Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Ultrafast & ultrathin: new physics professor at TU Dresden makes mysterious quantum world visible

Prof. Alexey Chernikov was appointed to the newly established W3-professorship for ultrafast microscopy and photonics at the Institute of Applied Physics at TU Dresden.

CREDIT
Katja Lesser
Prof. Alexey Chernikov was appointed to the newly established W3-professorship for ultrafast microscopy and photonics at the Institute of Applied Physics at TU Dresden. CREDIT Katja Lesser

Abstract:
Quasiparticles in ultrathin crystals

The quantum materials that Alexey Chernikov and his team study are as thin as just a few atoms. The main focus is the study of elusive quasiparticles. A quasiparticle consists of several electrons that behave jointly as a new, independent entity. They can play a decisive role for the absorption and emission of light as well as for the conduction of electricity. In nanostructures – such as the super-thin crystals – quasiparticles are particularly robust, interact strongly with each other, and can be precisely manipulated by electric and magnetic fields as well as by the environment. Chernikov focuses on studying and understanding their composition, interactions, and their motion. To do so, quasiparticles are recorded in "real time" using a specialized technique to essentially make movies of their movement.

Ultrafast & ultrathin: new physics professor at TU Dresden makes mysterious quantum world visible

Dresden, Germany | Posted on September 10th, 2021

The study of quasiparticles is currently being intensely pursued in the field of modern solid-state physics. "Alexey Chernikov opens up an important new research area in the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat," emphasizes Prof. Matthias Vojta, spokesperson of the Dresden branch of the cluster. In the future, materials such as the ultrathin films studied by Chernikov might serve as a basis for novel laser sources, light sensors, solar cells or even as building blocks for quantum computers.

Light as a tool

To monitor the behavior of quasiparticles in atomically thin crystals and in more complex, composite structures, the newly appointed Prof. Chernikov and his team use light as a tool. "First, we activate the material with ultrashort pulses of light from a powerful laser source and then use superfast detectors to record when, where, and how the light is reemitted by the crystal. In this manner we gain insight into the composition of the quasiparticles, learn their motion patterns, and can draw conclusions regarding resulting material properties" explains Chernikov, who was awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2018 for his work in the field of two-dimensional semiconductors.

"We take an accurate, close look at how the stored energy and information is transported and what promotes or inhibits the quasiparticle movement," the scientist explains. "There are also clear differences whether the particles travel alone or in groups and how they react to their immediate environment. Sometimes it’s almost like with us, people. All in all, this research is very exciting for me – first and foremost to understand fundamental many-particle physics in condensed matter. At the same time, future information technologies will require new materials and processes that make the devices compact, fast and flexible. In that respect, ultrathin crystals offer a lot of potential."

"Slow motion" for ultrafast quasiparticles

The smallest of particles in condensed matter - such as individual electrons or their quasiparticle complexes - move rapidly through a crystal, on time scales of only a few picoseconds. A picosecond is one millionth of a millionth of a second. Alexey Chernikov and his team use optical methods to record these ultrafast processes in such a way that the quasiparticle movements become visible. Moreover, as these particles interact strongly with each other in nanostructures, novel collective phenomena emerge –formation of luminous micrometer-sized rings, for example, or an unusual behavior of particle currents that defies classical explanations. "Even though such effects are currently observed mainly at extremely low temperatures, we are jointly striving in the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat to make these exotic phenomena applicable under atmospheric, room-temperature conditions– to serve as a basis for revolutionary quantum chips and future technical applications," adds the cluster’s spokesperson Prof. Vojta.

Dresden as the highlight of an international career so far

"I am very much looking forward to work within the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat. As a research location, Dresden offers a truly exceptional, exciting environment with its close connection to the four large partner institutes as well as to Würzburg" says Alexey Chernikov, who previously led an Emmy Noether junior research group at the University of Regensburg from 2016 to 2021 and has moved to Dresden in August 2021. Last year, he was also awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) with about two million euros of funding to explore and develop novel concepts to control quantum states in nanostructures. His studies of optical excitations in atomically thin films began at Columbia University (New York, USA), where he conducted research supported by the Feodor-Lynen grant of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 2013 to 2016. The physicist's doctoral thesis was awarded summa cum laude by Philipps University of Marburg, Germany. Alexey Chernikov was born in St. Petersburg/Russia and came to Germany at the age of 14 as a child of Russian-Jewish emigrants. He is married and has two small children.

