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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 5.16M | Year: 2013

We will examine the life cycle of rare earth metals used in magnetic phase change technologies. Our primary focus is on room temperature magnetic cooling, a near-market solid state alternative to gas compression in which a phase change magnetocaloric material is magnetised by a permanent magnet. We will address the fabrication, manufacture and use of the magnetocaloric material, aiming: (1) to reduce consumption and eliminate wastage of rare earths during the scalable manufacture of magnetocaloric parts; and (2) to drastically reduce the volume of rare earth permament magnet through a step-change improvement in the performance of low-rare earth or rare earth-free magnetocaloric materials. Such developments will reduce both raw material use and future technology cost, providing the necessary bridge between state-of-the art prototyping activity and industrially scalable production of magnetic cooling engines. The project consortium includes materials physicists, researchers active in the industrial scale-up of parts manufacture, a magnet and magnetocaloric material supplier and an SME. This combination will provide feedback between fundamental magnetocaloric material properties, material performance under test, and potential impact on product design. A large-scale end-user partner will provide analyses of the life cycle, environmental and cost benefits of our research to the domestic refrigeration sector. The knowledge gained from our activities will be used in parallel for the development of magnetocaloric materials for a longer-term application: thermomagnetic power generation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.27M | Year: 2015

SELECTA is a highly inter-disciplinary initiative which has the primary goal of training young researchers in the field of smart electrodeposited metallic alloys suitable for environmental / sustainable development applications. The Network encompasses the fabrication and in-depth characterization of: (i) innovative protective coatings, (ii) resilient micro/nano-electromechanical systems, and (iii) wirelessly actuated micro/nano-robotic platforms for cutting-edge environmental applications. The project will explore new types of electrodeposited alloys (based on Fe, Cu or Al; free from hazardous and scarce raw elements), with tunable structure (amorphous, nanocrystalline), morphology (dense, nanoporous) and geometry (films, micropillars, nanowires), to meet specific technological demands (high wear/corrosion resistance, superior magnetic properties or hydrophobicity). SELECTA aims to integrate technological progress with environmental sustainability concerns, which is one of the major Societal Challenges listed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Several disciplines (Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Biology and Robotics) converge together to provide a holistic approach to accomplish the SELECTA goals. The project brings together 10 Beneficiaries and 7 Partner Organizations (including 5 private companies), belonging to 10 EU Member States (plus Switzerland and Serbia). Special efforts will be devoted to bridge fundamental science with commercialisation of the research outcome. The complementarities among partners will render a high-level, multi-faceted educational programme. World-class research will be combined with unique training opportunities in soft skills, such as career planning, dissemination, intellectual property rights, entrepreneurship or management. The Network aims to provide highly-qualified specialists able to face future professional challenges in either Academia or Industry in an independent manner.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRAINNOV-02-2016 | Award Amount: 1.99M | Year: 2017

A scientific and technological paradigm change is taking place, concerning the way that very high performance time and frequency reference signals are distributed, moving from radio signal broadcasting to signal transport over optical fibre networks. The latter technology demonstrates performance improvements by orders of magnitude, over distances up to continental scale. Research infrastructures are developing several related technologies, adapted to specific projects and applications. The present project aims to prepare the transfer of this new generation of technology to industry and to strengthen the coordination between research infrastructures and the research and education telecommunication networks, in order to prepare the deployment of this technology to create a sustainable, pan-European network, providing high-performance clock services to European research infrastructures. Further this core network will be designed to be compatible with a global European vision of time and frequency distribution over telecommunication networks, enabling it to provide support to a multitude of lower-performance time services, responding to the rapidly growing needs created by developments such as cloud computing, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. The project aims at partnership building and innovation for high performance time and frequency (clock) services over optical fibre networks and to prepare the implementation of such a European backbone network.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: GALILEO-1-2014 | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2015

DEMETRA aims to demonstrate the feasibility of delivering early EGNSS timing services to end users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with pilot applications. Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, DEMETRA will define and develop a prototype of a European time disseminator, based on EGNSS., An array of important service features that are necessary for a wide variety of users will be added. These will include: high accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time stamping. Nine different time services are proposed for demonstration by consortium partners. These will be established at INRIM premises for two validation test campaigns: a closed loop test, aiming to validate the performances and the second test will be with user terminals located in a real user environment, integrated into the user application to test the real advantages and feasibility of the new proposed services. Envisaged end users are telecoms, power transmission, banks, and TV broadcasting networks. The DEMETRA partnership, including Scientific Institutions, GNSS Industries, and a service provider cover the different facets of the project, including an analysis of commercial potential in terms of market and business development. DEMETRA fits perfectly the objectives of the work program in relation to: innovation, demonstration of pilot applications, use of EGNOS and Galileo Early Services, intention to commercialise the developed service, certification, legal and societal acceptance fostering EGNSS adoption and Long term potential to set common standards in the field of GNSS applications. The proposed services could become the basis for European timing standards, facilitating the independence from GPS for the timing of critical European infrastructure and fostering the dissemination through Europe of common standardised time services, based on EGNSS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 5.67M | Year: 2013

