Spin+X – Spin in its collective environment

The Transregional Collaborative Research Center 173 Spin+X investigates spin properties from various perspectives and by connecting several scientific disciplines. Its research encompasses the whole range of spin research spanning from microscopic properties, to emergent spin phenomena and to the coupling to the macroscopic world. This constitutes a new discipline that we refer to as Advanced Spin Engineering, which seeks to create new functionalities based on spin physics. Spin+X builds on an outstanding research infrastructure in physics and chemistry at TUK and JGU, as well as in engineering at TUK, which are at the forefront of spin-related science and technology.


Ten million euros for spin research

CRC spokesperson Professor Dr. Martin Aeschlimann. Photo by Koziel/TUK

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (CRC/TRR) "Spin+X - Spin in its collective environment" for another four years with ten million euros. It is coordinated by the University of Kaiserslautern in close cooperation with the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. A team of researchers from physics, chemistry and engineering investigates fundamental spin phenomena. These are quantum mechanical phenomena that enable magnetic properties in different materials. They are to be applied, for example, in the form of new components for memory chips.

It is for spin research that we can stream music and videos despite the huge amount of data or that we can brake cars safely thanks to the anti-lock braking system. These findings have been incorporated into the development of new technologies for many years. For example, spin research has shaped hard drive development since the beginning of the computer age and today influences the evolution of new magnetic memory chips and sensors.

Scientifically spoken, the term spin is understood to mean the angular momentum of a quantum particle, for example, an electron or proton. "Spin is a purely quantum mechanical phenomenon and forms the basis for all magnetic processes," says CRC spokesperson Professor Dr. Martin Aeschlimann from the University of Kaiserslautern (TUK). This is interesting, for example, for the rapid storage of large amounts of data and for the development of modern magnetic sensors in cell phones and automobiles.

The team in Kaiserslautern and Mainz covers the entire spectrum of spin research within its research areas. These range from fundamental physical questions to functional and technologically oriented work, such as the development of new types of components that use spin waves as information carriers to transmit data.

In addition, the promotion of young researchers is a core interest of the CRC. The integrated "Spin+X Young Researcher College" trains young scientists both professionally and across disciplines. This is possible thanks to the interdisciplinary collaboration of the different working groups at both locations.

But also the inclusion of students in the research is an important cornerstone. And in order to bring the topic of spin closer to the general public, new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, various communication networks and social media are being used as part of the "Spin+X Outreach Project".

The Collaborative Research Center at both locations is closely involved in the Rhineland-Palatinate research initiative, which promotes top-level research and profile building at universities. Accordingly, the Vice President for Research and Technology at the TUK, Professor Dr. Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter, is delighted: “The extension of the CRC Spin+X is an outstanding success and demonstrates our research strength in the field of spin, light and matter. In addition, it stands for the many years of successful cooperation with JGU Mainz in this area. "

The Transregional CRC "Spin+X - Spin in its collective environment" was approved for the first time in 2016. The second funding phase begins in January 2020. It is funded by the DFG with ten million euros. The three departments of Physics, Chemistry and Mechanical and Process Engineering are involved at the TU Kaiserslautern. At the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Institutes for Physics as well as for Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry are involved.

Starting next year, spin research in Kaiserslautern will be bundled in a new research building on the TUK campus, the Laboratory for Advanced Spin Engineering, or LASE for short. Around 100 researchers from physics, chemistry and engineering will investigate spin phenomena there.

Dr.-Ing. Aneta Daxinger, Dr. Linda Hofherr
Management CRC/TRR Spin+X
Phone: 0631 205-3576
Email: spin_gf(at)uni-kl.de

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