World leading researcher and new research center to the Niels Bohr Institute – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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07 October 2011

World leading researcher and new research center to the Niels Bohr Institute

Charles Marcus, one of the world’s absolute leading researchers in nanophysics, has received a grant of 61 million kroner from the Danish National Research Foundation to form a new research center at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. Charles Marcus is a professor at Harvard University in the US and will open his new center, Center for Quantum Devices, in January.

Charles Marcus, one of the world’s absolute leading researchers in nanophysics, has received a grant of 61 million kroner from the Danish National Research Foundation to form a new research center at the Niels Bohr Institute

"I am very excited and full of optimism. It is a great opportunity to build up a new center where we can really do great research”, says a very happy Charles Marcus from his mobile phone in an airport in Italy where he has just taken part in a conference.

A scoop to NBI

Charles Marcus is a top researcher who is already working at one of the world’s leading universities, Harvard, and who could work anywhere in the world he wanted to. He chose the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark.

"I spent a sabbatical year at the Niels Bohr Institute last year and it was very successful. There is an excellent research environment and I built up strong collaborations with fantastic and talented researchers both within my own field and related research areas”, explains Charles Marcus, who – along with his family including his two children, were very happy living in Denmark. 

His new center will be located at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, where the center will have an entire floor for the new laboratories. It will take several months to build the laboratories and experiments, which are expected to be ready some time in April. 

Research into quantum electronics

The research is in quantum electronics and aims to exploit advanced materials to manufacture electronic components, with which they can explore new quantum effects using electrical measurements. These could include semiconducting nanowires, carbon nanotubes and superconducting systems. The experiments aim to develop nanoelectronics made of these materials and to develop new methods of measurement. The experiments are conducted at ultra low temperatures close to absolute zero, which is minus 273 degrees C.

The center will also cover research into quantum information with systems based on current, that is to say electrons instead of quantum optics, which are based on photons. But this is only a temporary distinction, explains Charles Marcus, who believes that in the future these two areas – quantum electronics and quantum optics will develop in an interdisciplinary fashion.

Charles Marcus will head the new center, which includes the experimental research group Nanoscale Quantum Electronics, led by Jesper Nygård and the institute’s theoretical group in solid state physics, Theory for Nanosystems, led by Karsten Flensberg. Together they cover a range of specialties that will make the new center a leader in its field.

Charles Marcus expects a lot from this future research, which he believes will soon enter into an entirely new field, Quantum Science. Over 20 new young researcher positions, PhDs and postdocs will be created for the new center.