Jean-Pierre Locquet

“Nanomaterials with controlled functionality”

Jean-Pierre Locquet was born in Belgium in 1960. He obtained a Master in Physics in 1983 and a PhD in Physics in 1989 from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

The research of Jean-Pierre Locquet focuses on the physics and material science of thin films and devices of complex materials. This includes materials which display a dielectric, magnetic, ferroelectric, superconducting and/or semiconducting behaviour for use in storage, memory and logic devices.

The granted project of Jean-Pierre Locquet is entitled “Nanomaterials with controlled functionality”. The functional response of a nanomaterial is a change of a ‘state variable’ which can be a charge or spin density, a spin or dipole orientation, an excited state, a molecular arrangement, etc. Such a state variable is a property of the nanomaterial itself, but controlling how it changes is quite a challenge.  It often depends on unknown and uncontrolled surface and interface details which can limit the practical relevance of these materials. This is a generic problem observed in applications ranging from electronics, to materials science, catalysis, energy production  as well as  medicine. To understand and resolve this problem, one must gain atomic level control on size, shape orientation and composition of the nanomaterial, together with a precise surface and interface engineering, while the functional response is monitored. To achieve this, a new infrastructure with tools for synthesis, lithography, microscopy, spectroscopy, processing and characterisation will be assembled in the Institute for Functional Nanosystems. Realising this objective can lead to many scientific breakthroughs and practical applications in new devices and tools.

Jean-Pierre Locquet has been nominated by the University of Leuven as a candidate for the Odysseus Group I programme. The jury appreciates very much the more than 20 years experience of Jean-Pierre Locquet in this field. The proposal presents a feasible goal, using good methods. Jean-Pierre Locquet will continue his research at The University of Leuven, that will be a perfect environment to establish the Institute for Functional Nanosystems.