June 2, 2014

Greg Fuchs receives DOE early career award

Greg Fuchs
Fuchs

Greg Fuchs, assistant professor of applied and engineering physics, has received an Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy Office of Science.

Fuchs received $750,000 over five years to support his project, “Time-Resolved Electrical, Optical and Thermal Probes of Topological Spin Textures in Magnetic Nanostructures,” which was selected by the DOE’s Office of Basic Energy.

He will investigate the dynamical motion of recently discovered magnetic “particles” known as skyrmions. Skyrmions are nanoscale magnetic configurations that are distinct from ordinary magnetic states, giving them particle-like properties and a measure of protection against defects. They also move under extremely small applied currents, making them potentially useful for ultra-low-power control of information at the nanoscale.

Progress in understanding skyrmions has been limited by a lack of instrumentation to measure their behavior. Fuchs’ research project will combine advanced nanofabrication, high-frequency electrical measurements, transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy and thermal microscopy to overcome these limitations. The goal is to examine how skyrmions move in response to electrical, thermal and magnetic stimuli.

Now in its fifth year, the DOE program supports the development of research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers, and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Fuchs’ research at Cornell focuses on understanding and controlling spin dynamics in solid-state systems. Drawing from condensed-matter physics, atomic physics and materials engineering, his group strives to develop new optical, electrical and microwave frequency probes of spin dynamics at the nanoscale.

Fuchs’ proposal was one of 36 selected from about 750 submissions.