Prof. Wojciech Knap Awarded with ERC Advanced Grant


      Today, on 26th April 2022, the European Research Council announced the results of the most prestigious grant competition in Europe – ERC Advanced. We are proudly announcing that prof. Wojciech Knap from the Institute of High Pressure Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences is one of the winners. So far, it is only the six ERC Advanced Grants granted to Poland. For the current call, there have been submitted 762 proposals only 110 are funded.

      The TERAPLASM project proposed by prof. Knap applies to the research on electromagnetic waves of very high frequency, in the range of terahertz (THz is 1012 Hz) that is even a thousand times higher than the frequency range used in the modern wireless communications or WiFi. Such high frequency electromagnetic waves could find a use for the future communications, imaging systems, health monitoring and detection of chemicals, but in this frequency range we haven’t have effective and cheap solutions available, allowing for the mass application in the industry and everyday life because we can’t overcome fundamental physical and microelectronics barriers.

     The ERC has appreciated the package of innovative plasmonic research activities proposed by the laureate, which gives hope for the breakthrough in this field. For amplification and in the future for generation of terahertz waves there should be used the so-called two-dimensional materials (e.g. graphene, 2DEG AlGaN/GaN or HgCdTe/HgTe quantum wells) and the couplings of the two such materials (strongly interacting with each other) in which during the flow of electric current should arise the turbulences leading to the generation of THz (e.g. theoretically predicted Kelvin-Helmholtz turbulences).  The researchers expect to discover the new physical phenomena, develop their theoretical models as well as roadmap for their further development towards microelectronics applications.

      Prof. W. Knap has been developing the high frequency physics for many years.  Since 2018, thanks to the program of IRAP of the Foundation for Polish Science, he plays the role of the Principal Investigator in the CENTERA (Centre for Terahertz Research and Applications) project form the International Research Agenda Program of the Polish Science Foundation, carried out in the Institute of High Pressure Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, where the TERAPLASM grant will also be realized.

Full list of this year ERC Advanced grant winners
More about the laureate’s research