Marie Sklodowska-Curie grants for two MPSD scientists

Tang and Jornet-Somoza to work on fermions and nanoelectronics

February 08, 2018
Two young scientists will receive the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions research grant to study the electronic properties of materials at the MPSD.

Dr Joaquim Jornet-Somoza and Dr Peizhe Tang will carry out their work in the MPSD’s theory department under Professor Angel Rubio. 

Dr Jornet-Somoza worked with the Nano-Bio-Spectroscopy Group at the University of the Basque Country in Spain and recently joined the MPSD as part of the European NOMAD project which collects, stores, and analyses the most advanced computational materials science data.

In his project, Controlling Photoinduced Transitions with Strong Light Pulses in Condensed Matter, he hopes to gain new theoretical results in order to find novel electronic properties for future advances in fields like nanoelectronics, photoelectronics and plasmonics.

Dr Tang, who worked at Stanford University in the United States until now, focuses his research on topological fermions - a new quantum state of matter that is protected by crystal symmetry and only exists in solid state materials. He also investigates how artificial intelligence may be used in future to develop low-cost materials for electronic processes.

The two scientists are among 109 applicants across Germany who have been chosen for the Marie Curie actions research grant. More than 900 applications were received from across the country.

The European Commission, which awards the grants, received more than 9,000 project proposals from Europe and around the world. Out of those, 1,348 in total were selected for funding. Their topics cover a wide range of the natural sciences and the humanities.

The EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “We are today recognizing the potential of 1,348 excellent, internationally mobile researchers who faced intense international competition to be awarded with a fellowship. The projects they will work on will help tackle some of the biggest challenges our societies face.”

The MPSD is one of 84 Max Planck Institutes – most of them based in Germany. It was officially opened in January 2014. Scientists at the MPSD study the properties of matter, both theoretically and through the use of a wide range of X-ray and laser technology.

The light sources at the MPSD emit some of the fastest, shortest and brightest light flashes in the world. Some of them are only a femtosecond long – that is a millionth of a billionth of a second. With these ultrafast pulses, researchers can analyse the properties of all kinds of matter, including its atomic and electronic motions.

Ultimately, these insights may allow the development of new materials with tailored properties and the understanding of basic phenomena on the nano- and macro-scales.

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