According to European Commission [EC, COM (2012) 572, 3.10.2012] important challenges at European level are related to the establishment of validated method and instrumentation for detection, characterization and analysis of nanoparticles. In the framework of the SETNanometro project, the use of various measurement techniques for the determination of the NPs properties will allow to move from the currently used trial and error approach toward the development of well defined and controlled protocols for the production of TiO2 NPs. A particular care will be devoted to the establishment of correct metrological traceability chain in order to ensure the reliability of the results. The lack of international measurement standards for calibration is an aspect of particular relevance in nanotechnologies as it is difficult to select a universal calibration artefact to achieve repeatability at nanoscale. The materials produced according to such procedures, will be hence sufficiently characterised and homogeneous in their properties to become candidate Certified Reference Materials to be used in various applications where the lack of metrological traceability is encountered. The project results are expected to lead to fundamental impacts on the following areas: Environment: the increased knowledge of TiO2 NPs will improve the photocatalytic properties for the treatment of pollutants in air and water Energy: the better knowledge of dimension and electronic structure of TiO2 will allow to improve the traceability of DSSC measurements. Health: the engineering of topographic and surface composition of TiO2 nanostructured coatings of orthopaedic and dental prostheses will support the design of rules for the production of devices exhibiting otpimized interfacial properties for a better and quicker integration of the implants in the hosting bone tissues.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Femtosecond comb technology enables two major advances (i) a factor of 1000 improvement in sensitivity and accuracy over current atomic clock technology and (ii) the possibility to create a precision frequency synthesizer ranging from the Hz level up to 10^17 Hz or even higher, i.e. covering the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to the soft x-ray regime. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in relativistic geodesy, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. This ITN is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 945.00K | Year: 2016

Q-SENSE will promote international and inter-sector collaboration for the advancement of science and the development of innovation in the area of cold atom quantum sensors. In particular it fosters a shared culture of research and innovation that turns the Nobel-prize winning ideas of cold atom research and precision measurement (Nobel prizes 1997 and 2005) into innovative products. In particular, we bring together a synergetic network of the world leaders in optical clocks and atom interferometers with technology translators and end user applicants to promote space and terrestrial applications of optical clocks and cold atom gravity sensors with an additional eye on implications on policies via the JRC. Our research and innovation programme will deliver knowledge exchange around a technology demonstrator for a space optical clock, development plans for atom interferometer satellite missions, an open source toolbox for simulations of atom interferometer performance in real-world applications and outreach to over 70 companies and the public raising awareness of the potential of optical clocks and cold atom gravimeters for economic and societal benefits, such as in global water monitoring, humanitarian de-mining, satellite navigation and broadband communication. Q-SENSE will enhance the skills of research- and innovation-related human resources in our partner organisations to work seamlessly across sectors and provide new career perspectives in the emerging area of commercial quantum technologies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 2.39M | Year: 2012

Quantum information technology (QIT) offers faster processing and more secure transfer of information based on the laws of quantum mechanics. It is a vital technology of the future as conventional methods reach their limits. Current QIT operates with microscopic objects: single atoms, ions, molecules, and especially photons. Few-photon states of light are used in commercial quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. However, as single photons do not have efficient non-destructive interactions with each other or with material objects, their usefulness is limited. It is tempting to extend QIT protocols to macroscopic states of light, enabling more efficient interactions, but it is widely believed that going to macroscopic scale degrades quantum features. In particular, squeezed coherent states of light contain classical excitation as their largest part and are therefore inapplicable in most QIT protocols.We challenge the accepted viewpoint that only few-photon states provide the optimal features required in QIT. Unlike squeezed coherent states, bright squeezed vacuum (BSV) has perfect photon-number correlations. It thus resembles two-photon entangled states but has macroscopic photon numbers. The 5 complementary teams of our consortium plan to perform proof-of-principle experiments and calculations showing that BSV can (1) manifest experimentally accessible non-separability; (2) violate Bell inequalities, including new ones, specific for such states, and thus manifest new non-classical correlations; (3) be prepared in a single Schmidt mode; (4) be used in QKD and (5) have new applications in quantum imaging. Achieving these results will foster QIT development in a new direction.Since BSV is macroscopic, it can be controlled by tapping a small portion and using almost non-invasive feedforward techniques. In QKD protocols based on entanglement this could result in practical device-independent schemes, as the macroscopic nature would remove the detection loophole problem.


Giorgi G.L.,INRIM - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

The role played by quantum discord in mixed-state computation is widely debated since, in spite of evidence of its importance in creating quantum advantages, even in the absence of entanglement, there are not direct proofs of its necessity in these computational tasks. Recently, the presence of discord was shown to be necessary and sufficient for remote state preparation for a broad class of quantum channels. Here, we show that this property is not universal. There are states whose discord cannot be considered as a quantum resource since it has been produced locally that are useful for remote state preparation, and there are bona fide discordant states that are of no help. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2015

The concept of a localized single impurity in a many-body system is at the base of some of the most celebrated problems in condensed matter. The aim of the PlusOne project is to realize the physical paradigm of a single localized impurity in a many-body system to advance quantum simulation of in- and out-of equilibrium many-body physics. Our quantum simulator will consist of a degenerate gas of fermions as a many-body system, with a single trapped ion playing the role of the impurity. The novel design of our atom-ion hybrid system surpasses all the limitations that prevent current systems from reaching full control of atom-ion interactions because it is energetically closed. Using this system, we will characterize atom-ion collisions in the so-far unexplored ultracold regime. We will use the single trapped ion to induce non-equilibrium dynamics in the many-body system by quenching the atom-ion interactions. This process will cause an entanglement between the many-body dynamics and the ions internal state, enabling us to detect the many-body evolution by performing quantum tomography on the ion. By these means, we will observe the emergence of the Anderson Orthogonality Catastrophe for the first time in the time domain, and investigate the universality of this phenomenon. Additionally, we will explore the thermodynamics of a system out of equilibrium by measuring the work distribution of a non-equilibrium transformation, and testing the seminal Tasaki-Crooks fluctuation relation for the first time in a many-body system in the quantum regime. Finally, we will use the single trapped ion as a single atom probe and as a density- and time- correlation detector in a system of atoms loaded in an optical lattice. This achievement will significantly improve current methods for probing many-body physics with ultracold atoms. Our groundbreaking system will hence inaugurate concrete and decisive advances in the quantum simulation of many-body physics with quantum gases.

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