Niklas Friedrich gets GEFES 2023 Award for best experimental thesis
The Condensed Matter Physics Division (GEFES) of the Spanish Royal Society of Physics (RSEF) has awarded the researcher Niklas Friedrich of nanoGUNE’s Nanoimaging Group the prize for best experimental PhD thesis in condensed matter physics, for his thesis entitled Electronic transport through suspended graphene nanoribbons using a scanning tunneling microscope.
Molecular spintronics is a technology that aims to use the electron spin of organic molecules as the basic unit of information. This thesis studies electronic transport through graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and demonstrates electronic access to spin states created by special units embedded in GNRs.
The results of this work constitute a proof of concept of spintronic components at the molecular level and deepen the understanding of the underlying physical effects of electron transport through graphene nanoribbons, as well as those relating to the origin of the magnetism of graphene nanoribbons.
Niklas Friedrich studied physics at the RWTH Aachen University and the Jülich Research Center, both in Germany, and at the University of Santiago de Chile. After completing his master's degree in experimental condensed matter physics, he began his PhD thesis at nanoGUNE in order to further his skills in the use of the tunneling microscope. “I am passionate about scientific research, about getting to know the amazing fundamental processes of nature and increasing humanity's collective knowledge of how our universe works. I am fascinated by the tunneling microscope, especially its ability to manipulate individual molecules in a controlled way at the nanoscale, i.e. at the intrinsic scale of atoms. I was in no doubt that I wanted to continue working with such a tool and I decided to embark on a PhD at nanoGUNE with the Ikerbasque Research Professor Nacho Pascual, investigating the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons with atomic precision,” said the researcher. Right now he is continuing his research in the Nanoimaging Group at nanoGUNE in the field of graphene nanostructures and their spintronic properties.