We are pleased to send you the 23rd issue of the NCCR MARVEL newsletter!
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Newsletter - March 31, 2020

Dear MARVEL'ers,

Please find below our latest newsletter, with highlights, news, and events linked to the MARVEL community. 

Though the world has changed considerably since our last newsletter, we’re all coping and adapting and many things remain the same. MARVEL members are continuing to publish groundbreaking research, most recently on jacutingaite and twisted double bilayer graphene. We’re pleased too to expand the group, welcoming four new PIs, who will be leading research, detailed below, that contributes to D&D projects 1, 4, 5 and 6. While some events have been cancelled, we’re being innovative and going online where we can, all while looking forward to meetings and conferences that can hopefully take place this autumn.

We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe during these difficult times and look forward to being together as soon as it is possible again.


New experimental and theoretical evidence identifies jacutingaite as a dual-topology insulator

New collaborative work involving NCCR MARVEL researchers has provided additional insight into the nature of jacutingaite (Pt2HgSe3), a species of platinum-group mineral first discovered in a Brazilian mine in 2008. The new studies show that the material is one of only a few known dual-topological insulators, featuring different surface states that are linked to crystalline symmetries rather than to the topological properties of the 2D monolayer, which is a quantum spin Hall insulator (QSHI). The work has been published in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review Research. 

Dialing flat bands in twisted double bilayer graphene

Researchers including Professor Oleg Yazyev, chair of Chair of Computational Condensed Matter Physics at EPFL, and scientist QuanSheng Wu have shown that flat bands are a fundamental feature twisted double bilayer graphene (TDBG) rather than the result of any external fields and have identified a so-called magic angle of 1.3 degrees, at which both electron and hole gaps are maximized. A separate paper, published together with experimental colleagues in China, shows that TDBG is an easily tunable platform for exploring quantum many-body states thanks to vertical displacement fields. The corresponding papers were recently published in Nano Letters and Nature Physics, respectively. 

Read MARVEL Highlights here.

New Agility Plus PIs joining MARVEL

Four new Agility Plus projects to cover research topics from crystal packing to topological materials

NCCR MARVEL Agility Plus grants are targeted at new junior PIs, particularly women, to help support either experimental or theoretical research that can be integrated into existing MARVEL projects. The grants will support a PhD student or half a postdoc between May 2020 and April 2022. The latest round of funding has now been granted to four projects covering topics ranging from machine learning in the sampling of crystal packing to topological materials with intrinsic magnetic ordering. The following projects, proposed respectively by Prof. Sereina Riniker, Dr. Emiliana Fabbri, Prof. Marta Gibert and Prof. Ana Akrap,  have been funded.   


Michele Parrinello to be awarded 2020 European Chemistry Gold Medal

Michele Parrinello, professor of Computational Sciences at ETH Zurich and the Università della Svizzera italiana as well as group leader in NCCR MARVEL's Design & Discovery Project 1, will be awarded the 2020 European Chemistry Gold Medal in recognition of his exceptional achievements in the field.

INSPIRE Potentials – MARVEL Master's Fellowships

The next deadline for INSPIRE Potentials MARVEL Master's Fellowships is April 15!

These fellowships are developed to empower excellent female students to pursue a career in a field of science where women are still strongly underrepresented. They consist of a 6-month 12'000 CHF fellowship (+ 500 CHF for travel + separate coverage of tuition fees and medical insurance (for non EU participants)). The yearly application deadlines are on 15 April and 15 October.

To extend publicity and to encourage more female students to apply, we count on you to broadcast this information. All the information is available on http://nccr-marvel.ch/inspire.

You can read the testimonials of former INSPIRE Potentials fellows at http://nccr-marvel.ch/outreach/equal-opportunities/inspire-potentials-fellows

Important notice regarding the Psi-k 2020 conference

Psi-k conference

Aug 23, 2021, 13:00 until Aug 26, 2021, 18:00, SwissTech Convention Center, EPFL

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Psi-k conference – which was originally scheduled to be held in September 2020 – is postponed to next year (Aug. 2021)!Given the current situation, and after having frozen registrations since mid-March, we have now taken the formal decision to postpone the conference to August 23-26, 2021, preserving the same format, plenary and invited speakers, and symposia.The registration platform will be reopened later for registration — the participants who had already registered for this year will be contacted separately.Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to meeting you next year!

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