The "unLiMIt2D" project from Christian Schneider, a physicist from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg (Bavaria, Germany), was funded at a level of nearly $1.7 million dollars (1.5 million euros) by the European Research Council (ERC) in the form of an ERC Starting Grant. The funding will allow Schneider to add two doctoral students and one postdoc to his team to develop a dichalcogenide-based polariton laser with very low energy consumption.
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The material class of transition metal dichalcogenides are made of molybdenum or tungsten, for example, complemented by the elements sulphur, selenium or tellurium, respectively. These materials are interesting for a number of reasons. Reasonably priced, they are relatively easy to prepare in extremely thin and stable layers that consist of a single layer of atoms and have semiconducting properties--making them an ideal material for optoelectronics.
The Würzburg physicists already built a polariton laser in an international project which they presented in "Nature" in 2013. The next years will show whether polariton lasers can also be implemented on the basis of transition metal dichalcogenides.
Christian Schneider is from Karlstadt nearby Würzburg. After graduating from secondary school, he joined the University of Würzburg in 2001 to study nanostructural engineering. He spent one year at the University of Vancouver in Canada as an exchange student. He graduated in 2007 and continued directly with his doctoral thesis in Würzburg: He studied the optical properties of nanostructures and semiconductors which he manufactured in the university's cleanroom at the Chair of Technical Physics. Having received his PhD in 2012, he took charge of the spectroscopy group at the Chair of Technical Physics. The young researcher is networked around the globe and his team cooperates with numerous research groups on four continents.
SOURCE: Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg; https://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/sonstiges/meldungen/detail/artikel/erc-grant-fuer-christian-schneider/