"Wolfgang Wernsdorfer is the perfect match for KIT", the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka, stated. "It is one of our objectives to make essential contributions in the areas of energy, mobility, and information for coping with the global challenges of mankind. We are very happy to have Mr. Wernsdorfer, an internationally renowned expert in the areas of electronics, spin physics, and quantum computting, in Karlsruhe in the future."
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer will come from the Institut NÉEL of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Grenoble, France, back to KIT in Germany. He is specialized in molecular quantum spintronics, an area of experimental solid-state physics at the interface to chemistry and materials sciences. Wolfgang Wernsdorfer is among the leading experts worldwide for molecular nanomagnets and their use in quantum computer systems. With his pioneer experiments, Wolfgang Wernsdorfer determined and further developed the area of quantum magnetism. He found how molecular magnets behave under the laws of quantum mechanics. Based on this finding, he was able to build electronic circuits with single molecules, in which electric current can be controlled by the magnetization of the molecule.
Wolfgang Wernsdorfers next goal is to integrate extremely small and quick molecular quantum processors into the highly advanced micro-electronic chip technology. This would allow quantum computers to be developed, which are based on magnetic molecules and nuclear spins. If connected in an appropriate way and number, they would be far superior to conventional computers in terms of speed and energy efficiency. The ultimate objective is to use molecular nanomagnets coupled to semiconductor transistors in future quantum computers.
Presently, four spin states can be controlled by quantum mechanics in Wolfgang Wernsdorfer's nanomagnets. With this, one building block of a quantum computer is given: The qubit. "It is my vision for the future to test how many cubits can be connected and how these quantum systems can be applied", Wolfgang Wernsdorfer stated. He will be member of the staff of KIT's Physikalisches Institut and plans to cooperate in an interdisciplinary manner with the Institute of Nanotechnology and the Institute for Theoretical Solid-state Physics.
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer was born in 1966 in Germany and started to study physics at the University of Würzburg after he had passed vocational training to become an electrician and a higher vocational school. He completed his studies at the renowned 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 NÉEL of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), where he has held the position of Directeur de Recherche Première Classe since 2008. From June 01, 2016, he will establish the first centre for molecular quantum spintronics of its kind at KIT.
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer was granted a number of high-ranking honours and awards, such as the Agilent Europhysics Prize, the Olivier Kahn International Award, an ERC Advanced Grant of the European Research Council, or the Prix Spécial of the Société Française de Physique.