Magneto- and spin electronics stands at the boundary between fundamental physics research, materials science and technological applications. Of particular interest here are new classes of ferromagnetic material (e.g. : the half-metallic ferromagnets and dilute magnetic semiconductors), the micromagnetism and spin dynamics of magnetic nanostructures, as well as the interface properties of magnetic heterostructures. In each specific area the interplay between structural, electronic and magnetic properties of the system under investigation is of prime importance.
The materials science focus of the research lies in the epitaxy and characterisation of half-metallic ferromagnetic oxides and dilute magnetic semiconductors, which alongside other ferromagnetic materials could be used as a source of highly spin-polarised electrons in nanoscale magnetotransport structures. Furthermore, fundamental studies on individual molecular magnets (e.g.Mn12- derivatives) are being carried out. Electron beam lithography and focused ion beam etching are used to fabricate nanoscale magnetotransport structures. In order to optimise competence in micro- and nanofabrication, the nanostructure laboratory of the University of Konstanz is operated jointly with other research groups of the physics and chemistry departments.