1 April 2011

New assistant professor to strengthen molecular magnetism and electronics at University of Copenhagen

Chemically synthesized electronic components are one of the major international research areas in the field of chemistry. It's an area in which the Department of Chemistry performs well. The Department's currently strong position within this sub-field is further enhanced with the recruitment of Stergios Piligkos as assistant professor.

By Jes Andersen


Department Head Mikael Bols welcomes the "new" employee.
"Stergios Pligkos is wildly talented, and his competencies match well with those that we already have. Therefore, we would like to do something extra to hang onto him. With the permanent position we hope to take the first step towards a long-term relationship between Piligkos and the University of Copenhagen," says Bols.

Piligkos has been affiliated with the Department since 2006 when he came to Copenhagen on a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship. Since then, he's received a Steno Scholarship and most recently the prestigious Sapere Aude Scholarship from the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF). So, a researcher and grant weaver now sits securely in his seat at the table among chemists.
Piligkos has a rather simple, yet ambitious, goal for his research. He wants to revolutionize information technology with single-molecule magnets.
Magnets as we know them in computers' storage devices consist of an enormous amount of atoms. To save just one of the zeros or ones of a binary bit one billion metal atoms must be magnetized. Recent research demonstrates that magnets can be created which consist of single molecules, built of just a few atoms.
Besides setting the stage for radically reduced storage needs, single-molecule magnets are also the way forward towards being able to exploit macroscopic quantum phenomena which operate on the molecular scale. This opens the door for drastic size reductions of the electronic device. But there's a catch. So far no one knows how to retrieve information stored on the molecules. And Dr Piligkos laughs out loud when pressed to explain his dream.
"I'm "only" hoping to access and manipulate information stored on a single molecule. And then I want to use the molecule for computation".
Stergios Piligkos is a member of the Inorganic Chemistry research group. Originally from Greece, he is married to a dane. And although he studied in Paris, he wrote his bachelors thesis in 2000 in Copenhagen under the auspices of Preben Juul Møller. He has lived permanently in Copenhagen for the last five years.