Christoph Langhammer, Simone Gasparinetti and Christian Müller
​Christoph Langhammer, Simone Gasparinetti and Christian Müller​​​​
​Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist/Chalmers

They get prestigious ERC-grants

​The European Research Council has awarded the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant and the ERC Starting Grant. Out of the Swedish researchers receiving funding, three are from Chalmers University of Technology: Christoph Langhammer, Christian Müller and Simone Gasparinetti. 
The research grants from the European Research Council, ERC, are aimed at tackling major questions across all scientific disciplines. This year, two researchers at Chalmers are receiving the ERC Consolidator Grant: Professor Christoph Langhammer at the Department of Physics, and Professor Christian Müller at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. 
The Consolidator Grant is given to researchers with 7–12 years of experience since completion of PhD, a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. 
The ERC Starting Grant is awarded to early-career scientists who have already produced excellent supervised work, is ready to work independently and shows potential to be a research leader. It is given to Assistant Professor Simone Gasparinetti, at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience. 

Here, the researchers present their projects.

Looking for new methods to advance sustainable energy technologies 

It is the second time around that Christoph Langhammer receives an ERC grant. With his new project, he hopes to achieve a deeper understanding of chemical reactions on surfaces of nanoparticles, which is important for advancing sustainable energy technologies and synthesis of chemicals.  

“The research we will conduct focuses on developing a nanofluidics-based optical microscopy method that will enable the study of chemical reactions that occur on individual nanoparticles in a completely new way. The method that we will develop has the potential to study catalysis at the individual particle level in a quantitative way and at technically directly relevant conditions with relevant materials. I am also convinced that the project will establish the foundation for integrated ”labs on a chip” in the area of catalysis science,” says Christoph Langhammer. 

“ERC funding is unique in the way that it allows and actually encourages risk taking and thus also allows making mistakes to learn from. We are given an incitament to be creative, bold and visionary, which I think is the best part of being a scientist because when given this freedom there is a real chance for true breakthroughs to happen.” 
Christoph Langhammer receives 2,3 million euro for his project. 

More about Christoph Langhammer’s research 


He wants to weave electronic textiles with conducting plastics   

Polymers, also known as plastics, shape almost every aspect of our lives. Christian Müller is fascinated by a type of polymer that can conduct electricity. He sees large potential in using them in electronic devices such as solar cells and sensors, but their properties need to be improved and further developed. With the ERC grant and together with his research group he will now continue to address that challenge. They are especially focusing on new types of stimuli responsive fibers, yarns, and fabrics in the field of electronic textiles. 

“My vision as a researcher is that, in a not-too-distant future, our clothes will have additional functions that cannot be realized with existing electronics alone. Electronic textiles may help us to connect our physical and virtual selves through sensing and interacting with our environment. They can bring a very positive impact for us as individuals and for our society in many ways.”    
Christian Müller receives 2 million euro for his project. 
More about Christian Müller’s research   

Can the laws of quantum mechanics be harnessed to gain advantages in engines or batteries? 

Simone Gasparinetti and his group, 202Q-lab, will carry out an extensive experimental search for quantum advantages in thermodynamics. To do so, they will use superconducting circuits similar to those that are being used to build quantum information processors at companies such as Google and IBM, as well as locally at the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT​). 

"We will find out whether, and how, the laws of quantum mechanics can be harnessed to gain an advantage in the performance of an engine, or the charging time of a battery. In addition, the quantum thermal machines that we will develop are seamlessly compatible with quantum information processing units. Therefore, they may be used to carry out tasks such as energy-efficient reset of quantum bits or autonomous stabilization of quantum states." 

"This grant presents me with a nice opportunity to carry out fundamental research complementary to the more applied one that my group is pursuing in the context of WACQT and other EU-funded projects."
Simone Gasparinetti receives 2 million euro for his project. 

More about Simone Gasparinetti's research

About the ERC Consolidator Grant 

Out of the 2,652 applicants who submitted proposals for the ERC Consolidator Grant, 12 percent will receive funding from the European Research Council at a total of 632 million euro. The average grant is 2 million euro paid across five years. This year, 15 researchers from Sweden received the grant. 

Read about the Chalmers researchers who have previously received one of the three ERC grants ​(ERC Advanced Grant, ERC Consolidator Grant and ERC Starting Grant.)

Page manager Published: Mon 21 Mar 2022.