From Dublin to Berlin as a Humboldt Research Fellow
Dr. Katarzyna Siewierska joins the group of Prof. Alexander Föhlisch as a postdoctoral Humboldt Research fellow. © Privat
Dr. Katarzyna Siewierska joins the group of Prof. Alexander Föhlisch as a postdoctoral Humboldt Research fellow. She has earned her PhD at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and plans in the next two years to explore the electronic structure and spin dynamics of half-metallic thin films at BESSY II. Understanding these spintronic materials better may pave the way for more energy efficient data storage technologies.
Katarzyna Siewierska describes her project herself very clearly:
A dream material for spintronics would have low/zero net moment, no stray fields, high resonance frequency, low damping and be 100 % spin polarised, combining the best features of a metallic ferromagnet and an antiferromagnet. Such materials have the potential to revolutionise magnetic data storage and data transfer. They are called zero moment half-metals (ZMHM). This new material class was theoretically predicted in 1995, but it took almost 20 years before the first member, Mn2RuxGa, was demonstrated in 2014.
Up to now, the few other examples of ZMHMs are all Mangan-based Heusler alloys, revealing the critical role of Mangan for obtaining the uniquely desirable combination of properties. It is of great research interest to understand why this is so.
Synchrotron radiation-based techniques provide important insights into the electronic and magnetic properties of spintronic materials due to their sensitivity to spin and crystal structure, coupled with element specificity.
In this work we will combine the expertise of researchers at BESSY II in resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) with the high quality ZMHM thin films I fabricated and studied at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) during my thesis. The goal is to confirm the half-metallic band structure of MRG, explore the spin-lattice relaxation and investigating magnon excitations to obtain information about their dispersion and the energy of ferrimagnetic resonance modes.
Catherine Dubourdieu receives ERC Advanced Grant
Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu heads the Institute “Functional Oxides for Energy-Efficient Information Technology” at HZB and is Professor at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry division at Freie Universität Berlin. The physicist and materials scientist specialises in nanometre-sized functional oxides and their applications in information technologies. She has now been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for her research project “LUCIOLE”, which aims at combining ferroelectric polar textures with conventional silicon technologies.
Quantum physicist Jens Eisert receives ERC Advanced Grant
Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert conducts research at the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems at Freie Universität Berlin and heads the joint research group with HZB for quantum computing and simulation. With his award-winning research project "DebuQC", he wants to explore the metaphorical boundary of the classical and quantum worlds. It is already his third ERC grant that Jens Eisert has received. The professor of theoretical quantum physics and his team want to clarify essential research questions about quantum technology and also explore the limits of this promising technology.
Perovskite solar cells from the slot die coater - a step towards industrial production
Solar cells made from metal halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies and their production from liquid inks requires only a small amount of energy. A team led by Prof. Dr. Eva Unger at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is investigating the production process. At the X-ray source BESSY II, the group has analyzed the optimal composition of precursor inks for the production of high-quality FAPbI3 perovskite thin films by slot-die coating. The solar cells produced with these inks were tested under real life conditions in the field for a year and scaled up to mini-module size.