Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin recognized as Clarivate Citation Laureate

Clarivate unveils Citation Laureates 2023. Stuart Parkin is one of three in the physics category in the annual List of Researchers of Nobel Class.

Stuart Parkin, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle, is awarded for his research on spintronics and specifically the development of racetrack memory for increased data storage density. He is the only awardee based in Germany.

The basis for being named a Citation Laureate is not one's research achievements, but rather the citation rate in high-ranking journals. To identify suitable Citation Laureates, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), which is part of the Clarivate group, conducts a comprehensive analysis of publication and citation data every year.

Only authors of scientific papers that have been cited 2,000 times or more (which is only the case for 0.01% of publications) are eligible for the prize. The award winners are also considered possible candidates for the Nobel Prize: since the establishment of the award in 2002, a total of 71 Citation Laureates have gone on to receive a Nobel Prize.

Parkin’s inventions in the field of spintronics have revolutionized computer technology, making it possible to increase the data density on hard disks by a factor of 1,000. Parkin pushed the memory-storage capacity boundary further with the invention of the magnetic Racetrack Memory, whose fundamental principle is entirely different from the charge-based memories of today. Racetrack Memory stores information in the presence or absence of magnetic domain walls that are shifted backwards and forwards along nanoscopic magnetic racetracks, using spin currents.

“When I first proposed this, people told me, it's impossible. But, we proved it was possible. It took us eight years after I first proposed the concept till we proved the basic concept. And now, with a paper we published in Science, describing this concept, got more than 5,000 citations. It is one of my most highly cited papers, and I'm very proud of this concept.”, describes Parkin the way of his scientific career till this point.

Stuart Parkin is the Director of the NISE Department at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and Professor of Physics at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He has already won several awards for his pioneering work. "This is a truly extraordinary achievement on which I warmly congratulate Stuart Parkin on behalf of the Martin Luther University! We are proud to have him as a professor at our university. This award reflects his high level of commitment, ambition and tireless research spirit. Research like Stuart Parkin's is transformative in the best sense of the word: it not only delivers high-quality breakthrough discoveries, but has the potential to shape entire generations," says Rector of the Martin Luther University Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker.

The Minister for Science, Energy, Climate Protection and the Environment of the State of Saxony-Anhalt Armin Willingmann, expresses his great appreciation: “What a great success for Stuart Parkin! The highly coveted award is a testament to his groundbreaking research work at the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle. I hold Stuart Parkin in high regard as a visionary mastermind and brilliant researcher - which, by the way, puts him in the tradition of many bright minds who have changed the world with their innovative ideas from Saxony-Anhalt. I congratulate Stuart Parkin on his extraordinary success, which will inspire the entire scientific landscape in Saxony-Anhalt.”

About the Clarivate Citation Award

This year’s Citation Laureates have made significant contributions across a diverse range of fields, including cancer treatment, human microbiomes, synthetic gene circuits, spintronics, designer molecular structures, sleep/wake cycles, wealth inequality and urban economics. Sixteen of the honorees are based at leading academic institutions in the United States, two each are based in Japan, the United Kingdom and France, and one is based in Germany. These individuals represent an elite group whose research publications are highly cited and who have already exerted a profound and often transformative impact on their fields of research.

Emmanuel Thiveaud, Senior Vice President for Research & Analytics, Academia & Government at Clarivate said: “Clarivate uses quantitative citation data from the Web of Science™, together with unparalleled qualitative analysis to successfully identify individuals who go on to be recognized by the Nobel Assembly.

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