ERC grant for Teun Klapwijk


Astronomy technology for research into quantum materials

Prof. Teun Klapwijk, the former Director of the Casimir Research School, has been awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. (ERC). Klapwijk will use the grant for his research into quantum materials. The ERC Advanced Grant is awarded for a period of five years to outstanding scientists who lead an independent team and an ambitious, world-class programme. The grant is worth up to 2.5 million euros.

The aim of Klapwijk's ERC project is to enhance understanding of quantum materials in which different ground states compete with each other, a situation that results in electronic inhomogeneity in the material. The challenge is therefore to measure the electrodynamic properties of these materials on the local scale (i.e. the nanoscale).

Klapwijk is proposing a new technology for the high-precision measurement of these local differences in electronic properties (such as the dielectric constant and conductivity). The proposed technology is based on a recent advance in instruments for astronomical research in the GHz and THz ranges.

This advance, to which Klapwijk made a significant contribution, arose from the wish to understand the Universe. According to Klapwijk, with this knowledge and technology it is possible to further transcend the boundaries between disciplines, and the method can be applied in another challenging field, namely quantum materials.

In Klapwijk's view, the project is ambitious and also unconventional. But if it is successful, it will constitute an important advance in the field of experimental information on new quantum materials.

Prof. Teun Klapwijk (64) received his PhD from TU Delft in 1977 for his thesis on a subject relating to superconductivity, and went on to become an internationally prominent researcher in that field. From 1977 to 1985 he was an Associate Professor at Delft; between 1985-1999 he held the position of Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Groningen, and in 1999 he was appointed Professor of Quantum Nanoscience at TU Delft.

(source: http://www.tudelft.nl/en/current/dossiers/archive/erc-grants/astronomy-technology-for-research-into-quantum-materials/)