FOM awards 7 out of 12 Projectruimte grants to Casimir PIs


In the last FOM Projectruimte round, seven out of the twelve awarded grants concerned projects submitted by Leiden and Delft PIs. Congratulations to our PIs Nynke Dekker, Carlo Beenakker, Menno Veldhorst, Gerrit Bauer, as well as to our NanoFront new hires Milan Allan, Stefan Semrau and Simon Gröblacher!

The awarded projects are: 

The influence of twist and torque on the copying of DNA: biophysical studies of eukaryotic replication - prof.dr. Nynke Dekker (Delft/BN).
Researchers will unravel the biophysics behind DNA replication in higher organisms by studying how the rotational direction and torque of the DNA helix can influence the functioning of replisomes (protein systems that facilitate the replication).

Superconducting mediated long-range coupling between spin qubits in silicon - dr.ir. Menno Veldhorst (Delft/QuTech)
In this project the researchers want to combine two highly promising building blocks for quantum computers in a hybrid approach so that both the design flexibility of superconducting qubits and the long coherency times of semiconductor qubits can be used. 

Entanglement of massive mechanical objects - dr. Simon Gröblacher (Delft/QN)
Through the realisation of an entangled state between two on-chip mechanical resonators, linked to laser light at telecom frequency, the researchers will study quantum entanglement of larger optomechanical systems, not only to further explore the fundamentals of quantum physics but also with a view to actual applications in quantum information processing.

Superconducting Cavity Optomagnonics - prof.dr.ir. Gerrit Bauer (Delft/QN) and prof. dr. Yaroslav Blanter (Delft/QN)
This project is a theoretical study into the unexplored area of quantum coherency of ferromagnets that arises when these are linked to cavity microwave photons.

Milan Allan receives the FOM grant for his research on ‘Visualizing the emergence of high-temperature superconductivity using the spin Hall effect’ . With his research group he wants to map the so-called spin character of materials that are superconductive at relatively high temperatures. He tries to do this with a new atomic probe. In his lab, Allan manipulates materials by adding chemical doping, in order to transform them from insulator to conductor, and possibly a superconductor. With his research on spin character, he aims to understand the influence of chemical doping.

Stefan Semrau wrote a successful proposal on ‘Understanding cancer through physics: is tumor initiation a phase transition?’ He will use the grant to research a new theory on the transition from normal cellular growth to cancer cell growth. For this, he studies lab models of tumors. To conduct his research, he has to first develop a new imaging technique.

Quantum transport
Carlo Beenakker receives subsidy for ‘Quantum transport in Weyl semimetals’. These Weyl semimetals have only been discovered recently. They are the three-dimensional counterpart of graphene, with massless electrons inside. Beenakker and his research team will theoretically explore the electrical transport properties of Weyl semimetals.

FOM Projectruimte
The grant comprises a PhD position for the full four years and a post-doc position for one year, and money for investments. Researchers can continuously submit proposals for the FOM-Projectruimte. FOM assesses the proposals in batches of 15 to 25 proposals in the order that the proposals are received. From January 2017 onwards this funding instrument will be managed within the new NWO domain Physical and Natural Sciences (PNS). For more information, see the FOM website.