Millennium Distinction awarded to Professor Sebastiaan van Dijken

The Distinction is granted to Finnish experts whose work is connected to the research field of the winners of the preceding Millennium Prize.

Awarded by Technology Academy Finland (TAF), the Millennium Distinction was received by the developers of big data applications, both in the areas of basic research and practical application of research in business.

In the field of spintronics, professor Sebastiaan van Dijken is an internationally distinguished and widely cited researcher with more than a hundred scientific articles published. Among other merits, he is renowned for having developed materials whose magnetic properties can be adjusted by using electric fields. This innovation can be made use of when developing fast and energy-efficient memory circuits, for example.

At the Aalto University Department of Applied Physics, van Dijken leads the research group for magnetism and spintronics, which focuses on electric-field control of magnetic properties in nanoscale structures. This is carried out by combining ferroelectric and ferromagnetic materials, which make it possible to manipulate the interaction that takes place at their interface.
 Another mechanism studied is the relocation of ions in an electric field and how this ion movement changes the magnetism of a material.

Professor Sebastiaan van Dijken has conducted research on magnetism and spintronics since 2000. At that time, he was a member of Stuart Parkin’s research group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. From IBM, van Dijken transferred to Trinity College in Dublin, and in 2007, to the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. In 2008, he started working at Aalto University.

In 2014, the Millennium Technology Prize was awarded to Professor Stuart Parkin for the multiplication of data storage capacity, which, for its own part, enabled the creation of big data. The other recipient of the Distinction was M-Files Oy, a company specialising in information management.

The Millennium Distinctions were presented at a business seminar organised as part of Technology Days in Tampere.

Nanomagnetism and Spintronics Group

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