The BME researcher was awarded nearly €2 million in an ERC Consolidator Grant application

Peter Mack, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, BME School of Science (TTK), has been awarded a grant for his research in the field of solid-state physics in search of answers to the challenges of quantum computing.

The ERC Consolidator Grant application is part of the Horizon Europe framework programme. They write that those researchers who already have their own research group and outstanding successes, the continuation of which promises new results on a world scale, can win support in international application.

Peter Mack was quoted in the announcement as saying that the biggest challenge in implementing ultrafast quantum computers is currently the information loss of the underlying units of information, the so-called qubits. To solve this problem, materials are needed in which the electrons interact strongly with each other and the qubits created in them have an internal protection called topological protection.

“Two-dimensional materials consisting of a single row of atoms could play a key role in quantum computing. If layers of graphene or other two-dimensional materials are layered on top of each other, with a well-defined ‘magic’ rotation angle, the properties of the resulting material will change radically: The strong interaction between electrons will determine the behavior of matter, and exciting new properties may emerge, such as exotic superconductivity,” notes Peter Mack.

“In the project that is starting now, we will develop and apply radically new technologies in this field. This research is closely related to the BME, as there is a long tradition of both the interaction between electrons and the search for magnetism and superconducting materials at an experimental and theoretical level, and we are constantly working on it.” Integrate this research into the training of our physics students.”

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In 2021 Peter Mack secured the support of the Momentum Program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, within which he was able to create the van der Waals Structures Research Group MTA-BME Momentum. Thanks to the support I just received, the expansion of the research group and the acquisition of the latest laboratory equipment can also be achieved.

The European Research Council (ERC) operates the largest grant system in the European Union supporting exploratory research. An individual franchise application for ERC grants may be submitted in the Beginning, Consolidated, and Advanced categories, depending on the scholar’s career path.

The ERC Consolidator Grant supports researchers in the emerging stage of their research career, i.e. those with internationally recognized research work, research groups and program can apply for this support. The purpose of the support is for the Principal Investigator to strengthen their research group in one of the leading intellectual workshops in the specific field of study by the end of the ERC period, as stated in the advertisement.

By Péter Makk, In November 2022, Péter Nagy, a researcher in the BME School of Chemical and Bioengineering, won an ERC application, an ERC grant, as the only domestic recipient in this category. Prior to the success of the two researchers, a researcher at the University of Applied Sciences won a starting scholarship in 2010 and an advanced scholarship in 2013.

According to the announcement made by ERC on Wednesday, a total of 321 researchers have won the Consolidator Grants ERC 2022, and they will receive a total of 657 million euros (more than 250 billion HUF). From Hungary, László Nagy, a researcher at the MTA Szeged Center for Biological Research, also won support in this category.

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