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Thursday, 31 January 2019

TOCHA will take a topological approach to the next generation of electronic, photonic and phononic devices

The European Project TOCHA, launched today through a kick-off meeting in Barcelona, proposes radically new technologies taking advantage of the unique properties of topological matter that can prove crucial for information processing, quantum communication and metrology. TOCHA is funded with 5 Million Euros for the next five years and is coordinated by the ICN2.

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 “Dissipationless topological channels for information transfer and quantum metrology” (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 ICN2, 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. Prof. Pablo Ordejón, Director of the ICN2, is among the attendees.

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.

TOCHA Project details:
The EU FET PROACTIVE project TOCHA has a 5-years duration, starting January 2019 and concluding December 2023. As part of the funding program Horizon 2020, the project is supported by the European Commission with a budget of 4.9 Million Euros.

The Participating Institutions and Industry Partners are:

  • Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (C2N-CNRS) - France
  • Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) - SPINTEC (SPINtronique et TEchnologie des Composants) - France
  • Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) – Spain
    Project Coordinator with three research Groups involved (Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group; Photonic and Phononic Nanostructures Group; and, Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group)
  • Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies - Bulgary
  • Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) – Germany
  • Simune Atomistics S.L. – Spain
  • University of Würzburg - Germany
  • University of Copenhagen - Denmark
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland - Finland

Lear more at: www.tocha-project.eu