ERC Starting Grant for Wanzheng Hu

September 06, 2017

MPSD scientist Wanzheng Hu from the Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics group under Andrea Cavalleri has been awarded a Starting Grant worth up to €1.79 million by the European Research Council (ERC). She is investigating the collective quantum behavior of two-dimensional materials.

Her project, titled Dynamical Materials Control in Low Dimensions, sets out to optically access the atomically thin materials under ultra-high vacuum conditions, and optically control their quantum behaviour at ultrafast speed. A new time-domain spectroscopic technique will be developed for detecting the air-sensitive ultra-thin films and interfaces.

Ms Hu will be using laser pulses to investigate the properties of superconductive materials and to temporarily change the materials’ properties. She is one of 406 applicants who received a grant in the current round.

This year, some 40 per cent of the grantees are women - the largest share ever in an ERC competition. The funding allows researchers to build their own teams and thus helps to shape a new generation of top researchers in Europe.

ERC grants are awarded to researchers of any nationality whose scientific track record shows great promise.  Every year, the ERC selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age to run projects based in Europe. To date, the ERC has funded some 7,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers.