20.11.2015 – New Collaborative Research Project on Spin Phenomena approved by DFG

At the meeting of the DFG senate, the new collaborative research centre (Sonderforschungsbereich - SFB) on spin phenomena (Spin+X) was approved. The Sinova Group takes part in this large scale project which unites the 30 leading groups in spintronics and spin - related research from Physics, Chemistry and Engineering at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the TU Kaiserslautern. The project is initially funded with 12 Mio. Euros for 4 years and can be extended up to 12 years.

For more information read the JGU press release.

16.11.2015 – Visit from Maria Isabel Alomar Bennassar

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Foto: Sabrina Hopp

We have the pleasure to host Maria Isabel Alomar Bennassar from the University of the Balearic Islands as our guest. Maria Isabel has been studying transport in graphene with spin orbit coupling and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on thermoelectric transport in spintronic systems. She received a mobility scholarship for scientists from "La Caixa" which she is using to visit SPICE for a five weeks scientific stay and collaborate with the INSPIRE group.

23.10.2015 – "Spin Orbit Coupling and Spin Mechanics" Workshop


On October 23rd and 24th, SPICE hosted the 29th REIMEI and ERATO-SQR workshop. The organisers Junichi Ieda and Jairo Sinova brought together leading theorists and experimentalists to work on effects of the spin-orbit interaction and the coupling of the spin and lattice degrees of freedom in magnetic nanostructures.

Being an efficient spin current detector and generating so-called spin-orbit torques on proximity magnets, the spin Hall effect has moved into the mainstream of magnetism. The electrical and thermal actuation of the magnetization of insulators with extremely high quality factors of the magnetization dynamics has focused attention on the bosonic degrees of freedom in spintronics and the importance of the spin-lattice and spin-rotation couplings.

The scope of the workshop covered the topics:

  • The magnon-phonon interaction in a magnetic insulator (YIG) to better understand acoustically induced spin pumping and the spin Seebeck effect.
  • Materials with large spin-orbit interaction examined by combining density functional theory in the local density approximation with the quantum Monte Carlo technique.
  • The effects of spin-orbit interaction on the magnetization dynamics of ferro-, feri-, and antiferro-magnets and their heterostructures.
  • Spin current generation in solids and fluids.

For more information,visit the workshop website.


Photos: Sabrina Hopp

29.09.2015 – SPICE Oktoberfest


Thanks to an initiative of Denise and the help of our universally talented student assistant and Bavaria enthusiast Alex, SPICE and the INSPIRE group hosted their own Oktoberfest and likely the first Oktoberfest in the history of Spintronics. From the traditional Oktoberfest-Bier, an especially tasty brew that is only available during the Oktoberfest season to the appropriate Bavarian music and Weißwurst (white sausage), all the essentials had been organised. Thus it is not surprising that, even if neither binge drinking nor any dancing on the tables were observed (as customary at the original event), it was a great party. In the midst of a public which was just as international as the one in Munich, our guest Barry Zink had the opportunity to experience some German local colour.

Apart from Barry Zink, Gerd Passler and Friedrich Kayser were our special guests.
Photos: Sabrina Hopp


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29.09.2015 – Visit from Barry Zink

Photos: Sabrina Hopp

On September 29th we had the pleasure to welcome Barry Zink from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver. He is an expert on micro- and nanofabrication techniques used to control and measure the thermal, magnetic and electronic properties of systems in order to study the fundamental physics of new materials. We thank Barry for an inspiring day of scientific exchange and a very interesting talk on Thermal Spin Injection in Non-Local Spin Valves, Spin Transport in Native FM-Oxides, and Large Spin Hall Angle in Gold Thin Films.

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14.09.2015 – Workshop on Spin Transport and Spin Pumping in Organics

From September 14 to September 15, our workshop on spin transport and spin pumping in organics took place at Schloß Waltdhausen. The workshop brought together scientists from the fields of spintronics and organics to explore possible synergies. It focussed on understanding and manipulating spin and charge transport through pi-conjugated polymers and exploiting its many possibilities.  The workshop is closely linked to the focus of the recent ERC Synergy grant “Spin-charge conversion and spin caloritronics at hybrid organic-inorganic interfaces”.

Its program covered topics in organics (synthesis, charge transport, etc), the current status of organic spintronics, inorganic based spintronics. It included presentations of the latest results as well as some tutorial like talks.


