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Towards unconventional electronics Three UT projects granted by NWO

Electronics that functions like the brain does, atoms crossing the speed limit, superconducting nanostructures for energy efficient chips. Three innovative UT projects receive funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO.

Five projects, in total, were granted funding. Three of them come from the University of Twente. In total, over 2 million euro is available, the projects are relatively small and involve fundamental physics with practical applications on the horizon. The three projects, of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, all involve 'unconventional electronics'

Evolutionary electronics

Wifred van der Wiel, Peter Bobbert, NanoElectronics

This project proposes a radically new, brain-inspired method for making scalable electronic circuits. Instead of standard electronic components, the researchers make use of chaotic, "designless" nanoparticle networks in order to able to solve complex problems efficiently by means of artificial evolution.

Ultrafast collective surface diffusion on mesoscopic length scales

Arie van Houselt, Physics of Interfaces and Nanomaterials

Atoms on solids usually migrate via diffusion, hopping as it were from one adsorption side to the other. Nevertheless, researchers recent discovered that billons of atoms on a mesoscale move collectively with a much higher velocity than expected on the basis of the traditional hopping theory. This study uses a LEEM to perform an exact speed control check for these speed merchants.

Dynamic phase transitions in tunable systems

Hans Hilgenkamp, Interfaces and Correlated Electrons 

Detailed studies of electronic phase transitions (for example the transition from an insulating state to a conducting state when applying an electric field) are often hampered by defects in the materials. Making use of defect-free arrays of superconducting nanostructures allows a mimicking of interesting materials systems such as Mott insulators. What is especially interesting is the possibility of studying crystalline configurations that cannot (yet) easily be realized in real materials. This project, in which experimental and theoretical studies will go hand in hand, is of relevance for the development of new concepts and materials for energy-efficient electronics.

These three projects will be financed from the so-called 'Physics Projectruimte', check the press release of NWO for this. 

ir. W.R. van der Veen (Wiebe)
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