How can quantum effects be exploited for functional device components on the nanoscale? Can they operate at room temperature and how can their operation be optimized?
On the nanoscale, magnetic, optical, mechanical and electrical effects are often more intertwined than on the macroscopic scale. The central theme in the vanderZant lab concentrates on this concept as it tries to gain a better understanding of the interactions between spins, electrons, photons and phonons in various device architectures. Often, this involves studying and unrevealing new quantum phenomena on the nanometer length scale. Moreover, a better understanding can lead to new ways to control device functionality. In practice, research in the vanderZant lab means developing novel device platforms, fabricating devices in the Kavli cleanroom, measuring their properties and analysing them. Proof-of-principle devices have been demonstrated and include 2D material field-effect transistors, photodetectors, p-n junctions, on-chip graphene thermocouples and pressure sensors, and single-molecule diodes, strain gauges and single-molecule heat engines. At present, the people in the lab. form a diverse group; research topics range from single-molecule transport studies, spin-injection in chiral molecules, graphene nano-ribbons, single-molecule thermoelectricity, biological nanowires…etc. You can also find our past research topics in the publications section.