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START-UP grant for David Marpaung

Photonics researcher David Marpaung of the University of Twente (MESA+ Institute) will receive a START-UP grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientifc Research (NWO). This enables him to do research on the interaction of light and sound waves, for low noise photonics applications.

START-UP grants, introduced in 2018, go to recently appointed professors and associate professors in the field of physics and chemistry. These 'principal investigators' can use the money to work out new and creative ideas that fit within the research areas of the Dutch ‘Physics and Chemistry Sector Plan’.

Photons and phonons

David Marpaung will use the 800,000 euro grant for his project Light-directed gigahertz phonons on an optical chip’: it is about the behaviour of ‘acoustic phonons’, a sort of sound particles that form sound waves with very high frequencies (GigaHertz reach). These sound waves, formed by interaction of light, - phonon-photon interaction - will play an important role in photonics. They can help reducing noise in photonics applications, for example. Marpaung wants to understand the underlying mechanism and develop new materials for controlling it. In 2017, he already received another NWO grant: the Vidi.


Nonlinear Nanophotonics team led by David Marpaung. Left to right: Okky Daulay (PhD student), Roel Botter (PhD student), Xin Guo (Master student), David Marpaung, Tara van Abkoude (Master student)

Marpaung (Balikpapan, 1979) defended his PhD thesis at the University of Twente in 2009, worked at the University of Sydney for some years and returned to Twente as an associate professor in 2018. He is currently leading the research on Nonlinear Nanophotonics.

Recently, he wrote a review article on the future of photonics in the leading journal ‘Nature Photonics’. The interaction of light and sound is one of the new directions.

Wiebe van der Veen
Press relations (available Mon-Fri)