Matteo Lucchini awarded by ERC for AuDACE project

Research will reveal secrets of 2D materials for electronics of the future

Matteo Lucchini, from the Department of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, is one of more than 400 young researchers who have just been allocated a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

His project is entitled AuDACE (Attosecond Dynamics in Advanced Materials) and aims to explore a new field of research. Thanks to the development of innovative spectroscopic techniques based on the use of attosecond pulses, it will be possible to measure and study the ultrafast, electronic and spin dynamics that determine the unusual properties of advanced two-dimensional materials (2D). It is the first step toward a full understanding of new and complex physical phenomena, which is crucial to the creation and development of future electronic devices.

The speed and performance of current digital electronics is limited by the architecture of the electronic devices and heat dissipation. Two-dimensional materials are emerging as one of the main candidates for designing new structures that can overcome the limits of current devices.

To realise this ambitious objective, the research conducted within AuDACE will go beyond the current state of the art by developing innovative instrumentation to take time-resolved optical spectroscopy measurements with attosecond pulses (1 as = 10-18 s) of arbitrary polarisation.

For the first time it will be possible to conduct a full investigation of these phenomena, in timescales that would otherwise be inaccessible. Due to the broad range of potential applications for these 2D materials, the result of the experiments conducted within AuDACE will have a decisive impact on the development of many strategically important technological areas such as optoelectronics, spintronics, valleytronic and photovoltaic.

The ERC Starting Grant competition is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, in which the Politecnico di Milano is the leading Italian university in terms of funding received, with a total of133,497,498m for 306 projects won. A recognition of merit and an important marker for the university which is reconfirming itself as a magnet and centre for human resource training on an international level.

Among the 306 H2020 projects won by the Politecnico di Milano, 28 are ERC projects with a total of 30,150,604: 6 Starting Grants, 8 Consolidator Grants, 3 Advanced Grants and 11 Proof of Concept Grants.

61 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions have also been won, with a total value of 19,298,599.