Jan Lüning heads HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics
The HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics, newly founded on 1 May, develops experimental techniques and infrastructures to investigate the dynamics of elementary microscopic processes in novel material systems. This will help to optimise functional materials for sustainable technologies.
Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning is an internationally recognised expert in research with synchrotron radiation. Before joining HZB in 2018, he was a professor at Sorbonne University in Paris and worked at the French synchrotron SOLEIL.
Three groups belong to the institute: Dr Ulrich Schade's group operates the IRIS infrared beamline at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source. He examines molecular processes in novel functional materials that enable, for example, energy conversion or catalytic water splitting.
The group "Ultra-Short-Time Laser Spectroscopy" led by Dr. Iain Wilkinson works in the laser laboratories ULLAS and LIDUX and investigates the dynamics of reactions in aqueous solutions and at aqueous interfaces on ultra-short time scales.
The third group, led by Dr. Christian Schüssler-Langeheine and Dr. Niko Pontius, operates the Femtoslicing Facility at BESSY II and conducts research on materials with complex phase transitions that have the potential to make electronic and magnetic devices smaller, faster and more energy efficient.
The institute's research activities are part of the Helmholtz Association's Programme-Oriented Funding (POF IV) in the Research Field Matter.
Spintronics at BESSY II: Domain walls in magnetic nanowires
Magnetic domains walls are known to be a source of electrical resistance due to the difficulty for transport electron spins to follow their magnetic texture. This phenomenon holds potential for utilization in spintronic devices, where the electrical resistance can vary based on the presence or absence of a domain wall. A particularly intriguing class of materials are half metals such as La2/3Sr1/3MnO3 (LSMO) which present full spin polarization, allowing their exploitation in spintronic devices. Still the resistance of a single domain wall in half metals remained unknown. Now a team from Spain, France and Germany has generated a single domain wall on a LSMO nanowire and measured resistance changes 20 times larger than for a normal ferromagnet such as Cobalt.
Fractons as information storage: Not yet quite tangible, but close
A new quasiparticle with interesting properties has appeared in solid-state physics - but so far only in the theoretical modelling of solids with certain magnetic properties. An international team from HZB and Freie Universität Berlin has now shown that, contrary to expectations, quantum fluctuations do not make the quasiparticle appear more clearly, but rather blur its signature.
Graphene on titanium carbide triggers a novel phase transition
Researchers have discovered a Lifshitz-transition in TiC, driven by a graphene overlayer, at the photon source BESSY II. Their study sheds light on the exciting potential of 2D materials such as graphene and the effects they can have on neighboring materials through proximity interactions.