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October 03, 2003— Ottawa, Ontario

Guest Worker Profile, Dr. Marek Potemski

NRC employs close to 3,700 employees, dedicated, creative, knowledgeable and talented men and women that give the organization life. Each year, guest workers from Canadian and foreign universities, companies and public and private sector organizations join NRC staff. Put simply, those who are the best want to work with people recognized by their peers as being the best. Guest workers come to NRC in large numbers, often as the result of broader research collaborations. In 2002-2003, there were over 900 guest workers at NRC.

Dr. Marek Potemski, winner of the Herzberg Memorial Prize and Fellowship.

"NRC strives to bring the best and the brightest minds the world has to offer to our facilities, fostering new opportunities in science and innovation and strengthening Canada's national research and development capacity". NRC President, Dr. Arthur Carty

For 2003-04, NRC is benefiting from the talents of Dr. Marek Potemski, winner of the Herzberg Memorial Prize and Fellowship. The award consists of a $25,000 prize and a $100,000 one-year fellowship tenable at one of NRC's Institutes.

Dr. Potemski is an innovative physicist recognized for his work in semiconductor nanostructures. A research director at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and Head of the Semiconductor Group at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Grenoble, France, Dr. Potemski has authored more than 150 publications, including more than 10 in the Physical Review Letters. Dr. Potemski is currently spending a one-year fellowship with the NRC Institute for Microstructural Sciences (NRC-IMS) working in the area of spintronics (see sidebar for definition).

According to Dr. Potemski, the arrangement has already produced results in a number of areas.

About Spintronics
  Current electronics, which depends on the charge of electrons, is approaching its technological limit. Consequently, researchers worldwide are looking at ways to exploit the quantum property of an electron, namely its spin. Spintronics is a relatively new field in which the electron's spin is exploited to create devices and circuits. Spintronics promises an entirely new generation of smaller, faster and more powerful electronics.

In the past few months alone, the team has presented papers at conferences in Canada, France, Japan and Spain. One project in particular has generated new findings concerning the ferromagnetic properties of dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS). Research has shown that such devices hold tremendous potential for spintronics, but, to exploit this potential, more must be known about how ferromagnetism is created in DMS materials. Dr. Potemski has also shared his expertise and knowledge of several experimental measurement techniques. The result is the creation of new measurement instrumentation.

The fellowship is the latest step in an almost 10-year relationship between Dr. Potemski and NRC-IMS. The relationship has benefited both organizations in the fields of nanostructures, spintronics and quantum dots.

"Dr. Potemski's expertise in nanostructures makes him an ideal collaborator for NRC-IMS scientists working in the area of quantum behaviour," said Dr. Marie D'Iorio, Acting Director General of the NRC Institute for Microstructural Sciences. "We are delighted with his contribution so far and look forward to our continuing partnership over the coming year."

Science often progresses step-by-step. Findings and observations are compiled and then released through the publication of research papers, presentations at conferences, or other means. These observations point the way to broader discoveries and breakthroughs. Guest workers play an important role in the process. For many Post-Doctoral Fellows employed as guest workers, NRC represents a significant developmental opportunity. For guest workers from industry, side-by-side work in NRC facilities helps accelerate technology transfer. And guest worker arrangements with universities or international public organizations help solidify collaborative agreements critical to the growth of Canada's knowledge-based economy.

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