MIUR to fund two “FARE” projects
The Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) has funded, under the FARE programme, two projects hosted by the Physics Department:
“Strain-Engineering of Two-Dimensional Materials” [Strain2D] (PI: Rinaldo Trotta, amount 120 KEuro, duration: 2 years)
“Searches for Physics Beyond General Relativity with next-generation gravitational-wave detectors” [GW-NEXT] (PI: Paolo Pani, amount: 212K euro, duration: 5 years)
The FARE grants are awarded to ERC grantees based in Italy and are intended to fund projects that extend and complement ongoing ERC grants. Overall, 16 projects in the Physical Science and Engineering (PE) sector have been funded.
The Strain2D project aims at using arbitrary strain fields to engineer the electronic and optical properties of two-dimensional semiconductor materials. More specifically, the main goal of Strain2D is to develop a hybrid 2D-semiconductor-piezoelectric technology in which monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides are integrated onto micro-machined piezoelectric actuators that can deliver in-plane strains with arbitrary anisotropy, direction, and with large magnitude. This platform will be exploited to study fascinating phenomena that arise when complex strain fields are used. This comprises direct-to-indirect band gap transitions, the appearance of strong pseudo electro-magnetic fields, as well as the strain-induced formation of quantum emitters in 2D materials.
The GW-NEXT project aims at developing new waveform models to be used, with current and future detectors, in gravitational-wave searches for physics beyond General Relativity, to test the nature of compact objects, and to develop novel multiband gravitational-wave search strategies for dark-matter candidates, such as ultralight axions and dark photons, in a mass range inaccessible to laboratory searches. This project will support and extend the ongoing activity of the group within the Consortium for the space mission LISA and within the science case of third-generation ground-based gravitational-wave interferometers, offering an innovative theoretical platform to perform ultimate tests of gravity and searches for new physics in the years to come.
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