Wolfgang Wernsdorfer

Experimental Solid State Physics

Wolfgang Wernsdorfer’s specialism is experimental solid state physics at the interface with chemistry and material science. He is one of the world’s leading experts on nanomagnets and their use in quantum spintronics. Already as a doctoral researcher at the Low Temperature Laboratory in Grenoble, he developed the nano-SQUID, a breakthrough device allowing him to measure the magnetic properties of single nanostructures and molecules. Wernsdorfer discovered the role played by quantum laws in molecular magnetism and was thus able to build electronic circuits in which the electric current is controlled by the magnetism in the molecule. One of his most recent ambitions is to integrate tiny, molecular quantum processors in the state-of-the-art CMOS technology used in microelectronics. This could lead to nanomagnets being used in future quantum computers.

Nominating University: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Professor Dr Wolfgang Wernsdorfer

Born in Germany in 1966, Wolfgang Wernsdorfer initially trained as an electrician, then proceeded to study physics at the University of Würzburg and completed his education at the elite École normale supérieure in Lyon, France. In 1993, he became a doctoral researcher at the Low Temperature Laboratory and the Laboratoire de Magnetism in Grenoble, France – two of the institutes that formed today's Institut NEEL where he has held the position of Directeur de recherche 1ère classe since 2008. The honours and awards he has received include the Agilent Europhysics Prize granted by the European Physical Society, the Olivier Kahn International Award, granted by the European Institute of Molecular Magnetism, a European Research Council Advanced Grant and the Prix Spécial from the Société Française de Physique. In June 2016 he took up his position as a Humboldt Professor in Karlsruhe.