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NWO has awarded a START-UP grant to Rene Gerritsma. The UvA physicist received the award for his project 'Trapped ions in a Fermi sea'. The new START-UP programme, intended for recently appointed professors, associate professors and assistant professors in physics and chemistry, awarded eleven grants for a total amount of almost six million euros.

Derived from the Physics and Chemistry Sector Plan, START-UP is intended to provide a further boost to the areas of focus in research identified within that plan. A START-UP grant gives new principal investigators the opportunity to refine their creative, high-risk ideas, to establish a basis for future research themes, and/or to generate scientific innovations.

Trapped ions

Gerritsma received the grant for his research on trapped ions. These particles currently form the building blocks of one of the best quantum computers in the world. By submerging the ions in an ultra-cold gas, the researchers try to further improve the quality of the quantum computer. Moreover, this approach offers several advantages when the quantum computer will be connected to a future quantum internet.

The awarded grant is for an amount of €600,000. With the money, Gerritsma will hire a PhD student and a postdoc. Moreover, the grant will be used to invest in very precise laser technology, which is needed to manipulate and read off the qubit states of the ions and to trap the ultra-cold gas.

To read more about Rene Gerritsma’s research, visit the website of his research group.

Hybrid atom-ion Quantum Systems