2011 Holweck medal and prize

Dr Joël Cibert

CNRS - Institut Néel

For his pioneering research on magnetic semiconductors and spintronics.

Joel Cibert's principal area of research concerns the experimental investigation of ferromagnetic semiconductors. Since the discovery of giant magneto-resistance in 1988 by Fert and Grunberg, which gave birth to the new field of spin electronics, it became clear to the community of condensed matter physicists that materials exhibiting both ferromagnetic ordering and semiconductor properties would open up a fertile field for investigation, both from the point of view of fundamental physics as well as for technological application.

During the last 20 years Joel Cibert has played a pioneering role in this endeavour, both in France and internationally. In the 1990s, with his colleagues, he made important contributions to the understanding of II-VI based diluted magnetic semiconductors in the lower dimensional form. This culminated in the discovery of ferromagnetism in these materials and has led to the clarification of ferromagnetism in the field of III - Mn - V - based alloys (such as GaMnAs). Cibert has now expanded his research to include the new class of magnetic semiconductors based on Group-IV elements.

The work if Joel Cibert is characterised by an uncommon depth and also by its breadth, touching an impressive number of topics.