HFMLHigh Field Magnet Laboratory

Contact details:

Prof. dr. N.E. Hussey
Toernooiveld 7, 6525 ED Nijmegen

The High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML) is an international facility which uses and develops high magnetic fields to carry out pioneering scientific research by in-house and external users. HFML has an excellent track record of innovative research on new materials like Nobel prize winning graphene. It attracts a growing number of world-class researchers to the Netherlands, and stimulates innovation, both through its pioneering infrastructure and its world-leading instrumentation (including access to the FELIX Laboratory). HFML represents a unique example of a prestigious international research facility on Dutch soil.

The HFML in Nijmegen produces some of the world’s highest continuous magnetic fields. These magnetic fields facilitate pioneering research in a number of diverse scientific domains, including soft and hard condensed matter physics and supramolecular chemistry, attracting many top-class researchers to the Netherlands. The HFML is scientifically successful, has a global reputation for both its in-house research and that of its user program, is committed to advanced materials research in line with the government’s topsectors initiative and stimulates technology and innovation.
The scientific motivation to use high magnetic fields in experiments and to invest in expanding their range of application is that new discoveries in technologically important materials, such as GMR devices, high electron mobility transistors, high temperature superconductors and graphene, are often made at the highest available magnetic fields. This is because a magnetic field changes the internal energy of a material, leading to the emergence of new phases and physical properties. Moreover, high magnetic fields are often involved in the first phase of the innovation cycle at the early stages of new material research, when sample quality has not yet been optimised.
Radboud University (RU) and FOM jointly run HFML, with the shared goal of making it a global player. It plays a prominent role in the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL), a distributed network of established high field facilities (both continuous and pulsed) in the Netherlands, France and Germany. EMFL has been upgraded recently from the ESFRI roadmap to the landmark status after successfully establishing the legal entity EMFL-AISBL.
The HFML is one of only four user facilities in the world delivering continuous magnetic fields in excess of 35 Tesla. It has a world-class magnet development program with a world-record 37.5 T Bitter magnet constructed in 2014 and a 45 T hybrid magnet that will become operational in 2017. This work is carried out by a 13-strong magnet technology group (headed by Dr. Wijnen and Ir. den Ouden). Its own research programme is based around four major research themes (with the group leaders added in brackets):
1) Strongly Correlated Electron Systems (Prof. Hussey)
2) Semiconductors & Nanostructures (Dr. Zeitler)
3) Soft Condensed Matter & Nanomaterials (Prof. Christianen)
4) THz spectroscopy in high magnetic fields (HFML-FELIX combination, Profs. Christianen/Maan a.i.)
The first three are already fully established. The HFML-FELIX combination currently consists of a research team comprising 2 postdocs and 2 PhD students (in addition to permanent staff). It is our intention to extend the fourth research pillar with new permanent staff hires, focussing on the world-unique combination of intense THz radiation and high magnetic fields.
HFML is a rare example of an affordable yet large-scale research infrastructure on Dutch territory with high scientific and innovative impact. The benefits for the Netherlands are:
i) A prestigious scientific installation staffed by high-calibre scientists in a vibrant, multi-national environment that stimulates research activities in a number of diverse scientific fields. Subsequent exposure to the forefront of materials research carries tremendous benefits for Dutch society as a whole, while many of our researchers go on to secure positions with leading Dutch companies.
ii) A motor for innovation in the topsectors, most notably high-tech systems and materials, chemistry and life sciences.
iii) The development of large and advanced scientific instrumentation - a motor for technological innovation that greatly benefits Dutch companies.

Connection to strategic developments
High Tech Systemen en Materialen
Physical Sciences and Engineering