Andreas Heinrich awarded Heinrich Rohrer Medal (Grand Medal)

JUNE 26, 2020

QNS director, Andreas Heinrich has been awarded the Heinrich Rohrer Medal (Grand Medal). The Japan Society of Vacuum and Surface Science selected Heinrich "for his ground-breaking development of scanning tunneling microscope methods to study the spin properties of magnetic atoms on surfaces for revealing the quantum nature of the magnetism at the atomic scale".

Professor Heinrich is a world-leading researcher in the field of quantum measurements at the atomic-scale in solids. He designed and constructed a low-temperature ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope to provide the energy resolution required to measure a spin excitation of an atom and the Zeeman splitting of a free electron. It paved the way for key scientific breakthroughs to follow, including:

  • Spin Excitation Spectroscopy;
  • An all-electric pump-probe technique for measuring the lifetimes of spin excitations of those atoms;
  • A novel method that enables Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) measurements of individual atoms with the STM.

The significance of Heinrich’s achievement is that it opened the door not only to the study of the spin coherent properties of atoms on surfaces, but also the coherent control of atomic-scale quantum systems. These can be engineered to have desirable functionality and then assembled using the atomic manipulation abilities of the STM.

The prize was established in 2013 by the Japan Society of Vacuum and Surface Science in collaboration with: IBM Research - Zurich, Swiss Embassy in Japan, and Ms. Rohrer. The award is awarded to people who have great achievement in nanoscience and nanotechnology fields. The Grand Medal is awarded to researchers who have made distinguished achievements in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology based on surface science, and through this have made significant progress in science and technology.

“I’ve felt a special connection to Heinrich Rohrer and was honored to speak at his memorial several years ago. To be recognized in this way and awarded this medal bearing his name is moving.” The medal is awarded every three years. Previous winners are long-time luminaries in the field, Joe Stroccio and Roland Wiesendanger.

The medal ceremony will be held at ISSS-9 in Takamatsu, Japan, where the winners will deliver award lecture/talks. The date of ISSS-9 was postponed from November 15-19, 2020 to the following year due to COVID 19.