CORDIS - EU research results

Quantum Materials Probed with Attosecond Optoelectronics

Project description

Quantum materials could extend electronics speed limit to the petahertz realm

Attosecond technology, which enables us to study processes that unfold on timescales of 10^-18 seconds, has revolutionised the way we investigate the time-dependent evolution of the microscopic world. In the computing field, the insight gained from attoscience has the potential to improve the speed of information processing by six orders of magnitude, up to the petahertz range. Owing to their extraordinary properties, quantum materials are important for the development of petahertz electronics. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the QUMATTO project will probe the electronic and topological properties of quantum materials up to the attosecond scale via intense light fields. Project outcomes could help boost ultrafast information processing in 2D materials or 3D topological insulator materials.


The feasibility to sculpt light oscillations on the attosecond (10-18s) timescale has allowed sub-laser-cycle monitoring and control of electron dynamics in gas phase. Attosecond science is now transitioning into the solid state. This route has potential for revolutionary technological impact, improving the speed of information processing by six orders of magnitude, up to the PHz. Yet, standard semiconductors, which have been the focus of most of attosecond studies in solids so far, will always suffer from high energy losses. Quantum materials offer a solution thanks to their unique properties: scatter-free transport (topological insulators), and ability to harness extra electronic degrees of freedom as information carriers (valleytronics). This proposal brings together two fields that have traditionally been apart, attosecond laser technology and quantum materials. Bringing attosecond and strong-field physics into lightwave control of quantum materials, this combined theoretical and experimental project aims to: (i) induce, control and probe electronic and topological properties in quantum materials (2D materials, 3D topological insulators) at few-femtosecond to attosecond timescales via non-resonant, intense tailored light fields, (ii) manipulate and read the electronic valley and spin degrees of freedom at optical (PHz) rates in the non-resonant strong-field regime, i.e. in a way such that the same laser system can be used for a wide range of monolayers and heterostructures. On the one hand, the QUMATTO project has the potential to open new routes for ultra-fast information processing in energy-efficient materials. On the other, it will allow to gain new understanding of quantum properties, e.g. laser-induced topological phase transitions, by studying them at the ultrafast timescales of coherent electron motion.


Net EU contribution
€ 233 434,56
12489 Berlin

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Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 233 434,56

Partners (1)