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March 24th 2017

The following twelve proposals were awarded funding (in random order).

Visualising the emergence of high-temperature superconductivity using the spin Hall effect - Dr. Milan Allan (Leiden University)
The researchers want to use a new atomic probe to explore the spin character of high-temperature superconductors in order to understand how chemical doping influences these materials.

A single-atom memory - Prof. Alexander Khajetoorians (Radboud University)
For magnetic data storage in single atoms, the atom must be magnetically stable and simple to read out. The researchers will develop a system for a single magnetic atom that can be used to record and read out information with the help of a scanning probe microscope.

Understanding cancer through physics: is tumour initiation a phase transition? - Dr. Stefan Semrau (Leiden University)
This project will investigate a new theory about the transition from normal cell growth to the growth of cancer cells by investigating laboratory models of tumours using a new imaging technique that has still to be developed.

The influence of twist and torque on the copying of DNA: biophysical studies of eukaryotic replication - Prof. Nynke Dekker (Delft University of Technology)
Researchers will unravel the biophysics behind DNA replication in higher organisms by studying how the rotational direction and torque of the DNA helix can influence the functioning of replisomes (protein systems that facilitate the replication).

Superconducting mediated long-range coupling between spin qubits in silicon - Dr. Menno Veldhorst (Delft University of Technology)
In this project the researchers want to combine two highly promising building blocks for quantum computers in a hybrid approach so that both the design flexibility of superconducting qubits and the long coherency times of semiconductor qubits can be used.

Quantum transport in Weyl semimetals - Prof. Carlo Beenakker (Leiden University)
This is a theoretical exploration of the electrical transport properties of the recently discovered Weyl-semimetals, which are the three-dimensional counterparts of graphene with massless electrons (Weyl fermions) in the bulk and unidirectional states (Fermi arcs) on the surface.

The nanophotonic solar cell - Dr. Jos Haverkort (Eindhoven University of Technology)
By focusing the photoluminescence of nanowire solar cells back to the sun, the researchers hope to develop a nanophotonic solar cell with a far higher efficiency limit than has been possible until now.

Thinking inside the Voxel - What can the magnetic fields tell us about white matter properties? - Dr. José Marques (Radboud University)
The researchers will develop and validate complex models of magnetic susceptibility that can be used to convert magnetic measurements from an MRI scanner into information about the magnetic properties of the white matter in the brain.

Entanglement of massive mechanical objects - Dr. Simon Groeblacher (Delft University of Technology)
Through the realisation of an entangled state between two on-chip mechanical resonators, linked to laser light at telecom frequency, the researchers will study quantum entanglement of larger optomechanical systems, not only to further explore the fundamentals of quantum physics but also with a view to actual applications in quantum information processing.

Very rare beauty decays: a magnifying glass for quantum physics - Prof. Marcel Merk and Prof. Robert Fleischer (VU University Amsterdam/Nikhef)
Through research into very rare forms of particle decay, the first evidence for which has been found in data from the Large Hadron Collider, the researchers hope to discover new physics that possibly reaches beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. 'The awarded project consists of a combination of a new theoretical (Robert Fleischer) approach and an experimental (Marcel Merk) one to focus on these extraordinary quantum processes.'

Superconducting Cavity Optomagnonics - Prof. Gerrit Bauer and Prof. Yaroslav Blanter (Delft University of Technology)
This project is a theoretical study into the unexplored area of quantum coherency of ferromagnets that arises when these are linked to cavity microwave photons.

Electrons Roaming in Fractional Dimensions - Dr. Shenjun Yuan (Radboud University)
This is a theoretical and numerical research project into the quantum mechanics of electrons that propagate in spaces with fractal properties. The researchers will study the transport, optical and plasmonic properties of the electrons at the quantum level, which goes further than previous studies within statistical mechanics.

About the FOM-Projectruimte
The FOM-Projectruimte is one of the funding instruments that FOM uses to fund physics research. In 2016 the budget for this was 10 million euros, of which 3 million euros is earmarked for projects awarded funding in the context of the Sector Plan Physics and Chemistry. Researchers can continuously submit proposals for the FOM-Projectruimte. FOM assesses the proposals in batches of 15 to 25 proposals in the order that the proposals are received. From January 2017 onwards this funding instrument will be managed within the new NWO domain Physical and Natural Sciences (PNS).