Albert Fert

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Albert Fert
Born (1938-03-07) 7 March 1938 (age 80)
Carcassonne, Aude, France
ResidenceParis, France
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure
University of Paris
Known forGiant magnetoresistive effect, spintronics, skyrmions
AwardsCNRS Gold medal (2003)
Wolf Prize in Physics (2006)
Japan Prize (2007)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2007)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversité Paris-Saclay, Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales
Doctoral advisorI. A. Campbell

Albert Fert (French: [fɛʁ]; born 7 March 1938) is a French physicist and one of the discoverers of giant magnetoresistance which brought about a breakthrough in gigabyte hard disks. Currently, he is an emeritus professor at Université Paris-Sud in Orsay and scientific director of a joint laboratory ('Unité mixte de recherche') between the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (National Scientific Research Centre) and Thales Group. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Peter Grünberg.[1]


Fert graduated in 1962 from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He received his Ph.D. (doctorat de troisième cycle) in 1963 and his Sc.D. (doctorat des sciences), both from the Orsay Faculty of Sciences of the University of Paris.

In 1988, Albert Fert at Orsay in France and Peter Gruenberg in Jülich in Germany, simultaneously and independently, discovered the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) of the magnetic multilayers.[2][3] This discovery is recognized as the birth of spintronics,[4][5] a research field which is often described as a new type of electronics exploiting not only the electric charge of the electrons but also their magnetism (their spin). Spintronics has already important applications. One knows that the introduction of GMR read heads in hard disks has led to a considerable increase of their capacity of information storage.[5] Other spintronic properties are exploited in the M-RAM[5][6] that are expected to impact soon the technology of the computers and phones. Albert Fert had many contributions to the development of spintronics and, after his 2007 Nobel Prize, he is exploring the emerging direction of the exploitation of topological properties in spintronics.[7] His most recent works are on the topologically protected magnetic solitons called skyrmions[8] and on the conversion between charge and spin current by topological insulators.[9]

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2007".
  2. ^ Baibich, M. N.; Broto, J. M.; Fert, A.; Van Dau, F. Nguyen; Petroff, F.; Etienne, P.; Creuzet, G.; Friederich, A.; Chazelas, J. (1988-11-21). "Giant Magnetoresistance of (001)Fe/(001)Cr Magnetic Superlattices". Physical Review Letters. 61 (21): 2472–2475. Bibcode:1988PhRvL..61.2472B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.61.2472.
  3. ^ Binasch, G.; Grünberg, P.; Saurenbach, F.; Zinn, W. (1989-03-01). "Enhanced magnetoresistance in layered magnetic structures with antiferromagnetic interlayer exchange". Physical Review B. 39 (7): 4828–4830. Bibcode:1989PhRvB..39.4828B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.39.4828.
  4. ^ Handbook of spin transport and magnetism. Tsymbal, E. Y. (Evgeny Y.), Zutic, Igor. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. 2012. ISBN 9781439803776. OCLC 756724063.
  5. ^ a b c Chappert, Claude; Fert, Albert; Dau, Frédéric Nguyen Van. "The emergence of spin electronics in data storage". Nature Materials. 6 (11): 813–823. Bibcode:2007NatMa...6..813C. doi:10.1038/nmat2024. ISSN 1476-4660.
  6. ^ Åkerman, Johan (2005-04-22). "Toward a Universal Memory". Science. 308 (5721): 508–510. doi:10.1126/science.1110549. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 15845842.
  7. ^ Soumyanarayanan, Anjan; Reyren, Nicolas; Fert, Albert; Panagopoulos, Christos (2016-11-23). "Emergent phenomena induced by spin–orbit coupling at surfaces and interfaces". Nature. 539 (7630): 509–517. arXiv:1611.09521. doi:10.1038/nature19820. ISSN 1476-4687.
  8. ^ Fert, Albert; Reyren, Nicolas; Cros, Vincent. "Magnetic skyrmions: advances in physics and potential applications". Nature Reviews Materials. 2 (7). arXiv:1712.07236. Bibcode:2017NatRM...217031F. doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.31. ISSN 2058-8437.
  9. ^ Rojas-Sánchez, J.-C.; Oyarzún, S.; Fu, Y.; Marty, A.; Vergnaud, C.; Gambarelli, S.; Vila, L.; Jamet, M.; Ohtsubo, Y. (2016-03-01). "Spin to Charge Conversion at Room Temperature by Spin Pumping into a New Type of Topological Insulator: $\ensuremath{\alpha}$-Sn Films". Physical Review Letters. 116 (9): 096602. arXiv:1509.02973. Bibcode:2016PhRvL.116i6602R. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.096602.

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