NWO ENW – XL grant for research into razor-thin magnets

News - 08 September 2022 - Communication TNW

Last July, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has assigned a large-scale grant to a consortium of physicists of the TU Delft, the University of Groningen and Utrecht University within the Open Competition of the NWO Domain Science (ENW).  The fundamental research project of the consortium will give insight into spectacular, newly-discovered magnets with a thickness of only a few atoms.

Main applicant Toeno van der Sar (Quantum Nanoscience) and co-applicants Yaroslav Blanter and Herre van der Zant will receive three PhD positions and a budget for materials for the research project, with a total sum of about 966.000 euros. The funding instrument is meant to finance curiosity-driven, fundamental research and thus to strengthen and/or expand excellent, challenging and innovative lines of research. The NWO has assigned 21 project applications in total within the Open Competition ENW-XL.

Recently discovered, atom-thick magnetic crystals are causing worldwide excitement in physics today. Their magnetism can indeed be very well controlled, which offers possibilities for information technology on the very smallest scale. This project focuses on generating, controlling and detecting a gaseous state of tiny magnetic waves inside these materials, in order to build the first two-dimensional magnet wave transistor.

A magnetic wave transistor: By electronically driving the minuscule magnets that are present in each atom of the transistor – the so-called spins – the researchers can switch a tiny magnetic wave on and off. To understand and control this two-dimensional magnetic wave transport is a primary goal of the research.

Toeno van der Sar

Associate Professor

Yaroslav Blanter


Herre van der Zant