Photo: Sabrina Hopp
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26.08.2015 – Joint Group Meeting with Kläui Lab

INSPIRE and the Kläui Lab are now having monthly meetings to intensify the exchange between the theorists and experimentalists of the institute bringing together the two perspectives on nanoelectronic phenomena in order to generate synergies and facilitate intensified future collaborations.
The talks that were held at this month's joint meeting of the INSPIRE Group and the Kläui Lab were:

Kai Litzius: Progress and Problems – Skyrmions and their Dynamics in Thin Magnetic Layers

Jacob Gailes: Ab-initio calculations of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction and transport in

Exotic Magnetic Systems

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17.08.2015 – SPICE Workshop: Magnetic Adatoms as Building Blocks for Quantum Magnetism

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This week the SPICE Workshop on Magnetic Adatoms as Building Blocks for Quantum Magnetism took place. Scientific Organizers Cristian Batista, Joaquín Fernández-Rossier and Sander Otte and SPICE co-organizer Jairo Sinova brought together the communities of quantum magnetism and surface nanomagnetism, two areas that have shared little common activity so far. However, recent developments promise new potential synergies. Innovations in scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) now permit probing and fabricating spin chains and many other artificial spin systems, providing a new ground to explore quantum magnetism phenomena. This week, at Schloß Waldthausen, the participants from the quantum magnetism community learned about the exciting new possibilities to explore quantum magnetism in nano engineered spin chains. The surface magnetism community got insight into the fascinating physical concepts that are being explored in quantum magnetism. Together they exchanged ideas and shared their scientific perspectives to advance this research front. The program lasted 4 days and included three types of talks:

1. School-like invited lectures, 50+10 minute discussion, tutorial style covering well established results, trying to reach the non-experts.
2. Workshop-like 25+5m invited talks, presenting results that are potentially appealing for the two communities.
3. Contributed talks (15+5m) with recent developments in these rapidly evolving fields.

There was a total of 7 tutorials, distributed over the program and followed by focused shorter talks. In addition, poster sessions were an important part of the program.

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Photos: Sabrina Hopp
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03.08.2015 – Young Research Leaders Group Workshop


Since August 3rd, the SPICE Workshop for young research leaders from various fields within condensed matter physics has been taking place. Last Sunday, the elite of the next generation from diverse Institutes around the globe met in Kloster Johannesburg for a new kind of workshop. It is the first international and interdisciplinary conference exclusively highlighting young research leaders and their research. The workshop format includes detailed introductory talks followed by more technical presentations as well as group interaction. As it was particularly important to the organisers to provide enough time for the participants to fruitfully interact, the second week of the meeting is completely dedicated to studying and learning from each other in groups. This format combined with the unique venue of Kloster Johannisburg provides an ideal platform for young researchers to share their knowledge and ideas across disciplines, start new and increasing collaborations, and define the questions and topics of tomorrow. The participants are researchers, who are still at early stages of their careers but already have highly regarded research profiles.

The main theme of this first workshop is to explore frontiers with strongly correlated and topological mesoscopic systems. The specific topics include:

  • nonlinear, helical, spiral Luttinger liquids and quantum Hall edge states;
  • uperconductor/topological insulator (or quantumHall) nanostructures
  • many-body localization
  • 2D physics at oxide interfaces
  • 3D quantum materials: Dirac, Weyl , Kondo, 3He, Spin liquids, etc

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29.06.2015 – SPICE Workshop: Bad Metals in Motts Systems


From June 29 to July 2, the second official SPICE Workshop took place in Schloß Waldthausen. An international group of 51 participants from different disciplines came together in the scenic castle to share their expertise on a new class of materials known as bad metals and its behavior in Mott Systems. This fundamental emergent physics topic is now being applied in the design and fabrication of new devices such as resistance-switching devices, novel power transistors, as well as “synaptic” devices that mimic the function of the neuron, to name just a few of the possibilities. Yet, The so-called “Bad-metal” behavior phenomenon is often viewed as one of the key unresolved signatures of strong correlation physics. Thirty-two invited speakers from different European countries, Japan, the USA, China, India and Brasil contributed their perspectives on the fundamental issues associated with the new type of phase transition observed in Bad Metals, and its many consequences for material science and technology. Furthermore, 19 poster presentations and four tutorials were given.