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Landry Bretheau: Manipulate Condensed Matter at the Single Fermion Level

Landry Bretheau, assistant professor at Ecole Polytechnique at the Irradiated Solids Laboratory, has been awarded 2020 ERC Starting Grants to help him set up his research team to manipulate coherently condensed matter systems at the single fermion level.

For more than a century, Quantum Physics has revolutionized our understanding of nature behavior at small-scale and low-energy. Promising applications, such as quantum computation, secured long-distance communication, and analog simulation of complex problems seem to be within reach. However, there is still a huge landscape of fundamental physics to explore.

For Landry Bretheau, a particularly exciting and challenging direction consists in revealing quantum information contained in condensed matter. To do so, Landry created the FERMIcQED project, which aims to probe and manipulate coherently condensed matter systems at the single fermion level. He has been awarded 2020 ERC Starting Grants to conduct this project. Starting Grants aim to support talented early-career researchers who have already provided excellent supervised work and who are ready to work independently as research team leaders.

Landry Bretheau’s work consists of engineering hybrid architectures combining superconducting circuits and low-dimensional conductors in order to isolate novel electronic states and manipulate their quantum states coherently. In addition to its fundamental interest, this line of research could make it possible to identify new elementary quantum systems favorable for quantum information processing.

Landry Bretheau

Landry Bretheau is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at École Polytechnique with a researcher position at the Irradiated Solids Laboratory (LSI*). He graduated from École Polytechnique (X2005) and carried out his Ph.D. at the CEA Saclay. He then conducted two successive post-docs at ENS (France) and MIT (USA). His work has enabled him to make major contributions in the fields of mesoscopic superconductivity and quantum circuits, with the publication of remarkable articles in the scientific journals Nature, Science, and Physical Review as well as obtaining the École Polytechnique Thesis Award.

In 2017, he joined École Polytechnique to work on a new research theme with his colleague, Jean-Damien Pillet. To develop this new activity, Landry Bretheau was awarded a Young Team Fellowship from École Polytechnique and a Young Researcher Grant from the French National Research Agency, ANR JCJC. Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2020 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize.

About the ERC Starting Grants

Awarded by the European Research Council (ERC), Starting Grants aim to support talented early-career researchers who have already provided excellent supervised work and who are ready to work independently as research team leaders. This year, École Polytechnique counts two prestigious winners among its researchers: Landry Bretheau, researcher at the LSI, and Manas V. Upadhyay, researcher at the Solid Mechanics Laboratory.

* LSI – A joint research unit between the CNRS and École Polytechnique