Leo Kouwenhoven appointed to University Professor (Delft)


TU Delft's Professor of Quantum Transport Leo Kouwenhoven has been appointed University Professor. He follows in the footsteps of Hans Mooij and Cees Dekker to become the third University Professor at TU Delft. Only professors with an exceptional record of service, who function as a standard bearer for the University, who are inspiring leaders and who are responsible for raising TU Delft's profile in society at large qualify for this position.
As Professor of Quantum Transport, Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven (44) is part of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at TU Delft. He leads international research in the field of the electronic properties of nanostructures. In 2007, he was awarded the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research's Spinoza Prize, often referred to as the Dutch Nobel Prize.
Prof. Kouwenhoven is a prolific researcher, whose achievements include 17 publications in Science and Nature.

Quantum dots
The Delft physicist is responsible for a number of major breakthroughs in his field. His inspiring contributions have had a major influence on research into quantum dots. These are minuscule structures in semiconductor material which are so small that they display special quantum properties. Together with his Japanese colleague Seigo Tarucha, he discovered that circular quantum dots have an electronic structure similar to the electron shells in atoms. Their "periodic system of two-dimensional elements" achieved great renown and is partly why the structures were given the name "artificial atoms". Prof. Kouwenhoven is currently using the spin of electrons in quantum dots as "qubits": the arithmetical unit of a quantum computer. His research group was the first to be able to read out the spin state of a single electron and in 2006, they were able to manipulate this property. This represents a significant step towards developing a quantum computer that can calculate using the super positions of spin states.

Leo Kouwenhoven studied applied sciences at TU Delft, obtaining his doctorate with distinction in 1992. From 1993 to 1998 he was affiliated with the University as a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences and spent part of this period in Berkeley. In 1999, he was offered a professorship at Harvard but he turned the offer down in favour of a professorship at TU Delft. Since 2001, he has been an Associate at Harvard's Department of Physics. Prof. Kouwenhoven was awarded a VICI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in 2002 and in 2003 he was granted nine million euros by the FOM Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter for a 10-year research project into quantum information, in collaboration with Leiden University. He became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academic of the Arts and Sciences in 2006 and won the prestigious Spinoza prize in 2007.

University Professorship
Through the University Professorship, TU Delft seeks to distinguish a highly select number of professors. In Leo Kouwenhoven, Hans Mooij and Cees Dekker, Delft now has three University Professors. Eligibility is limited to those professors who are responsible for exceptional achievements, who have an outstanding body of service in their field, who serve as a standard bearer, an educational authority and inspirational leader within the University and who have raised the profile of TU Delft in society at large. By conferring this status, TU Delft wishes to show its appreciation for its distinguished talents and give them a more prominent place within the organisation. University Professors are appointed for a six-year period.