Two ERC Starting Grants awarded to MCQST members

16 September 2020

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced its new Starting Grants for 2020. Two of the prestigious grants for early-career researchers are awarded to MCQST members, Fabian Grusdt and Dominik Bucher.

Fabian Grusdt and Dominik Bucher win ERC Starting Grants

Fabian Grusdt standing in front of a blackboard filled with formulas. © C. Hohmann / MCQST
Dr. Fabian Grusdt is MCQST START Fellow and project leader within the Laboratory of Theoretical Nanophysics at LMU. Grusdt’s own research focuses on strongly correlated quantum systems, which can be studied using quantum simulation techniques. Grusdt explores the complex physical behavior exhibited by these systems, whose underlying microscopic origins are as yet poorly understood. High-temperature superconductivity is probably the best-known example of such enigmatic behavior.

Just as investigations of atoms and their internal structures enabled the diverse properties of materials to be explained, Grusdt’s ERC project “Simulating Ultracold Correlated Quantum Matter: New Microscopic Paradigms” (acronym: SimUcQuam) sets out to elucidate the behavior of strongly interacting quantum systems by studying their subatomic constituents.

He will collaborate closely with experimental physicists at LMU, who are using quantum simulators and novel characterization methods to uncover the internal structures of the microscopic components of strongly correlated matter. Instead of exploiting features such as absorption lines, which enabled the basic make-up of atoms to be determined, Grusdt will search for signatures that are characteristic of systems involving strongly interacting electrons.

Dr. Fabian Grusdt
Theoretical Nanophysics | LMU München
Email: fabian.grusdt[at]

Related: Searching for the big answers on the Quantum Science Blog.

Dominik Bucher in his lab at TUM. © C. Hohmann / MCQST
Dr. Dominik B. Bucher is head of the Emmy Noether junior research group "Biomolecular Quantum Sensing" at the Chair of Physical Chemistry at the TU Munich and MCQST member.

In many cell biology experiments, whole-cell ensembles are usually examined with the decisive disadvantage that the development or behavior of individual cells is masked. However, changes in individual cells can have serious consequences for the function of an entire cell population, such as the development of drug resistance or the development of tumors.

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) - very similar to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used in medicine - is one of the most widely used analytical methods in (bio)chemistry due to its high chemical specificity and non-invasiveness. Although these techniques allow the precise analysis of the composition of biological matter, the signals are very weak and traditional magnetic resonance sensors cannot detect individual cells.

In his project "Single-cell nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with diamond quantum sensors", Dr. Dominik Bucher wants to overcome this limitation and develop a technology that allows single cells to be examined using magnetic resonance methods. For this purpose, he wants to use and further develop novel diamond quantum sensors that can detect NMR signals in smallest sample volumes, for example from single cells.

Dr. Dominik Bucher
Biomolecular Quantum Sensing | TU Munich
Email: dominik.bucher[at]

Related: Two worlds entangled: quantum technology and (bio)chemistry on the Quantum Science Blog

About the ERC Starting Grants

The ERC Starting Grants are aimed at early-career scientists, who have already produced excellent work. The grants help scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research across all disciplines. These are part of the EU’s Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

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