Eleven million euros for spin research: Collaborative research center of Kaiserslautern and Mainz will be funded for another four years

Professor Martin Aeschlimann
Professor Dr. Martin Aeschlimann, spokesman of the collaborative research center. Photo by RPTU, Hans-Georg Merkel

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (CRC/TRR) “Spin+X – Spin in its collective environment” with eleven million euros for a further four years. It is coordinated by the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU), and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is also involved. A research team from physics and chemistry is dedicated to fundamental spin phenomena. These are quantum mechanical phenomena that enable the development of magnetic properties in various materials. The aim is to transfer these findings into practical applications, such as components for memory chips.

We owe the fact that we are now able to stream music and videos despite immense amounts of data, or that cars brake safely thanks to anti-lock braking systems, to the constant progress in spin research. The findings from this research area have been continuously incorporated into the development of new technologies for many years. Another example is the formative role that spin research has played in the development of hard drives since the dawn of the computer age, and how it influences the evolution of modern magnetic memory chips and sensors today.

In expert circles, the term “spin” refers to the intrinsic angular momentum of a quantum particle, be it an electron or proton, as Professor Dr. Martin Aeschlimann, spokesman for the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) at the RPTU in Kaiserslautern, explains: “Spin is a purely quantum mechanical phenomenon and forms the basis for all magnetic phenomena.” This finding becomes particularly important when it comes to fast and efficient storage of large amounts of data, as well as the development of advanced magnetic sensors used in mobile devices and vehicles.

The research team in Kaiserslautern and Mainz devotes its work to the entire range of spin research. This covers a spectrum from fundamental physical questions to functional and technologically oriented projects. An example of this is the development of innovative components that use spin waves as a transmission carrier to transfer data.

Another central focus of the Collaborative Research Center is on promoting young scientists. The integrated “Spin+X Young Researcher College” enables young researchers to receive comprehensive training both in their field and in an interdisciplinary manner. This training opportunity is enabled by the close cooperation between the various working groups at both locations.

In the third funding period, special attention will be paid to the preparation and storage of research data in accordance with the FAIR principles, which stand for findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability. A separate sub-project will be dedicated to this topic. In close cooperation with the FAIRmat consortium of the NFDI (National Research Data Infrastructure), the results of the “Spin+X” research are to be made available to the scientific community and future research projects in this area.

The Transregio Collaborative Research Center “Spin+X – spin in its collective environment” was first approved in 2016. It is currently in its second funding period (2020 to the end of 2023). The third phase of the project starts in January 2024.

“This is a great success for spin research in Rhineland-Palatinate. I congratulate everyone involved in Kaiserslautern and Mainz,” says Professor Dr. Werner Thiel, Vice President for Research at the RPTU in Kaiserslautern. “At the RPTU in Kaiserslautern, we bundle the work on spin research in our own research building, the Laboratory for Advanced Spin Engineering, or LASE for short. Here, researchers get to the bottom of spin phenomena across disciplines and thus lay the foundation for future key technologies.”

The Collaborative Research Center is firmly integrated into the research initiative of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate at both locations. This initiative aims to promote cutting-edge research and offer universities the opportunity to build their profile.

About Collaborative Research Centers of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university-based research institutions, established for up to 12 years, in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research programme.

They allow researchers to tackle innovative, challenging, complex and long-term research undertakings through the coordination and concentration of individuals and resources within the applicant universities. They therefore enable institutional priority area development and structural development.

The CRC/Transregio (TRR) is jointly applied for and supported by two or three universities. It enables close cooperation between these universities and the researchers there, including the sharing of resources. The contributions of the applicant university partners are essential, complementary and synergistic for the common research goal.
More under: www.dfg.de/foerderung/programme/koordinierte_programme/sfb/

For questions:
Dr.-Ing. Aneta Daxinger and Dr. Matthias Klein
Management CRC/TRR Spin+X
Phone: +49 (0)631 205-3576
E-mail: spin_gf[at]uni-kl.de

Professor Martin Aeschlimann
Professor Dr. Martin Aeschlimann, spokesman of the collaborative research center. Photo by RPTU, Hans-Georg Merkel