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NWO ENW GROOT grant

Date of news: 4 March 2020

Researchers from the Radboud University and five other Dutch universities have received an NWO GROOT grant of 3 million euros for their proposal to merge two major fields of physics research, namely topological materials and correlated materials, with the aim to arrive at new materials classes where both characteristics are present and to find what new physics emerges at their intersection.

Innovative technologies that make modern digital society possible are inextricably linked to breakthroughs in controlling the electrical properties of materials. This project brings together experts in the Netherlands that want to open up a new field of research, in order to develop materials whose electrical and magnetic properties can be changed easily and very strongly with external buttons such as pressure, temperature or applied voltage. The GROOT grant will be used mainly to appoint young researchers and postdocs in the coming five years. Physicists from the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) and HFML-FELIX are participating in the project.

Nigel Hussey: “We believe that there is an enormous untapped potential to create new paradigms in the fields of topology and correlated electron systems as well as to realize a host of entirely novel properties”.

At HFML - FELIX, Steffen Wiedmann and Hussey will explore new emergent phenomena made accessible by carefully selected material platforms and a unique combination of tunable environments such as magnetic fields up to 38 Tesla, pressure, doping or strain – in order to advance our understanding of interacting topological systems and in particular, the prospects for new physics and functionality in the vicinity of so-called topological quantum phase transitions, phase transitions that occur in the vicinity of absolute zero by purely quantum means.