A new topological approach to the next generation of electronic, photonic and phononic devices

(Nanowerk News) The European Project “Dissipationless topological channels for information transfer and quantum metrology” (TOCHA) is launching a consortium of 9 leading institutions from 6 European countries.
TOCHA proposes radically new technologies taking advantage of the unique properties of topological matter that can prove crucial for information processing, quantum communication and metrology. It is funded with 5 M€ for the next five years and coordinated by the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), at the UAB.
Scientific advances are bringing society closer to a new generation of devices with such energy and precision demands that a new catalogue of materials with enhanced properties is needed. The TOCHA Project has the ambition of harnessing topological concepts for future generation of devices and architectures across which information can flow without losses.
This initiative, starting January 2019 and coordinated by the ICREA Prof. Sergio O. Valenzuela from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2, a center of BIST and CSIC), is funded under the Horizon 2020 EU research and development programme. The Kick-Off meeting of the project is gathering today and tomorrow in Barcelona representatives of all the members of the consortium.
TOCHA will investigate topological protection, a property that provides stability to a system, in novel materials and nanoscopic structures. Its objective is to empower electrons (subatomic particles with negative electric charge), photons (quantum particles of electromagnetic radiation, such as light) and phonons (quantum particles transferring sound or heat) to flow with little or no dissipation and, ultimately, crosslink them within a hybrid platform.
This will entail the design of novel topological photonic/phononic waveguides and the engineering of disruptive heterostructures elaborated from the combination of topological insulators and ferromagnetic materials.
Overcoming this technological and fundamental challenge is crucial for the development of technologies in fields ranging from information processing to quantum communication and metrology. In each of these areas, the dissipation of information is a key hurdle that leads, for example, to unacceptable thermal loads or error rates.
A leap forward towards a deeper level of basic understanding of topological systems is needed to accelerate the evolution of these materials from fundamental science to engineering and technology.
For this reason the TOCHA project proposes to take advantage of the unique properties of emerging materials through research involving electronic materials, optics, thermal management and metrology. The coordinated efforts of 11 research units from 7 leading European Academic Institutions, 1 Technology and Innovation Centre and 1 enterprise expert in atomistic simulations distributed over 6 countries, will focus on advancing all levels of the value chain to enhance the handling and transport of (quantum) information and metrology for an upcoming generation of advanced devices.
Source: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
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