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Methods and Infrastructure

Science in the Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) rests upon strong fundamental research activities and an exceptional range of instruments and experimental approaches as well as theoretical methods.

The institute operates a unique processing line for new gate materials and strained silicon, both of which are important building blocks for even smaller and more powerful transistors for energy-efficient mobile devices such as notebooks and cell phones. As a major investment, PGI is currently setting up the Helmholtz Nanoelectronic Facility (HNF) – a modern clean-room centre devoted to the development of materials, structures and processes in the nanometre regime for the chips of the future.

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Method development is also a priority. We are therefore continuously expanding and updating the existing suite of methods to meet future challenges in the investigation of novel materials and new phenomena. At the same time, the expertise and knowledge acquired through our fundamental research is used to develop novel technologies and device concepts in information technology.

The following methods and infrastructure are but a selection of the current spectrum available at PGI:

  • a range of qualitative and quantitative models and methods, e.g. measures and witnesses of quantum entanglement, group theoretic classifications of topological order, density functional-based techniques, and modern many-body approaches, which profit from supercomputer access via the Institute for Advanced Simulation
  • a wide variety of preparation and synthesis tools, ranging from the single-crystal growth of complex oxides to a set of dedicated thin-film growth techniques
  • various top-down and bottom-up nanostructuring techniques
  • chemical synthesis laboratories for molecular structures
  • laboratories for the preparation of molecular and cellular biological entities
  • a full suite of analytical techniques and dedicated experiments for the investigation of physical properties and phenomena including standard approaches from materials science, solid-state physics and surface physics
  • highly specialized techniques in spectroscopy, microscopy, and scattering, also making use of large-scale facilities
  • several types of high-resolution and spin-polarized electron spectroscopy, scanning tunnelling spectroscopy, and pump-probe spectroscopy involving ultrafast laser sources
  • atomic level scanning probe microscopy including spin-polarized methods
  • time-resolved microscopy exploiting synchrotron radiation
  • scattering experiments with synchrotron radiation from the XUV to the hard X-ray regime
  • aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy via the Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C)
  • neutron-based scattering techniques via the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)

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