to twelve years ago. The ERC was established in 2007 as an institution to fund fundamental pioneer research in Europe. “Thanks to funding under the EU program, we will be able to catch up with Japan and the USA that play a major role in this research area,” Weides says. The project at KIT’s Physikalisches Institut is based on the long-term research of the physicist, who has been working as a research assistant in the research group of Professor Alexey Ustinov since 2012. Before, the expert for solid-state physics and superconductors worked at Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of California, Santa Barbara, among others.

 

Weides has acquired the meanwhile seventh ERC Grant for the KIT. Before, renowned ERC funds were granted to Dr. Regina Hoffmann, Physikalisches Institut, in 2009, Dr. Matthias Schneider, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, in 2010, Professor Holger Puchta of the Botanical Institute, Professor Christian Koos of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics, and Dr. Alexander Nesterov-Müller of the Institute of Microstructure Technology in 2011, as well as to Erin Koos of the Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering and Pavel Levkin of the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics in 2013.

 

Being „The Research University in the Helmholtz Association“, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 26,000 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life.

afr, 24.02.2015


The press release is available as a PDF file.