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Wednesday, 21 September 2022

ICN2 opens its laboratories to the new students of the Master in Quantum Science and Technology

by Virginia Greco

An introduction to the quantum materials research and the equipment used at the ICN2 was provided to the students of this year’s edition of the MQST by a few of our researchers. ICREA Prof. Stephan Roche, group leader at the ICN2 and a member of the Master’s Coordination Team, was the host of this meeting and guided tour.

The second edition of the Master in Quantum Science and Technology (MQST) Barcelona has just started, after a successful first course whose students celebrated their graduation on 9 September 2022. As a part of the introductory phase of the Master, the newly enrolled students visited the ICN2, where they were given a talk about the research related with quantum materials carried out at our institute and then brought on a tour of the laboratories in which these materials are simulated, synthetised and characterised.

They were welcomed by ICREA Prof. Stephan Roche, leader of the ICN2 Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group, who is one of the teachers as well as a member of the Master’s Coordination Team. Together with ICREA Prof. Sergio O. Valenzuela, head of the Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group, Dr Jake Dudley Mehew, postdoctoral researcher in the Ultrafast Dynamics in Nanoscale Systems Group led by Dr Klaas-Jan Tielrooij, and Dr José Ramón Durán Retamal, postdoctoral researcher in the Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group led by ICREA Prof. Aitor Mugarza Ezpeleta, he presented to the  students the unique opportunities of internship and end-of-Master projects offered at ICN2.

After this session, the researchers showed the students their laboratories and explained how their sophisticated equipment are used to study and manipulate matter at the nanoscale, changing their properties at a quantum level. The young visitors could learn about the use of scanning tunnelling microscopes to build nanostructures atom by atom, the study of ultrafast phenomena that take place at the nanoscale, how multi-layered materials with special properties are built by growing and stacking different two-dimensional materials, among other things. Finally, they got a glimpse of the computing cluster where powerful servers are used to simulate complex material systems.

The Master's degree in Quantum Science and Technologies is the result of the coordinated effort of the University of Barcelona (UB), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). It was launched in 2021.

This educational programme is aimed at students with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Physical Engineering or equivalent who are willing to specialize in this expanding field of research. They will study quantum physics, quantum materials, computing, simulation methods, communications, sensing, and other applications of quantum science.