New Humboldt Fellows to work on optical cavities

The MPSD has welcomed two new Humboldt Fellows to the Theory Department. Carlos Mauricio Bustamante and Hang Liu have each been awarded postdoctorate Humboldt Research Fellowships which enable them to carry out their own research at a host institution of their choice in Germany.

Hang and Carlos both work in the area of optical cavities. Hang will investigate the electronic topology of various materials inside different optical cavities, including topological singe-body band structures and many-body correlated phenomena controlled by virtual cavity modes. “Such control via optical cavities may open up new ways of designing electronic and polaritonic devices,” he says.

The Theory Department’s expertise on ab initio simulations brought him to the Institute: “The pioneering theoretical studies of light-matter interaction in Professor Angel Rubio’s group, especially cavity materials engineering using quantum electrodynamical density functional theory, were a central reason for my decision to come to the Institute.” For him, the Fellowship is an immense encouragement for his future works on cavity materials engineering.

Carlos, meanwhile, intends to work on the development and implementation of a theoretical framework for the design of structured optical cavities. “Cavities capable of confining light with different characteristics would allow us to control the properties we want to imprint in molecules and materials inside them,” he explains.

The collaborative work with MPSD researchers and the scientific exchange at the Institute means a great deal to him: “It will expand my scientific expertise and network of theoretical and experimental resources and collaborators. Being awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship offers an invaluable opportunity which is not frequent in my country, Argentina.”

Carlos hopes that his time in Hamburg will equip him with the tools, knowledge and connections to establish independent research lines in future and pass on those resources to other researchers and students in his home country. 

Hang Liu received his PhD in condensed matter physics from the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Carlos completed his PhD in theoretical chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

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