First in the Czech Republic: Helena Reichlová opens Dioscuri centre

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Solid state physicist Helena Reichlová will establish the Dioscuri Centre for Spin Caloritronics and Magnonics at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences from 1 October 2023. She will look for ways to reduce the exponentially increasing energy consumption in the information technology sector of the future.

The Dioscuri programme was initiated by the Max Planck Society, and in the case of the new centre, which will be funded with up to €1.5 million over five years, the costs will be shared equally between the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

The Future Information Technology Concept

The aim of the Dioscuri Centre is to open up new research directions in altermagnetic materials, which combine the advantages of ferromagnets and antiferromagnets and are being intensively studied at the Institute of Physics of the CAS. The breakthrough results are intended to create a new physical paradigm for sustainable IT devices, but may also have implications for other scientific and technological fields, for example enabling a new class of materials for information technology.

"Sustainability and environmental issues have always been important to me. While spintronics has been intensively studied and is already reducing energy costs in practice, I am fascinated by new future information technology concepts, such as spin-caloritronics and magnonics, which are currently being studied at the fundamental research level. Magnetically ordered materials without external moment, which are the focus of my research, have many advantages for this research direction," said Reichlová.

The Dioscuri Centre will benefit from an international scientific network. On the Czech side, the centre will be part of the Department of Spintronics and Nanoelectronics, which is one of the leading international scientific centres in the field of antiferromagnetic and altermagnetic spintronics. This May, after twelve years, its head, Professor Tomáš Jungwirth, succeeded in winning the ERC Advanced grant category with his project Altermagnetism and Spintronics without Magnetism and Relativity, receiving the highest possible support of €2.5 million. On the German side, the Dioscuri Centre is supported by Professor Sebastian T. B. Goennenwein, who is a world-renowned expert in spin caloritonics and magnonics.

Dioscuri Centre

The Dioscuri programme was initiated by the outgoing President of Max Planck, Martin Stratmann. The programme guarantees researchers autonomy and flexibility, great scientific freedom and connections to international research networks. The aim is to attract outstanding early career researchers to establish Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence at Central and Eastern European research institutions.

The Dioscuri programme will expand to a total of five Dioscuri Centres in the Czech Republic. A second call, also open to researchers from all disciplines and from all over the world, is planned for 2024. 

Helena Reichlová is an experimental physicist specialising in magneto-thermal transport in compensated magnetic systems. She received her PhD in antiferromagnetic spintronics from Charles University in 2016 under the supervision of Vit Novak from the Institute of Physics of the CAS. During her PhD studies, she spent part of her time at Ohio State University as a Fulbright Scholar.

After completing her PhD, Helena moved to the Technical University of Dresden, where she did research and teaching for almost five years. In 2022, she was appointed "Eleanore Trefftz" visiting professor. Her primary research interest shifted towards magneto-thermal phenomena and the field of spin-caloritronics. During her career, Helena has received several awards, including the Czech Ministry of Education's Best Dissertation Award, the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation Fellowship, and Outstanding Referee recognition from the American Physical Society.