The scene: a huge building full of highest-performance capacitors, flanked by an endless number of SIBA fuses. The place: The FRZ Research Centre in Dresden Rossendorf, or more precisely: the world's biggest capacitor bank. Its task is to accumulate electrical energy at low cost and then release very large energy pulses when required. The main consumers are facilities for generating large pulsed magnetic fields. These, in turn, are needed for a wide range of research tasks.
One application is performing high-precision measurement of the electron density of semiconductor materials. Another is to characterise optoelectronic properties with very high accuracy. Spintronics (made up from the words "spin" and "electronics") is another area of the research work that is already in progress. Spintronics represents a completely new approach in which the magnetic moment of the electron is used for information presentation and processing - in addition to the charge as in conventional semiconductor electronics. Researchers expect spintronics to result in new components that are switched with the spin of the electron and could therefore be many times faster than the elements generally in use today. "With the preparatory research being conducted in the Dresden High Field Magnetic Laboratory," institute director Prof. Joachim Wosnitza believes, "the microelectronics industry will be able to produce new components in future with even faster processors or higher storage densities. Especially for Dresden as a centre of the microelectronics industry, this preparatory research is absolutely vital."
The installation was built by the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group. In safeguarding the energy supply system of the Dresden research centre, Rheinmetall went for the safest option and installed SIBA high-voltage high-performance fuses. A total of almost 500 of them ensure that the capacitors are in good hands.