Curiosity Driven Basic Research

Curiosity Driven Basic Research

Spin illustration. Illustration

At the very root of research is the curiosity of a researcher.

For some, research is an innate passion, while others develop it over time. The work at the center itself is one that does not have a definitive end, requiring all involved to focus on the long-term potential for the research.

In retrospect, the frontier of research is often described as moving forward in giant steps by remarkable individuals, but many researchers acknowledge the numerous smaller and crucial wiggly steps by many groups as equally important. This sentiment is central to QuSpin.

In our aim to realize the full potential of the electron, our researchers engage in creative ideas that sometimes set them in motion along seemingly random walks. By engaging on several high-risk projects in different directions, we believe our skilled personnel will find something extraordinary interesting, but we do not always know in which direction. Our walks are not entirely random, though. We increase our chances of groundbreaking findings by extending current collaborations and cultivating new relationships with top international researchers.

We are actively encouraging the focus of training the minds of those working with them to facilitate intuitiveness, presence to foresee the questions that lay ahead to answer, and the possible directions that can be explored.

 

Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU

 

Our focus is to develop frontier knowledge in both theoretical and experimental disciplines.

Nanoscale engineering facilitates the creation of new materials and material combinations where the electron spin and other quantum variables behave and can be controlled in new ways. We want to unravel the intriguing properties of these novel systems to further our understanding of quantum physics and enable new uses with less energy loss in electronic devices.

 

Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU

 

We are building up two new labs with advanced equipment.

We want to be able to verify the theoretical models through experiment, as well as growing new materials with unprecedented and superior properties for transport of electric signals across longer distances. The synergetic interplay between theoretical developments and experiments will open new doors for the understanding and utilization of the bizarre nature of quantum physics indevices.

Spintronics is already pushing the data storage revolution. Through developments of new theories, datamodeling, and experimentation, it is our goal to create new concepts for the utilization of spin and pseudo-spin quantum states in low-dissipation systems. The aim is to be pioneers in controlling these states electronically using nanostructured combinations of magnetic insulators, topological insulators, andsuperconductors.

One of the breakthroughs, covered in our Nature article, and once considered a near impossibility, is the passing of a spin current through hematite, the most common ingredient in rust, an antiferromagnetic insulator, and to have it re-emerge into another metal. Arne Brataas further elaborates, “This is far in the field of nanoelectronics. The research opens the door to the new use of antiferromagnetic insulators in spintronics and electronics with very little energy loss.”

 

Model: Showing the crystal structure of the antiferromagnetic CuFeS2.
Model: Showing the crystal structure of the antiferromagnetic CuFeS2. Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU.

Curiosity

Light bulb. Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU
Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU