(Mirage.News) Mete Atatüre and Jeremy Baumberg, at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory have been advanced grants from the European Research Council (ERC) to work on diverse ways to create new and strange interactions of light with matter that is built from tiny nano-sized building blocks. ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence.
Atatüre’s project, PEDESTAL, investigates diamond as a material platform for quantum networks. What gives gems their colour also turns out to be interesting candidates for quantum computing and communication technologies. By developing large-scale diamond-semiconductor hybrid quantum devices, the project aims to demonstrate high-rate and high-fidelity remote entanglement generation, a building block for a quantum internet.
Baumberg’s PICOFORCE project traps light down to the size of individual atoms which will allow him to invent new ways of tugging them, levitating them, and putting them together. Such work uncovers the mysteries of how molecules and metals interact, crucial for creating energy sustainably, storing it, and developing electronics that can switch with thousands of times less power need than currently.

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