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Advancing quantum technology with spintronics

Sabine Richert awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation

Freiburg, Jun 28, 2023

Chemist Dr Sabine Richert of the University of Freiburg has been awarded the 2023 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation. Richert conducts research at the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Physical Chemistry and heads an Emmy Noether junior research group there. Each year, the German Research Foundation honors outstanding researchers who are at an early stage of their scientific career with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize.

Richert works in the field of molecular spintronics, a new branch of nanoelectronics at the interface between physics and chemistry. Spin is a property of unpaired electrons that plays an important role in both organic and inorganic materials, determining their magnetic properties. With her basic research, Richert wants to understand multi-spin systems and decode the link between their molecular structure and the resulting physical and chemical properties. “Through light excitation, we initiate different spin states in molecules and study the factors influencing the spin dynamics with the help of various spectroscopy techniques. This is an important basis for developing components for molecular spintronics,” says Richert.

Spintronics plays an important role in advancing developments in the field of quantum technology, for instance. By changing the spin, information can be stored in molecules. “Organic spintronics offers us the chance of discovering how we need to change molecules and their magnetic properties in order to use them successfully for specific purposes, for example, for information processing in quantum computers or to increase the efficiency of optoelectronic devices,” says Richert.

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize comes with a prize money of 200,000 euros, which Richert can now use over the next three years for further research work. The prize will be awarded on October 16, 2023 in Berlin.


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