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"Spin physics in the XXIst century: Joining forces of megagrants in an international collaborative research center"

Scientific organization
TU Dortmund
Academic degree
Prof. Dr.
Full professor
Scientific discipline
Physics & Astronomy
"Spin physics in the XXIst century: Joining forces of megagrants in an international collaborative research center"
The spins of electrons and nuclei are exploited intensely in today's technological applications such as nuclear magnetic resonance or information storage. However, it is common believe that spins offer much more appealing functionalities, in particular when exploiting their quantum mechanical properties. In this contribution I will give a couple of examples for novel strategies by which spins may be controlled and manipulated in a coherent, energy-efficient way so that they may form the basic building blocks for future information technologies.
spin, lasers, optics

This contribution describes the research efforts pursued since a couple of years in a complementary way in the frame of two megagrants located at St. Petersburg: the Hybrid Spinoptronics Laboratory at the Ioffe-institute and the Spin Optics Laboratory at the St. Petersburg State University. Both have provided the decisive infrastructure for performing research on novel spin-based hardware which may form the basis for a new area of information technology. The activities comprise efforts in developing tailored hardware for spin excitations with long lifetime, implementing controlled interactions between spins, developing techniques for controlling spins by optimized laser and microwave pulses as well as inventing designs for optimal manipulation strategies. A central goal is to perform spin manipulation such that the required energy for each operation is minimized. In that way the technology would become particularly energy-efficient, while simultaneously offering fast and superior operation - a more and more important demand nowadays, as the energy consumption in information technologies is continuously increasing. Ultimately it may be possible to combine all components required for information processing, processors and memories, into a single chip, allowing further device miniaturization and increase of performance. Also the extension from classical information technology into the quantum regime is explored. By exploiting coherent quantum superposition states of spins, which resemble implementations of the famous Schroedinger's cat, it may be possible to provide essential contributions to the areas of inherently secure quantum communication or quantum computing, in which problems can be solved with unprecedented speed.

Within this initiative several promising candidate systems are explored such as semiconductor-ferromagnet hybrids, combinations of plasmonic and semiconducting structures or polariton condensates, which are studied by innovative spectroscopies that are developed and adapted for these systems. The experimental efforts are accompanied by detailed theoretical calculations. The activities have turned out to be so successful that both MegaGrants have joined forces in an International Collaborative Research Center titled "Coherent manipulation of interacting spin excitations in tailored semiconductors" funded by the Russian Foundation of Basic Research and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is operating since beginning 2015. Being the first initiative of this kind and size between Russia and Germany, this research center will be presented with respect to its mission that in particular includes training of a new generation of scientific leaders in the field. This target shall be achieved by an intense exchange of PhD students and postdoctorial researchers between St. Petersburg and Dortmund. The exchange will be the basis for obtaining a sustainable leading position of the initiative in the international research community. This ambition will be underlined by presenting the first results obtained in the research center, published in leading scientific journals.