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Lukáš Ondič: The Lumina Fellowship means five years of continuous research

On the 5th of November 2019, Lukáš Ondič received the Lumina Quaeruntur Premium awarded by the Academy of Sciences. As a result, he will be able to set up a research team at the Institute of Physics to concentrate on the study of new diamond nanophotonic platforms suitable for quantum photonics and sensorics. We asked him about his future plans.

On the 5th of November 2019, Lukáš Ondič received the Lumina Quaeruntur Premium awarded by the Academy of Sciences

You received a significant award from the Academy of Sciences. What exactly does this mean to you?

I am very honoured to have won the Lumina Premium and I highly appreciate the respect the Academy of Sciences has shown to me by this. At the same time, I feel it is a great commitment and a responsibility to create something new and to contribute to the findings in the field of quantum photonics. In my opinion, the greatest benefit of it is that thanks to the generous budget to be allocated for a period of up to five years we will have time to concentrate on quality outputs and on the research itself, instead of being under pressure to generate quantitative outputs.

The project will enable me to set up a team of researchers who will focus on the issues and challenges of quantum photonics. There are a lot of them and I, naturally, do not understand all of them yet but I have pinpointed specific issues to which I will be able to apply my current knowledge and which can be covered by the equipment available at the laboratories of the Institute of Physics.

The Premium will enable you to set up a new scientific team – which direction would you like to take in studying quantum photonics?

The project‘s main objective is to understand and describe the physical processes that are responsible for the emission of light from what is known as diamond optical centres. These optical centres are sources of individual photons, with properties suitable for use in quantum photonics. In quantum photonics, the information about the quantum state of systems is built in individual photons, for example in the polarisation of light.

In the project, we are going to create, among others, a photonic diamond platform which will combine these optical centres with an effective element for their efficient manipulation - manipulation in the sense of setting them into a required quantum state. Until now, external sources have been used for their manipulation, that is large stand-alone lasers and this has been ineffective. Our plan within the project is to create a new platform which will include a laser and a photon source in a single chip and will enable the implementation of diamond quantum photonics and sensorics.

RNDr. Lukáš Ondič works at the Department of Thin Layers and Nanostructures of the Institute of Physics. In his doctoral project he came up with a ground-breaking process which makes the extraction of light from a diamond layer up to ten times more effective and, at the same time, enables directing the light beam in a required direction. In 2017, he received the Otto Wichterle Premium for young scientists.