Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project
The Hybrid Optomechanical Technologies (HOT) consortium will lay the foundation for a new generation of devices, which connect, or indeed contain, several platforms at the nanoscale in a single “hybrid” system. As hybrid interfaces, they will harness the unique advantages of each subsystem within a nano-scale footprint, while as integrated hybrid devices they will enable entirely novel functionalities. A particular focus will be on nano-optomechanical devices that comprise electrical, microwave or optical systems with micro- and nano-mechanical systems. Research in the past decade, in particular by European groups, has shown the significant technological potential that such nano-optomechanical systems can offer, in particular by establishing a new way in which optical, radio-frequency and microwave signals can be interfaced. The present consortium will explore the potential of these hybrid nano-optomechanical systems; in particular, hybrid opto and electro-mechanical devices operating at the physical limit for conversion, synthesis, processing, sensing and measurement of EM fields, comprising radio, microwave frequencies to the terahertz domain.
Brief description of technology
The research aims at specific technological application, with realistic operating conditions and seeks to develop actual system demonstrators. In addition, it will explore how these hybrid transducers can be fabricated within standard CMOS processing, and thereby be made compatible with current manufacturing methods. The HOT devices will thereby impact today’s technology and likewise address potential future need for the manipulation of quantum signals. The University of Malta (UOM), a partner in the HOT consortium, plays a dual role in this project. We lead one of the four main technical pillars that support this project. In short, this work will be concerned with developing the basis for a new kind of technology. We also lead the dissemination and outreach strategy for the entire project. Artists will be given the opportunity to engage citizens with cutting edge research through interactive light installations.
What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable
Collaborating with such diverse disciplines can prove to be very innovative and ground-breaking for research and disseminating the research to different publics. The approach helps in challenging both the artist and the researcher in creating unique forms of engagement. Science can provide new media and innovative ways of exploration to the artists in residence. On the other hand, the approach taken by artists can help scientists to explore different approaches to their research. Artists who have a strong background in setting up and working with light installations will help to provide a different outlook on HOT research. Useful assets would be to be able to code and think creatively to produce an interactive piece that can engage different publics.
Resources available to the artist
The artists will be supported by Dr André Xuereb and Dr Vittorio Peano, the two group leaders carrying out HOT research on behalf of UOM. They will also have the support of science communicators Danielle M. Farrugia from the Department of Physics and Dr Edward Duca who coordinates the science festival in Malta as well as other science and arts activities throughout the year, in order to maximise the engagement and social outreach of their artistic interpretation of HOT research. Other facilities: - Internet connection - Access to laboratory which can be used for quantum communication and time-and-frequency transfer - Time and group meetings and discussions - Networks to local media - Access to HOT public results as made available on the HOT website - Access to exhibition spaces at University of Malta - Access to local public engagement platforms. - Free access to a festival to showcase the artwork - Office space