Newswise — The MIPT Center for Photonics and 2D Materials has been named among the winners of the eighth competition for megagrants from the Russian government. The funding will go toward research on advanced nanophotonics: quantum materials and artificial intelligence.

The research project will see a new laboratory established at MIPT’s Center for Photonics and 2D Materials. That lab will be headed by Professor Luis Martín-Moreno, one of the founders of modern nanophotonics. It will offer an environment for research conducted by both young and established MIPT scientists, as well as the University’s PhD students in training.

“Under that project, the lab will pursue several lines of research into the physics of quantum low-dimensional systems,” commented the center’s director, Valentyn Volkov. “There are a large number of two-dimensional materials, and their optical properties are poorly studied. That said, many of them look promising for nanophotonics applications: in resonators, waveguides, and other devices. When we shift from 3D space into two dimensions, the quantum nature of matter manifests itself, creating new options for controlling the interaction between light and matter. Another thing we intend to do is develop and apply machine learning techniques for creating and studying novel optical materials and optimizing nanophotonic devices based on them.”

The Center for Photonics and 2D Materials was established at MIPT in 2016. It aims to attain global leadership in areas such as active plasmonics, 2D material-based optoelectronics, and quantum optoelectronics. The main objective of the center is creating an entirely new class of nanosized optoelectronic devices and components with a broad range of applications. This includes electronic components, nano- and biosensors, nanolasers, quantum communication lines, and energy-efficient lighting devices. The center has a history of successful scientific collaborations with colleagues from Spain, Denmark, the U.S., Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, and other countries.

Megagrants are a program that fosters international cooperation between Russian universities and scientific foundations, and the world’s leading researchers and foreign academic and scientific centers. The program, which encompasses science, education, and innovation, was launched April 9, 2010, and has already featured seven contests that led to 272 world-class laboratories established and more than 1,000 intellectual property products created.

The program offers an opportunity for top researchers from Russia and abroad to do science together. It fosters a new generation of researchers, facilitates the creation of competitive labs and the transfer of R&D results into the real economy. Ten MIPT laboratories have participated in the project since its inception, among them the Laboratory of the Biophysics of Excitable Systems, the Laboratory of Combinatorial and Geometric Structures, the Laboratory of Brain Stem Cells, and others.