Enrico Ronca is awarded an ERC Starting Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded an ERC Starting Grant to Enrico Ronca, a former member and visiting scientist of the MPSD's Theory Department at CFEL and a researcher at the Institute for Physical-Chemical Processes of the National Research Council of Italy (IPCF-CNR) in Pisa. The grant will fund his project "QED-Spin – Controlling spin properties of molecules with quantum fields: ab-initio methodologies for spin polaritons".

The highly competitive ERC Starting Grants are targeted at outstanding early-career scientists to allow them to perform groundbreaking research. Ronca’s project is about the development of theoretical methodologies for the study of magnetic properties of molecules strongly interacting with light. In addition to him, his project group will consist of one researcher, two to three post-doctoral researchers and two PhD students.

The use of light, and therefore photons, is nowadays becoming a promising technique to manipulate, control and change molecular properties as needed. QED-Spin fits perfectly into this field. The main goal of the project is to propose new experimental techniques to study and control the magnetic properties of molecules using novel theoretical methods.

“The proposed techniques will allow to improve the performance of currently available quantum computers, to redesign the photochemistry of molecules, and to formulate new and more selective spectroscopic techniques for chiral systems," says Ronca. “To achieve these goals, we will develop for the first time accurate ab initio techniques capable of describing electrons, nuclei, and photons on the same quantum basis, including their magnetic and spin properties.”

Indeed, the main goal of the project is to propose new techniques for the fabrication and manipulation of qbits used in quantum computation and for the development of new and selective analytical techniques for molecular systems.

Biographical information

Enrico Ronca, born in a small town of the Viterbo province, obtained his master’s degree in Chemistry by the University of Perugia. In 2011 he started a doctoral program in Chemical Sciences at the same University with a fellowship financed by CNR. In 2015 he moved to the USA to work as a post-doc first at the Princeton University and then at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2017 he moved back to Europe where he obtained a position as post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg. Since 2019 Enrico is a tenured researcher at the Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici of DSCTM CNR (IPCF) in Pisa. During these years he gained experience in the development of theories for the description of strongly interacting electron-electron and electron-photon systems. He published about 30 scientific papers cited approximately 2800 times.