Outlook

Currently, Prof. Chernikov's group is setting up new laboratories at the Institute of Applied Physics at TU Dresden. A variety of novel research approaches and experimental schemes is being developed to investigate the behavior of quasiparticles under the influence of high electric and magnetic fields, create artificial, hybrid heterostructures, and explore advanced strategies to control light emitters on the nanoscale. The team invites graduate students and experienced postdoctoral researchers for joint projects. In the course of the year, the 38-year-old scientist plans to supervise bachelor's and master's theses as well as to offer teaching courses.

Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat

The Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat–Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter is a joint research collaboration by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and Technische Universität (TU) Dresden since 2019. More than 270 scientists from 33 countries and four continents perform research on topological quantum materials that reveal surprising phenomena under extreme conditions such as ultra-low temperatures, high pressures, or strong magnetic fields. The Cluster of Excellence is funded within Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Anne-Stephanie Vetter
Technische Universität Dresden

Office: 49-356-463-32398
Expert Contacts

Prof. Alexey Chernikov
Chair for Ultrafast Microscopy and Photonics, TU Dresden

Office: +49 351 463-36439
Katja Lesser
Public relations officer, Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat

Office: +49 351 463-33496

Copyright © TU Dresden

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Physics

Led by Columbia Engineering, researchers build longest, highly conductive molecular nanowire: The 2.6nm-long single molecule wire has quasi-metallic properties and shows an unusual increase of conductance as the wire length increases; its excellent conductivity holds great promis July 8th, 2022

Flexing the power of a conductive polymer: A new material holds promise for the next generation of organic electronics June 24th, 2022

Observation of fractional exclusion statistics in quantum critical matter May 27th, 2022

Finding coherence in quantum chaos: Theoretical breakthrough creates path to manipulating quantum chaos for laboratory experiments, quantum computing and black-hole research May 27th, 2022

Possible Futures

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Chip Technology

The best semiconductor of them all? Researchers have found a material that can perform much better than silicon. The next step is finding practical and economic ways to make it July 22nd, 2022

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Quantum Computing

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Optical demonstration of quantum fault-tolerant threshold July 8th, 2022

CEA & Partners Present ‘Powerful Step Towards Industrialization’ Of Linear Si Quantum Dot Arrays Using FDSOI Material at VLSI Symposium: Invited paper reports 3-step characterization chain and resulting methodologies and metrics that accelerate learning, provide data on device pe June 17th, 2022

University of Illinois Chicago joins Brookhaven Lab's Quantum Center June 10th, 2022

Sensors

‘Life-like’ lasers can self-organise, adapt their structure, and cooperate July 15th, 2022

CEA-Leti Barn-Owl Inspired, Object-Localization System Uses Up to ‘5 Orders of Magnitude’ Less Energy than Existing Technology: Paper in Nature Communications Describes Neuromorphic Computing Device With ‘Virtually No Power Consumption’ When Idle, Thanks to On-Chip Non-Volatile M July 8th, 2022

Robot nose that can “smell” disease on your breath: Scientists develop diagnostic device for identifying compounds unique to particular diseases July 1st, 2022

Photonic synapses with low power consumption and high sensitivity are expected to integrate sensing-memory-preprocessing capabilities July 1st, 2022

Discoveries

HKU physicists found signatures of highly entangled quantum matter July 22nd, 2022

How different cancer cells respond to drug-delivering nanoparticles: The findings of a large-scale screen could help researchers design nanoparticles that target specific types of cancer July 22nd, 2022

The best semiconductor of them all? Researchers have found a material that can perform much better than silicon. The next step is finding practical and economic ways to make it July 22nd, 2022

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Announcements

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

‘Life-like’ lasers can self-organise, adapt their structure, and cooperate July 15th, 2022

Electrically driven single microwire-based single-mode microlaser July 8th, 2022

Deep-ultraviolet nonlinear optical crystals: Concept development and materials discovery July 8th, 2022

Photon-controlled diode: an optoelectronic device with a new signal processing behavior July 1st, 2022

Solar/Photovoltaic

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Photoinduced large polaron transport and dynamics in organic-inorganic hybrid lead halide perovskite with terahertz probes July 8th, 2022

Key in increasing efficiency of next-generation solar cell, found in ‘light absorption capacity’! July 1st, 2022

Solving the solar energy storage problem with rechargeable batteries that can convert and store energy at once June 24th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project