Excellent – Prizes for outstanding doctoral students

PhD students from the SNI network have been awarded prizes at various conferences for their outstanding publications.

Thomas Karg, Nadine Leisgang, Mehdi Ramezani, and Pooja Thakkar recently won awards.

PhD Awards for Thomas Karg and Nadine Leisgang
At the Swiss NanoConvention Online 2021, former SNI PhD student Dr. Thomas Karg was presented with the Swiss MNT PhD Award — which is sponsored by IBM Research — for his outstanding publication entitled “Light-mediated strong coupling between a mechanical oscillator and atomic spins 1 meter apart.”

Thomas was first author of the publication. Together with his colleagues, he observed strong coupling between a nanomechanical oscillator and an atomic spin ensemble for the first time as part of work carried out in Professor Philipp Treutlein’s team at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel. The researchers pursued an innovative approach that uses light to couple the two systems over a macroscopic distance.

A PhD Award also went to Dr. Nadine Leisgang from the Department of Physics at the University of Basel. In the prizewinning publication “Giant Stark splitting of an exciton in bilayer MoS2,” she and her colleagues described how various two-dimensional materials can be layered to create a structure with the ability to absorb almost all the light of a selected wavelength. This achievement relies on a double layer of molybdenum disulfide, and the resulting structure is a candidate for applications in optical components or as a source of individual photons.

At SNC 2021 Online, Nadine also won one of the three Nano Image Awards with her colorful image “The Art of Fabrication.”

Poster award for Mehdi Ramezani
One of the three awards for the best poster at SNC 2021 went to SNI doctoral student Mehdi Ramezani, whose poster demonstrated how a monolayer of the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide can be equipped with superconducting contacts.

Mehdi and his colleagues recently published this work in the journal “Nano Letters”. A video giving viewers an insight into the lab work is also available and has generated significant positive feedback.

SGS award for Pooja Thakkar
Pooja Thakkar, who recently defended her doctoral dissertation at the SNI PhD School, won the Shoulders-Gray-Spindt award at the 34th Vacuum Nanoelectronics Conference for the publication “Voltage-controlled three-electron-beam interference by a three-element Boersch phase shifter with top and bottom shielding electrodes.”

Pooja’s work brings researchers a step closer to the goal of manipulating electron waves in order to realize a novel method for electron diffraction imaging. Funded by the PhD School of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the project is a collaboration between the Paul Scherrer Institute and Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The award was created in honor of the founders of vacuum nanoelectronics in order to promote early career researchers.

“Congratulations to Thomas, Nadine, Mehdi and Pooja!
I am very pleased to see young researchers from our network
being recognized for their excellent work.”

Professor Christian Schönenberger, SNI Director

Further information:

Media release publication Thomas Karg

Media release publication Nadine Leisgang

Media release publication Mehdi Ramezani

Video publication Mehdi Ramezani

Shoulders-Gray-Spindt Award