Sunset over the MC2 building
​Several MC2 researchers received prestigous grants from the Swedish Research Council.

MC2 researchers receive millions in grants from the Swedish Research Council

​When the Swedish Research Council’s grants for natural sciences and engineering for the years 2021–2025 recently was presented, several researchers at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience received grants. Here you can learn more about some of the projects for which the grants were given.

​Project title: "Single-chip super-efficient frequency comb transmitter"

Principal investigator: Jochen Schröder

What is your research project about?
“The research project is about creating and investigating a multi-wavelength transmitter for fiber optical communication systems on a chip. The novelty of this approach is that in contrast to other methods which split and individually modulate different wavelengths, we propose to use a novel technique which can both generate multiple wavelengths from a single input laser and then modulate them with different data inside a single serial waveguide, without the need to separate wavelengths. This somewhat counter-intuitive approach is based on a method that borrows from imaging techniques in free-space optics and could potentially greatly reduce losses of devices, one of the main challenges for other methods.”
Why is it important to study this?
“Optical fibre networks underpin modern communication. Every time we do a search, send an email or watch a video online, our data is transmitted through an optical fibre, and the ability to readily transfer large amount of data to any point on the planet has transformed modern society. However, the fact that we are edging closer and closer to the fundamental limits of data carrying capacity of optical fibres requires continuous innovation to keep up with demands. The outcomes of our project would enable to significantly improve performance of future communication transmitters allowing us to continue keeping up with data demands which do not show any signs of slowing. The alternative approach further opens the door to new research into alternative ways of generating desired temporal waveforms, which could have fascinating applications in other fields such as optical quantum technology.”
What does the funding mean to you – what will you be able to accomplish that you perhaps wouldn’t have the means to do without it?
“In addition to carrying out the research in the proposal the funding enables us to put significant effort into developing a new integrated optics platform based on a second-order nonlinear material (Lithium Niobate). This platform is extremely promising for many applications in integrated photonics and is central to the project.”

“Spintronics with Topological Quantum Material and Magnetic Heterostructure”

Principal investigator: Saroj Prasad Dash

What is your research project about?
“This research project envisions creating and controlling topologically protected electronic states in novel quantum materials and devices. The investigation will utilize the nanoscale devices made out of atomically-thin topological quantum materials as a toolbox to test the laws of topological physics and explore its application potential in electronics, spintronics and quantum technologies.”
Why is it important to study this?
“Information technology has revolutionized our society and will be even more demanding in the future than we could imagine. However, due to these developments, energy consumption is expected to be over 30% of total energy demand by 2050. Our research will contribute to discovering new electronic phenomena and devices and are expected to have a massive potential for future computers to be more efficient, intelligent and reduce energy consumption.”
What does the funding mean to you – what will you be able to accomplish that you perhaps wouldn’t have the means to do without it?
“This research grant from Swedish Research Council is essential for answering timely and fundamental scientific questions important for our society. This funding will allow us to investigate novel scientific ideas and realize their device applications, which would not be possible otherwise.”

“Quantum networks with time delays and high-impedance transmission lines”

Principal investigator: Göran Johansson

What is your research project about?
“How to handle time delays in quantum information processing and communication.”
Why is it important to study this?
“Today, both quantum computers and the European quantum internet are growing in size, making it important to understand time delays.”
What does the funding mean to you – what will you be able to accomplish that you perhaps wouldn’t have the means to do without it?
“It makes it possible for me to have a PhD student working on this full time.”

"Investigating quantum advantages in thermodynamics using superconducting circuits"

Principal investigator: Simone Gasparinetti

What is your research project about?
This project is an exploration into quantum thermodynamics, which is a fusion of two established fields of physics - quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. The central aim of the project is to search for quantum advantages in thermodynamics, taking inspiration from an analogous search which is currently underway in computer science. In particular, we will study how distinct quantum mechanical resources - such as quantum superposition and collective effects - could be harnessed to build novel thermal machines - such as heat engines and refrigerator - with performance superior to their classical counterpart.

"An intermediate goal of the project is to develop a robust, scalable platform to build such quantum thermal machines and conduct thermodynamic experiments. To do so, we will utilize superconducting quantum circuits similar to those that are being used at the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT) to build a quantum computer. However, we will develop advanced measurement techniques that are exclusive to experiments in quantum thermodynamics, including the implementation of Markovian heat baths and measurements of tiny heat flows at the level of individual quantum excitations.

Why is it important to study this?
"The framework of thermodynamics is well established and has been utilized to usher the industrial age revolution to modern day technology. However, in this era of second quantum revolution and quantum technologies, it is far from clear how thermodynamics should be accounted for at the quantum level. There is a thriving theory community that has been putting forward many ideas and proposals over the last years; however, one can count a very small number of experimental works putting these ideas to work. We plan to develop a versatile testbed for experiments in this field, which will keep growing throughout and beyond the duration of the project."

"In addition, the development of increasingly large quantum processing units raises the issue of heat management and energetics in quantum devices, making quantum thermodynamics increasingly relevant. What we learn from the experiments in this project is likely to guide the design of novel quantum devices and quantum thermal machines in the future."
What does the funding mean to you - what will you be able to accomplish that you perhaps wouldn’t have the means to do without it?
"This funding will enable me to hire one full-time student and expand my lab resources dedicated to experimental quantum thermodynamics efforts at Chalmers. While this research effort greatly benefits from the proximity of the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), it lies outside of the scope of the Centre, which is to build a large-scale quantum computer."

Text: Robert Karlsson

In addition to these four, Samuel Lara Avila also received grants from The Swedish Research Council.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Mar 2022.