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Brochures and Reports

Scientific Reports from 1998 onwards


 Interim Report 2012 (PDF, 10 MB)

Our mission is the undertaking of basic research for future information and communication technology.  In keeping with this objective, we at the Peter Grünberg Institute research into new physical concepts and materials and operate a state-of-the-art platform for the development of process engineering, instruments and innovative nanoelectronic materials systems.  Since 2009, as part of the Helmholtz Association’s Programme-Oriented Funding (POF), our activities have centred on the programme “Basic Research for Information Technologies of the Future”, within the Helmholtz research area of “Key Technologies”. More detailed information about our institute, research programme, our scientific-technical infrastructure, as well as selected highlights from 2009 through to 2011 and other topics of interest can be found in the “PGI Interim Report 2009-2011”.


IFF Scientific Report 2009

2009 has been a very eventful year for the IFF. To name but some highlights:
In March, the Peter Grünberg Centre officially opened. It constitutes the central platform for basic research in the field of nanoelectronics in the Jülich-Aachen region, and the first research institution in the field of nanoelectronics in Germany that is fully open to external users.
The IFF neutron researchers have secured funding worth around € 1.1 million as part of the 7th EU Framework Programme for the exploitation and further development of neutron scattering for European science. At the SNS in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the strongest neutron source in the world, a state-of-the-art neutron spin echo (NSE) spectrometer was inaugurated by the JCNS in November.
Also in November, work began with a groundbreaking ceremony for an extension to the Ernst-Ruska-Centre (ER-C) on the campus of Forschungszentrum Jülich. It will house a unique electron microscope with a world-beating resolution of 50 billionths of a millimetre.
Last, but not least, the "IFF Spring School" celebrated its 40th year running.
Please read on in the annual report 2009, where you will further find a typical cross section through the research conducted at the IFF in 2009, within the Helmholtz research programmes "Condensed Matter Physics", "Information Technology with Nanoelectronic Systems", and "Large-scale Facilities for Research with Photons, Neutrons, and Ions".

Persistent Identifier: urn:nbn:de:0001-2010051905

ER-C Brochure: revised edition 2009

With the Ernst Ruska Centre (ER-C), Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University are running a competence centre for atomic resolution electron microscopy and spectroscopy on an internationally high level since January 2004. The ER-C develops scientific and technical infrastructure and methods for materials research for today and tomorrow, and is the first national user centre for ultrahigh-resolution electron microscopy. It provides researchers from science and industry with access to the most powerful electron microscopes currently available and guarantees competent assistance.

A 14-page brochure offers an insight into the portfolio of the ER-C. In-house research projects are presented alongside the services available to external users. The focus lies on a popular representation of the challenges coming along with microscopy performed on the verge of electron-optical resolution limits.


IFF Scientific Report 2008

The annual report is intended to inform the international scientific community, including our scientific advisory board and the Helmholtz Association about the research activities of the IFF during the past year. We have attempted to present a typical cross section through the research conducted at the IFF, within the Helmholtz Research Programmes "Condensed Matter Physics", "Information Technology with Nanoelectronic Systems", and "Large-scale Facilities for Research with Photons, Neutrons, and Ions".

Title left: Aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy image of a thin film of the relaxor ferroelectric Ca0.28Ba0.72Nb2O6 on a SrTiO3 substrate (in false colours). Both the amorphous area on the left, and the complex structure of the material are clearly resolved.

Title right: The flow behavior of red blood cells in microcapillaries and microfluidic devices is governed by the deformability of the cells, their hydrodynamic interactions, and thermally induced cell membrane undulations. These mechanisms have been studied in silico. The state-of-the-art simulations predict that, at physiological hematocrit values, 3 distinct phases exist.

Persistent Identifier: urn:nbn:de:0001-00462

Peter Grünberg: Nobelpreis für Physik 2007

Extract from the foreword: "The year 2007 was a particularly important year for Forschungszentrum Jülich and Prof. Peter Grünberg. With this book, we not only want to honour Grünberg but also to thank him for his discoveries, which he made here in Jülich. What was to become known as the giant magnetoresistance effect (GMR effect) was discovered by Grünberg in 1988 within the framework of basic research on magnetism. A read head for hard disk drives based on this discovery quickly conquered the world of industrial applications. Since 1997, the GMR effect has been used almost exclusively to read out information stored magnetically on hard drives. With more than five billion read heads produced to date, statistically there is one GMR sensor for almost every member of the human race."
Contents: Visiting Peter Grünberg; From Basic Research to a Great Variety of Applications; The Lab Notebook - Looking back to 1985; Awards, Honours, CV; Forschungszentrum Jülich and JuLab

For Download only

Persistent Identifier: urn:nbn:de:0001-00485

IFF Scientific Report 2007 (German/English)

Researchers at Jülich and Hamburg have discovered that in the case of magnetic structures nature prefers one form rather than its mirror image in thin metallic structures. Title picture, left: Homochiral magnetic order in a one-atomic layer thick film of Mn atoms on a W(110) surface. The local magnetic moments at Mn atoms shown as red and green arrows are aligned antiferromagnetically between nearest-neighbour atoms. Superimposed is a spiral pattern of unirotational direction. The picture shows a left-rotating cycloidal spiral, which was found in nature. The bottom picture shows the mirror image, a right rotating spiral, which does not exist. The work results from a collaboration between the IFF and the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Hamburg. The results have been published in Nature 447, p190 (2007).

