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Wolfgang Wernsdorfer, CNRS Silver Medal 2016 !

Wolfgang Wernsdorfer was born in Germany. After a formation of electrician and a technological bachelor’s degree, he continued his studies at the University of Würzburg and at the ENS Lyon. He did his Ph.D., defended in 1996 at the Louis Néel Laboratory and Research Centre on Very Low Temperatures (integrated laboratories of the Néel Institute) in Grenoble, where his scientific career still takes place. He is at present Research Director at the CNRS at the Néel Institut of Grenoble.

The work of Wolfgang Wernsdorfer mainly focus on nano-magnetism, nanophysics and molecular spintronics, fields in which it has and still produces outstanding work, quickly becoming one of the leading international specialists. Outstanding experimentalist, it has developed over the years different state of the art experiments to probe the magnetism at the single magnetic moment scale. He conducted pioneering work on the quantum dynamic of molecular nano-magnets, such as the observation of quantum tunneling of the magnetization or quantum interference. In 2008, he was granted with the ERC funding, giving him the opportunity to develop a new activity, namely molecular nano-spintronics. He succeeded in probing and coherently manipulating a single magnetic moment carried by a molecular magnet. Hence, by transposing the existing and developing new alternatives concepts, he has laid the groundwork for the use of molecular magnets both in the context of spintronics but also in quantum information processing.

Involved and attentive in the training of young students, he is also dedicated to stimulate and support many technological advances. Besides his impressive qualities as an experimentalist Wolfgang Wernsdorfer combines a deep knowledge of fundamental physics, and a phenomenal work capacity, leading to an exceptional scientific production (over 500 publications), both in quantity and quality. His different works have already been acknowledged by several prestigious awards such as the Bronze Medal of the CNRS in 1998, the Agilent Europhysics Prize in 2002, the International Olivier Kahn Award in 2006, and more recently the Gutenberg Lecture award and the special prize of the SFP in 2012.

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