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The working group led by experimental physicist Professor Mirko Cinchetti from TU Dortmund University is to receive EU funding of almost a million euros for research into new technologies that could in future revolutionize computer processors and data storage media.
In the framework of its “Horizon 2020” program, the EU has approved research funds of over € 6.5 million for two international research projects involving Dortmund physicist Professor Mirko Cinchetti. Of this total sum, his research group at TU Dortmund University will receive more than € 900,000.
The two projects have been allocated funding in the FET Open category, which is open to all topics and makes funds available for high-risk scientific and technological research projects at a very early stage. The call, as it says, is particularly aimed at research projects with “radically new ideas” for “breakthrough technologies”.
Research on new technologies for computer processors and data storage media
“With the SINFONIA and INTERFAST research projects, we want to explore potential applications of molecular systems in the field of electronics and computer technology,” explains Professor Cinchetti. The objective of the projects is to advance existing concepts from basic research in the direction of possible applications. In this way, they could later be used in commercially available electronics with the help of technology multinationals.
The work conducted by Professor Cinchetti and his international colleagues within SINFONIA could contribute to a more efficient technology superseding – in the long term – semiconductor technology, which has formed the basis for the processors in our computers for many decades. The research team plans to produce hybrid structures from molecules and antiferromagnets, which can be used as logical computing circuits in what is known as magnonics. In comparison to conventional semiconductor technology, magnonics circuits have the advantage that no electrical current flows through them. As a consequence, they have a very low energy demand, generate hardly any heat, and can work substantially faster. This should facilitate the development of considerably more powerful processors.
Within the INTERFAST project, the researchers are also endeavoring to develop the foundations for a new data storage technology. Compared to conventional storage methods, this should be characterized by a significantly higher information density.
Extensive international collaboration
Due to the large number of proposals, the probability of receiving FET Open funding was under 10 percent – only 58 of the 902 projects for which a proposal was submitted were awarded funding.
Apart from TU Dortmund University, numerous other research institutions from Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom are participating in the two projects. Their joint work within SINFONIA started in April 2021 and is to last four years. Professor Cinchetti’s research group has € 500,000 at its disposal for this. Then, one month later, May 2021 will see the start of INTERFAST, which is planned as a three-year project. The researchers from Dortmund will receive a further € 400,000 for this project.
Further information on the research projects:
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dortmund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dortmund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station (“Dortmund Universität”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station (“Dortmund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop “Dortmund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dortmund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dortmund Universität S”.
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dortmund Universität S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.
The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.