Research

Our interests fall on various topics that consist of Quantum optics, material science and wound healing processes. On the following sections, we specifically describe our ongoing research as well as industry activities.

Materials Science Ontology

Materials science offers abundant information resources of data that derive from the wide range of sources, e.g., experiment measurement data, simulation data, handbooks, etc. However, these rich information resources result in the data complexity characterized by semantic heterogeneity, the large variety of concepts, terminologies, and formats. In addition, the data complexity arises problems of integration and productivity among materials scientists for collaborative work and knowledge reuse. To solve the aforementioned problems, Ontology as a formal specification of the shared conceptualization is developed to provide the terms and precisely defined meaning in the domain of materials science. Moreover, it gives the community-driven controlled vocabulary to represent knowledge that can be both understood by human and machine. The knowledge itself is represented in a declarative formalism e.g., logical theory consisting of the objects and describable relationship among objects to give a semantic consistency.

Quantum Optics

fig1wordIn this project, we are investigating ultracold gases. These are very dilute collections of atoms that are trapped and cooled by lasers to extremely low temperatures near absolute zero. When such atoms are now excited to high-lying – so-called Rydberg – states they acquire very strong interactions, which altogether yields a unique platform for studying complex many-body phenomena in the “quantum world”. specifically, regular lattices of such Rydberg atoms are investigated, where I am looking for the self-induced crystallization of atomic excitations and trying to understand the mechanisms behind this effect. In the long term, we want to understand how such collective phenomena could be exploited to manipulate light by sending it through a cold Rydberg gas. Beside fundamental interest, we hope that such insights will pave the way for new information technologies where photons are used to store, process and communicate information on the quantum level. For further informations, see Phys. Rev A.90.021603 and Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 225: 3019.

Wound healing

milaWound healing assays are extensively used to study tissue repair mechanisms; they are typically performed by means of physical (i.e., mechanical, electrical, or optical) detachment of the cells in order to create an open space in which live cells can lodge. Herein, an advanced system based on extensive photobleaching‐induced apoptosis; providing a powerful tool to understand the repair response of lung epithelial tissue, consisting of a small injury area where apoptotic cells are still intact, is developed. Notably, the importance of epithelial mechanics and the presence of macrophages during the repair can be understood. The findings reveal that individual epithelial cells are able to clear the apoptotic cells by applying a pushing force, whilst macrophages actively phagocytose the dead cells to create an empty space. It is further shown that this repair mechanism is hampered when carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are introduced: formation of aberrant (i.e., thickening) F‐actins, maturation of focal adhesion, and increase in traction force leading to retardation in cell migration are observed. The results provide a mechanistic view of how CNTs can interfere with lung repair. For further informations, see Adv. Mater. 2018, 30, 1806181.

Interfacing Rydberg atoms and solid-state qubits

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The special properties of cold atoms laser excited to the Rydberg states are employed to construct a coherent interface to transfer the quantum states of a superconducting qubit to an atomic quantum memory – a key component for hybrid quantum computing architectures. Specifically, the cold atomic ensembles serve as a suitable quantum memory as their hyperfine ground states feature transitions in the GHz range and can thus be coupled to the quantum states of microwave photons confined in typical superconducting cavities. Such of a setting enables us to process quantum information rapidly using well-developed superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) technology while storing quantum information for a long times in the hyperfine ground states of atomic ensembles. While a superconducting cavity provides a virtual ideal interface between the SQUID quantum states and the atomic quantum memory, the remaining outstanding challenge is to achieve an efficient and coherent transfer between quantum states encoded in microwave photons in the superconducting cavity and atomic excitation of quantum memory.