News & Media

TQM is made up of a team of dynamic individuals, who participate both in the scientific community at large, and the thriving one at ISTA. Browse the articles below to keep up with our latest appearances in the news & media.

crystal slice on cantilever
quadrupoles and octupoles
fwf austria

May 2022

Postdoc Muhammad Nauman wins the ESPRIT fellowship, funded by the FWF

Congratulations to our postdoc Muhammad Nauman for winning the ESPRIT fellowship for his plans to develop a new probe to study multipolar physics in the praseodymium-based compounds PrV₂Al₂₀ and PrTi₂Al₂₀. This fellowship, funded by Der Wissenschaftsfonds FWF, will support a new collaboration with Stanford University and fund Muhammad’s research for the next three years!

Valeska Zambra Masters Experiment
Vale Zambra Liquid Crystals

January 2022

TQM Graduate Student Valeska Zambra wins best Master’s Thesis Award in Physics from Universidad de Chile

We’d like to congratulate our very own graduate student, Valeska Zambra, on receiving an award for the best Master’s Thesis in Physics from her previous university, Universidad de Chile.

Her Master’s Thesis was entitled “Vortices Induced by Electric and Magnetic Field and Topological Transitions in Out-of-Equilibrium Systems”, where she studied the behaviour of vortices in Nematic liquid crystals. As a result, she obtained 3 papers and had 2 proceedings published, with the main result being that topological phases (also called “exotic states”) were found, in out-of-equilibrium systems. View the gorgeous, colorful photos above for an example of this – these correspond to vortices in la nematic liquid crystal. Vortices are singularities (we can think of them like swirls) that are generated in this material when an electric field is applied. We found that at low frequencies of an oscillating voltage, different vortices structures are formed in this material, as we see in these pictures (you can also view a photo of Valeska with her Master’s experiment above). Every structure corresponds to a topological phase.

Vale gave an acceptance speech back on November 30th on behalf of all of the winners of the Best Master’s Thesis awards in every category – and while we have no idea what she’s saying in Spanish, we’re incredibly proud of her hard work and great presentation. You can view her full Master’s Thesis here. Give her speech a listen, and congratulations Valeska!

SFB Grants IST Austria

January 2022

IST Austria is part of FWF’s Special Research Programmes, now awarded almost 15 million euro

Our team is so excited to be a part of a Special Research Programme at IST Austria that’s been awarded almost 15 million Euro to 4 multidisciplinary research projects, bringing together two subfields of quantum physics: exotic forms of correlated quantum matter and quantum devices. Read more here >

IST Austria 2020 Annual Report Cover


Thermodynamics of Quantum Materials at the Microscale’s own Kimberly Modic, and Mikhail Lemeshko from Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics & the Lemeshko Group were both featured on IST Austria’s 2020 Annual Report cover this year. Here’s an excerpt about TQM from the report:

“From the stone tools of the Stone Age to the semiconductor devices of our modern information age, societies are defined by their materials. The next generation of materials, such as superconductors and spin liquids, will exploit the quantum mechanical nature of matter and drive future technologies, such as quantum computation.

Read the rest of the annual report here >
auf Deutsch

TQM women in science

March 2021

WoMen in Science

Kimberly Modic, our group leader, participated in a silent interview about experiences, gender equity, and balance, captured by photographer Peter Rigaud. Read more about the exhibition here >

class ring created by EVERYTHING IS VALUES & Kim Modic


Class Ring: created by EVERYTHING IS VALUES & Kimberly Modic

The EVERYTHING IS VALUES Class Ring was made in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Modic with contributions from Dr. Scott Waitukaitis, Todor Asenov, Dora Des and Eva van Kempen, 2020. View artist Marilyn Volkman’s work here.

October 2020

Wanted: A new phase of matter

The principles of quantum mechanics are the gateway to a faster and more secure means of computing. These quantum computers are far from reaching their full potential, but they are already one of the 21st-century breakthroughs. Read more here >

spin liquids

October 2020

Scientists find evidence of a spin liquid state in candidate material for quantum computers

A new experimental technique allowed physicists to precisely probe the electron spins of an intriguing compound and uncover unexpected behavior. