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Semiconductor Physics and Magnetism

Department 2.5


  • Helmholtz-Award 2014 for a "self reference single electron pump"
  • Direct measurement of the error statistics of a single electron pump
  • Realisation of a semiconductor quantized voltage source
  • Measurement of the thermo electrical properties of a single magnetic domain wall
  • Measurement of the tunnelling magneto thermo power of a magnetic tunnel junction


PTB's Department “Semiconductor Physics and Magnetism” carries out research and development work on semiconductor quantum standards which allow one to base electrical units on fundamental constants. As a consequence, the units become almost independent of environmental effects and can be reproduced with the highest precision. The second focus of the R&D work is the development of temporally and spatially resolved measurement techniques for electrical and magnetic quantities on the nanometer length scale and in the Terahertz frequency range. The R&D topics of the highest priority are listed below:

  • Transport in mesoscopic semiconductor structures
  • Single-electron transport in semiconductors and quantum current standards
  • Quantum resistance standards based on the quantum Hall effect
  • Molecular beam epitaxy of low-dimensional semiconductor structures

  • Ultrafast optoelectronic measurements of high-frequency electronics
  • Terahertz phenomena in semiconductors
  • High-resolution microscopy of nanomagnetic structures
  • Measurement of ultrafast magnetization processes

The Department also realizes the unit of magnetic flux density and offers various calibration services to customers worldwide to disseminate magnetic quantities that are traceable to primary standards. The calibration services include magnetic field quantities, magnetic material parameters, and until 2008, the dissemination of reference materials for magnetic data storage media.

The working group "Femtosecond measurement techniques and nanomagnetism" offers a calibration service for ultrafast sampling oscilloscopes and photodiodes with a nominal bandwidth up to 100 GHz.

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