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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

ICN Group Leader wins ERC Starting Grant

ICREA Research Professor Sergio O. Valenzuela has just won a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, the fourth to have been awarded to an ICN researcher.

Prof Valenzuela’s winning project deals with topological insulators, a fascinating new class of materials with unique electronic behavior.

ICREA Research Professor Sergio O. Valenzuela, who leads ICN’s Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices (PEND) Group, has just won a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council, for a project on the spin properties of topological insulators. ERC Starting Grants support top performing early-career researchers with up to €2 million of funding each over a period of 5 years.Topological insulators are a fascinating new class of materials that, since their experimental discovery in 2007, have garnered massive attention among researchers. Physicists are racing to understand—and ultimately, exploit—the bizarre behaviour of this new electronic phase. The spin properties of topological insulators and the way that electrons behave inside of them are unlike those of any other known one or two dimensional electronic system. As such, these materials offer awesome potential for applications ranging from spintronics to quantum computation.The European Research Council (ERC), established in 2007, is the first pan-European funding body supporting the best frontier research in Europe. The ERC aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by supporting the very best scientists from anywhere in the world, in any field of research. There are neither thematic priorities, nor  geographical quotas. To date, the ERC has funded over 2,500 projects throughout Europe, representing almost €4.2 billion in grants.For more information on ICN’s Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices (PEND) Group, click here.For more information on the ERC, click here.