Awards & Prizes

DATE2023.03.31 #Awards & Prizes

Professor Tomoya Higo Receives 26th Marubun Research Encouragement Award (2022)


Project Associate Professor Tomoya Higo


Project Associate Professor Tomoya Higo from the Department of Physics has received the 26th Marubun Research Encouragement Award (2022). This prize is awarded to young scientists with remarkable research results who are expected to contribute to the creation of future industries by conducting original research that advances science and technology or by ambitiously improving creative industrial technologies. The winning research theme was the “Development of Functional Properties in Topological Antiferromagnet Mn₃Sn.”

Antiferromagnetic materials have attracted much attention in recent years, both from a scientific and engineering perspective because magnetic random access memory (MRAM) devices based on antiferromagnetism have a potential for ultrahigh-speed processing and integration. Professor Higo has been exploring electronic functions at the surface and film interface of antiferromagnets using Mn₃Sn, an antiferromagnet with a topological electronic structure called Weyl points. He succeeded in observing a large magneto-optical Kerr effect and antiferromagnetic domains in an antiferromagnetic metal for the first time. He has also created Mn₃Sn thin films that show a large anomalous Hall effect and other phenomena at room temperature. Using multilayer films of Mn₃Sn and heavy metals, he demonstrated that the Weyl point and Berry curvature generated responses can be controlled via antiferromagnetic ordering by electric current, or more precisely, spin-orbit torque. His more recent research, such as the joint observation of the tunnel magnetoresistance effect in magnetic tunnel junction devices composed of antiferromagnetic materials utilizing his advanced thin-film fabrication techniques, has been attracting worldwide attention.

Marubun Research Encouragement Award

(Written by Professor Satoru Nakatsuji, Department of Physics)

Translated by Office of Research Strategy and Development