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January 23rd 2017


Folding reconfigurable materials

Toolkit to design metamaterials with programmable shape and function

During his PhD research at Harvard University, AMOLF group leader Bas Overvelde developed a smart method for designing and investigating new metamaterials. For such materials the microstructure determines the function, rather than the molecular composition. The ideal metamaterial changes shape autonomously to achieve the desired functionality. Overvelde and his American colleagues developed a toolkit to design such metamaterials that can assume different shapes in a manner reminiscent of origami. They published their research on 19 January 2017 in Nature.

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Four female scientists receive WISE position

Dr. Elisabeth Adams, dr. Barbora Hola, dr. Stacey Jeffery and dr. Anja Spang have been given a position in the first round of the NWO Women In Science Excel (WISE) programme at the following research institutes respectively: ASTRON, NSCR, CWI and NIOZ. The tenure track programme provides these talented female scientists with the opportunity to continue or develop their own research group and ultimately advance to a top position at the institute in question.

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Magnetic recording with light and no heat

A strong short light pulse can record data on a magnetic layer of yttrium iron garnet doped with Co-ions. This was discovered by researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Bialystok University in Poland. The novel mechanism outperforms existing alternatives allowing ever fastest write-read magnetic recording accompanied by unprecedentedly low heat load, the scientific magazine Nature reports on 18 January 2017.

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Physics@Veldhoven brings 'heroes of physics' together

On 17 and 18 January 2017 the congress Physics@Veldhoven was a hive of activity. At the Koningshof conference centre, more than 2000 physicists came together to discuss the latest state of affairs in physics. The delegates had plenty of opportunity to network both within and outside of their own discipline. That is the strength of Physics@Veldhoven: the annual conference covers the entire spectrum of physics, from dark matter to solar fuels, and from string theory to research into the living cell. This year, as well as any other, the conference offered researchers a vibrant place to gain inspiration. The theme of 2017: heroes of physics.


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Researchers create nanoscale laser at room temperature

By controlling the interplay between light and matter at a nanoscale, researchers from the Dutch Institute of Fundamental Energy Research, Eindhoven University of Technology and Universidad Autonoma of Madrid (Spain) have created a laser which is small and sturdy enough to fit onto a computer chip. The results have great potential for the field of photonics, the science that investigates the generation, propagation and detection of light.
The paper Plasmon-Exciton-Polariton Lasing was published in the recent edition of Optica, a high impact journal of the Optical Society of America, and will be presented at the Physics@Veldhoven national Dutch physics conference on 18 January 2017.

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NWO invests 1.5 million euros in data-driven science

Four Indian-Dutch collaborative projects will receive funding to deploy computational and data science in sustainable energy research. Earlier this year the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific research (NWO) published a call for proposals for this, together with the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST). The four best project proposals have been awarded funding.

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Solar cell wonder material surprises researchers

Physicists at AMOLF have unraveled the mysterious working mechanism of a promising new class of materials for solar cells. Their pressure experiments with perovskite semiconductors had very counter-intuitive results, which could not be explained by the theory for conventional semiconductors. However, the results matched surprisingly well with a novel theory developed at Imperial College in London, predicting a peculiar band structure in perovskite materials. "Theory and experiments came together perfectly and helped us solve an important part of the perovskite puzzle", says AMOLF group leader Bruno Ehrler, who published the results in Energy & Environmental Science on 23 December 2016.

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Transformation FOM a fact: FOM --> NWO with effect from 1 January 2017

From 1 January 2017 onwards the current Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) will form a new organisation together with other NWO units. The FOM Governing Board took the final decision for this transformation on 21 December 2016. FOM will continue to exist as a legal entity, with new articles of association and a new name, the Foundation NWO Institutes. Nine institutes will eventually reside under this. The awarding of grants to Dutch physics will continue within the new NWO Science Domain. The name FOM will therefore disappear after 70 years. The aim of these changes is to realise a more effective and less pluriform NWO organisation that has a greater multidisciplinary focus.

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Pre-announcement of QuantERA call 2017

The QuantERA consortium pre-announced the first joint transnational call for collaborative research projects on 19 December 2016. With this call, QuantERA will support international research projects in the field of Quantum Information and Communication Sciences. QuantERA will launch the call in January 2017. FOM / NWO participates in this call with a total of one million euros.

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New digital newsletter 'Dutch Physics News' launched

The first edition of 'Dutch Physics News', a digital, monthly newsletter was launched. The newsletter (in English only) targets the Dutch physics community. It contains news on events, research programmes and developments in FOM and NWO.

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