Louk Rademaker received an SNSF Starting Grant over five years for his project « Quantum Matter with a Twist – The Interplay of Correlations and Topology in Moiré Materials ». He will be an SNSF Professor at the Department of Quantum Matter Physics, UNIGE, in 2023.
The study of quantum matter deals with electric and magnetic properties of solids, which is relevant for electronic applications. We understand most materials, except those where electrons strongly interact with each other. Recently, a new group of strongly correlated materials was fabricated by stacking and twisting atomically thin materials. These so-called “moiré materials” show a range of unconventional electronic phases, ranging from superconductivity to topological states with special electrical edges. Moreover, these materials are highly tunable. This means we can for the first time systematically compare theories of strong correlations with experimental realizations.
The main aim of Louk Rademaker’s project is to understand the observed phenomenon in the new moiré materials, and how we can learn from these materials about universal properties of strongly correlated and topological matter. In particular, he will study what happens around a strongly correlated metal-insulator transitions, and which topological correlated phases can appear in moiré materials, including topological superconductivity.
All of our electronic technology is based on our understanding of quantum matter. This project leads to a better understanding of correlated and topological materials on the nanoscale. This not only provides a deeper knowledge of highly entangled quantum matter, but can also lead to next-generation electronic nanotechnology including possible elements for quantum computation.
SNSF Starting Grant comes after several years of research after the PhD, during which grantees have already achieved scientific independence and contributed to impactful research in their field. It allows them to lead an independent research project and direct a team of researchers in Switzerland.