Politecnico di Milano: Innovative training network secures 3.9 million for early career researcher education

17 May 2021 | Network Updates | Update from Politecnico di Milano
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Politecnico di Milano is part of 2Exciting. This network, coordinated by Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, Germany, aims to develop the next generation of scientists with high level skills and understanding of the rapidly evolving field of nano - optoelectronics, the study and applications of electronic devices that interact with light in 2D materials, specifically, layers of semiconductors a few atoms thick.

The goal of 2Exciting is training early career researchers in an unmatched combination of scientific and complementary skills. The trainees will study the fundamental physics of the light-matter interaction in two-dimensional semiconductor materials to develop innovative optoelectronic devices for telecommunications and next generation technology applications.

Technology based on atomically thin, two-dimensional semiconductors (2DS) will underpin the next generation of innovations in computing, energy, and beyond. Due to the strong light-matter interaction at the nano (2D) scale scientists can find new ways of controlling electrical and optical properties and develop strategies to artificially tailor the optoelectronic properties for a range of existing or emerging applications in electronics, energy storage, sensors, and catalysis.

The fast growth of industrial applications of 2DS in the imminent future, where Europe is in an excellent starting position, is at risk due to a shortage of highly skilled and qualified researchers and developers with specific experience in this field. This is where the 2Exciting Network comes in.

The 2EXCITING brings together eight academic groups that are amongst Europe’s key players in the 2DS field and eight companies with very diverse profiles, to train fifteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in scientific and soft skills. The network training programme, which comprises three winter schools and three satellite events to the “Flatlands beyond Graphene” conference series, provides scientific and industrial training to all researchers of the network, with active participation of trainers from the involved non-academic partners, both on specific technology issues and on complementary skills such as technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and public outreach. A crucial piece of each trainee’s experience will be the opportunity to spend intersectoral and international secondments (be seconded from academia to industry or vice versa) for six months.

Christoph Gadermaier, of the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano, commented: "An incredibly valuable opportunity to train the next generation of scientists in an area of highly relevant and strategic importance to the European Union. Although hidden from us in general, the science of optoelectronics and two-dimensional materials is the backbone of the Internet era and, attracting the best and brightest in this area, we guarantee Europe's economy and security for years to come."

2Exciting was granted a budget of 3.92 million under Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, Innovative Training Network Programme.

This article was first published on May 13 by Politecnico di Milano.

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