College News

Center for Quantum Nanoscience Successfully Performed World’s Smallest MRI


The findings of the research on the technique to visualize the magnetic field of single atoms conducted by researchers at the Center for Quantum Nanoscience (QNS) at Ewha Womans University were published in the journal Nature Physics on July 1. Andreas Heinrich, director of the Center for Quantum Nanoscience and distinguished professor of Physics at Ewha Womans University, led the research team in collaboration with colleagues from the US.

Through this research, researchers at Ewha Womans University succeeded in performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on single atoms. This MRI scan is the first to capture a clear image of a single atom, which is the world’s smallest MRI image.

The researcher team used a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to visualize the three-dimensional magnetic field produced by the atoms with unprecedented resolution. The researchers plan to map the spin distribution in more complex structures such as molecules and magnetic materials by using the single-atom MRI. In order to assist this world-leading research, Ewha Womans University applied a world-class vibration-resistant design to its Research Cooperation Building which will be occupied by the Center for Quantum Nanoscience, and installs the STM in the building. The in-depth research on the quantum nanoscience will lead Ewha to strengthen its capacity as a research university and play a leading role in the world-class scientific research area.

Since its establishment in January 2017, the Center for Quantum Nanoscience has been conducting world-class research in the field of controlling atomic-scale quantum effects on surfaces and interfaces of materials. Director of the Center, Andreas Heinrich joined Ewha as distinguished professor of Physics in 2016 after working for IBM Research - Almaden in the U.S. for almost 20 years. He received the Joseph F. Keithley Award in 2017 and the Feynman Prize in 2018.


  1. 2019.07.12. EWHA NEWS