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Terahertz Experts Pave Way to a Gigabit Society

4.4 million Euro granted for TRANSPIRE project / HZDR researchers co-develop super-fast Terahertz data communication transmitter

Press release of November 3, 2016

Europe is on its way to becoming a Gigabit society in which everything is connected together via turbo-fast Internet. In order to smooth the way there, researchers from Dresden, Dublin, Trondheim and Lausanne now want to jointly develop data transmitters which are capable of using data transmission in the Terahertz frequency range to transfer information one hundred, or possibly even one thousand times, faster than current WLAN networks. The EU is sponsoring the Irish-led, joint project “TRANSPIRE” to the sum of approximately 4.4 million Euro. Approximately 1.5 million Euro of which will be provided to two research groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

"TRANSPIRE could open up completely new perspectives in telemedicine, information technology and security technology,“ explains spintronic expert, Dr. Alina Deac of the HZDR-Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research. It is with her that all the threads will come together. Her “Spintronics“ research group is set to build the first prototypes for the turbo transmitter and receiver. In order to investigate the new magnetic materials required for this, the international research group can fall back on very special technology: The radiation source TELBE at HZDR. “These research facilities are unique in the world,“ stresses Dr. Michael Gensch, who, with his HZDR group “High-field THz driven Phenomena“, is also playing a leading role in the project.

In a study published early this summer, scientists from the HZDR and Trinity College Dublin have already jointly discovered that terahertz radiation with wavelengths which can be precisely adjusted can be generated using specially designed, thin layers of unique magnetic MnGa compounds. The frequency of this radiation is approximately one hundred times higher than the gigahertz radiation which is currently used for radio data communication in present-day WLAN networks.

With their colleagues, Arne Brataas from the Trondheim University (Norway) and Emile de Rijk from the company SWISSto12 in Switzerland, the experts from Dresden and Dublin now want to develop a practicable and economically realizable technology. Turbo radio data transmission is one of many possible commercial applications. The chief attraction is a data transfer rate which is several orders of magnitude higher which would allow the transmission of more than one billion bits per second (one gigabit per second) – whether this be photographs, videos, tomography scans from hospitals, speech recognition data, robot control commands or the analysis of road space using automatically-driven cars.

For their development project “Terahertz RAdio communication using high aNistropy SPIn torque Resonators” (TRANSPIRE), the partners applied to the “Future and Emerging Technologies – Open” (FET Open) for support. The fact they were granted an award was nothing short of amazing given that, of 544 applications, fewer than 22 came to fruition.

The overall project will be led by Prof. Plamen Stamenov from Trinity College Dublin and the Irish science foundation AMBER: “This support is an acknowledgement of our work in the physics of spin-polarized materials in the past five to ten years, but also of the quality and expertise of our collaborators in Germany, Norway and Switzerland. I hope that we can use it to lay the foundations for the high-speed data networks of the future.“ TRANSPIRE aims to ultimately develop an economical, compact and reliable terahertz technology which can function at room temperature and support the next wave of the “big data“ revolution.


N. Awari u. a.: “Narrow-band tunable terahertz emission from ferrimagnetic Mn3-xGa thin films”, in Applied Physics Letters 109 (2016), 032403, DOI: 10.1063/1.4958855.

Further informationen:

Dr. Michael Gensch
Institute of Radiation Physics at HZDR
Phone +49 351 260-2464

Dr. Alina Deac
Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research at HZDR
Phone +49 351 260-3709

Media contact:

Christine Bohnet | Press spokes person & head HZDR communications
Phone +49 351 260-2450 or +49 160 969 288 56 | Mail: