MaNEP Newsletter n°41
Marta Gibert
Dear MaNEP colleagues,

I hope you and your closer ones are doing well during these complex days, where the pandemic has shaken many facets of our everyday life. Despite we may have become more efficient in some aspects, and not to mention the reduction in CO2 emissions, it is clear that online meetings cannot completely replace real ones.
As many events this year, the MaNEP Winter School also had to follow the steps of the SWM conference in Les Diablerets and was postponed. This was a decision unanimously taken by the program committee, the organizers and the MaNEP board members. The MaNEP Winter School is a well-known brand, where physics, first-line speakers and winter sports meet, resulting in a fantastic atmosphere enhancing fruitful discussions and contributing to the formation of future researchers in our field. It is a great experience that all of us who attended former editions as students will always remember and which cannot simply be replaced by an online event. Another proof of its success is the 70 people already registered for the school at the time of the cancellation. I would like to thank the organizing committees of both the SWM conference and the Winter School for putting together such exciting programs, and I definitely hope to be able to enjoy these meetings again very soon.

Nevertheless, and fortunately, research moves on, and the MaNEP community (and its more than 280 members !) is as active as always. The ability to foster synergies between experimentalists and theoreticians as well as to establish interdisciplinary collaborations is key to achieve novel breakthroughs. The results on fractional antiferromagnetic skyrmion lattices highlighted by O. Zaharko and the study of metal-insulator transitions in artificially layered oxide heterostructures summarized by C. Dominguez are beautifully examples of such synergies. The scientific perspective provided by O. Yazyev also emphasizes the strategic role that computations play nowadays in materials discovery and design.

The end of the year is approaching and, while hoping that the new one will bring us fresh air, let me wish you a joyful winter period, merry Christmas and happy 2021 !

I really hope to see you again soon ! Best wishes,

Marta Gibert
MaNEP Steering Committee

What's new ?

9th MaNEP Winter School postponed

Saas Fee
The recent surge of COVID-19 propagation in Switzerland and Europe makes it impossible to maintain the Saas-Fee school as originally planned in January 2021. After considering different options, the organizers, program committee, and MaNEP board members have decided to postpone the school by one year.

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The Laboratory of Advanced Technology received the UNIGE Innovation Medal

The LTA received the Innovation Medal from the University of Geneva (UNIGE). During the Dies Academicus ceremony on the 9th of October 2020, Christoph Renner, Gilles Triscone, Jérémie Teyssier and Nicolas Stucki received the medal from the Rector. This distinction crowns a creative initiative that grew out of the NCCR MaNEP.

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Carmine Senatore Swiss Delegate to an IEA's superconductors programme

Carmine Senatore
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) appointed Prof. Carmine Senatore, DQMP, UNIGE, as Swiss Delegate to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP).

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Irene Cucchi presents her thesis ... in comics


Irene Cucchi successfully defended her thesis at the DQMP, UNIGE. In order to share part of her PhD work in simple terms and accessible to all, Irene created the comic strip ”2D topological insulators”, in collaboration with Flavie Ndam, illustrator.

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Edoardo Martino received the 2020 EPFL Physics Doctoral Thesis Award

Edoardo Martino PhD student at the EPFL received the 2020 EPFL Physics Doctoral Thesis Award (EDPY Award) for his thesis: “Electrons leave the flatland: out-of-plane charge dynamics in layered materials” under the supervision of Prof. László Forró and Prof. Ana Akrap, and in close collaboration with the team of Prof. Philip Moll.

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Edoardo Martino

Jose Ferradas Troitino awarded at the Applied Superconductivity Conference 2020

Jose Ferradas Troitino, PhD student in the group of Prof. Carmine Senatore with a position funded by CERN, was awarded with the Best Student Paper Price in the category Materials and the Victor Keilin Memorial Award at the Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC2020).

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Jose Ferradas

Scientific perspective

Discovery and design of novel materials in silico: current state of the field

Scientific perspective
By Prof. Oleg Yazyev, EPFL
First-principles computer simulations are playing a crucial role in condensed matter physics for already several decades. The application domain of such computations is currently undergoing dramatic extension enabled by automated computational workflows, open science culture, machine learning and other recent developments. In this Scientific Perspective, I would like to express my view on computations as an instrument for the discovery and design of new materials.

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Scientific highlights

Fractional antiferromagnetic skyrmion lattice induced by anisotropic couplings

Scientific highlight
By Oksana Zaharko, PSI
Magnetic skyrmions, swirling configurations with topological properties, typically exhibit nearly parallel alignment for neighbouring spins. Such particles with antiparallel near spins can be more easily controlled and are interesting for spintronic applications.

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Length scales of interfacial coupling between metal and insulator phases in oxides

Scientific highlight 2
By Claribel Dominguez, UNIGE Understanding the mechanisms that control the metal-to-insulator transition in correlated electron systems is one of important challenges in condensed matter physics. Remarkably, little is known about the characteristic lengths scale over which a metallic or insulating region can be established and the physics that sets this length scale.

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Highlights publications

Discover more MaNEP Network's research and innovations trough other publication highlights.
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Talk with Mitali Banerjee, Professor, EPFL

Mitali Banerjee
What have been your primary field of research and your most surprising scientific finding during these last years ?
I am an experimental physicist working in the world of two-dimension of solid state, namely, conductors, semiconductors, and insulators, at ultra-low temperature close to the absolute zero, and under the influence of very high magnetic fields (thousand time stronger than that of earth). In the past few years, I have been focusing on…

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(Photo credit: Xavier Ravinet - UNIGE, ETHZ, Carla da Silva, Lionel Windels - UNIGE, Bernard Mundet - EPFL/UNIGE, Flavie Ndam, PSI, EPFL, UNIGE)
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