Persistent Identifier: urn:nbn:de:0001-00493

IFF Scientific Report 2006

Scientists of the Institute of Solid State Research (IFF) have found a magnetic switching method which achieves the fastest speed ever reported by applying an external magnetic field. The figure shows the emission of spin-waves during the switching process.
In disk-shaped small magnets of about a micrometre the magnetization can naturally align to form vortex structures. These vortices have a centre called the "core", a region spanning about ten nanometres - the length of less than one hundred atoms. The vortex core is a region where the magnetization points perpendicular to the surface, either "up" or "down". This naturally lends itself to applications in binary data storage, especially as the magnetization direction is very stable. This stability is caused by the strongest force present in magnets, the so-called exchange interaction. Only by exploiting this force does it become possible to flip the core without applying very strong fields - that is what the scientists discovered with the help of computer simulations.

Persistent Identifier: urn:nbn:de:0001-00476

IFF Brochure

This publication is intended to give in-depth information about IFF's activities. You are invited to discover what makes research so fascinating and what IFF's contributions are. On 28 pages the brochure portrays the institute, its strategy, competences and instrumentation. We report on special achievements and the opportunities open to students and trainees. The brochure focuses on six interlinked research topics since our strengths are interdisciplinarity and cooperation. The topics range from innovative information technologies and winterized diesel fuel to methods for the computation of solids and liquids.




IFF Ergebnisbericht 2004 / 2005

Research reports

  • Condensed matter Electronic and Magnetic Phenomena from Matter to Materials Soft Matter and Biophysics.
  • Information technology with nanoelectronic systems Magnetroelectronics and Spintronics THz-Electronics Hysteretic Oxide-Based Memories.
  • Large scale facilities for research with photons, neutrons and ions.




IFF Ergebnisbericht 2002 / 2003

When a thin elastic foil with high shear modulus and low bending rigidity is crumpled by an external force, the stretching and bending energies are not distributed uniformly, but condense into localized folds and conical dislocations. A familiar example of such a material is paper. The crumpling process can be studied very well by computer simulations. The picture shows a circular piece of an originally flat, thin elastic sheet which has been compressed by a constant isotropic force to about a third of its original (linear) size. A characteristic pattern of folds has formed, which is shown here in the flat reference state. Colouring is used to indicate the sharpness of the folds where yellow means a nearly flat surface, blue indicates weakly curved regions while strongly curved folds are shown in red.


IFF Scientific Report 2001 / 2002

Polarized neutron diffraction under grazing incidence from an optical grating covered with a nickel layer. Data were obtained on the reflectometer "HADAS" in the neutron guide hall ELLA at the DIDO reactor. The graph shows the count rate in the "up-up" channel (i.e. scattering without change of polarization) as a function of the angle of incidence (abscissa) and exit (ordinate). From the full polarization dependence, structural and magnetic contributions can be separated and the magnetic roughness and shape anisotropy can be determined.





IFF Scientific Report 2000 / 2001

Atomic view of a monatomic film of magnetic manganese atoms deposited on a (110)-oriented tungsten surface, Mn/W(110). The magnetic moments indicated by arrows are arranged in an antiferromagnetic order, a cheauerboard arrangement of red and green atoms. All Mn atoms are chemically and structurally indistinguishable and differ only in the relative orientation of the magnetic moments. The total magnetization is zero. This atomic scale magnetic structure can be detected using a spin-polarized scanning tunnelling microscope (SP-STM).




IFF Scientific Report 1999 / 2000

Topography of polished (100)-surfaces of various single crystals of SrTiO3, obtained by AFM after thermal treatment at ambient pressure. All surfaces exhibit the same characteristic changes compared to the original surface prior to heat treatment, namely the formation of the step-like terraces and the appearance of the droplet-like features on top of the surface.







IFF Scientific Report 1998 / 1999

Atomic view of a complex arrangement of twin boundaries in the electroceramic material barium titanate (BaTiO3). The pseudocolour image shows the phase of a quantum mechanical electron wave function which was reconstructed numerically from a series of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images. In contrast to an image, the interpretation of the quantum mechanical phase is straightforward, because the latter is free from the severe imaging artefacts introduced by the observation instrument.










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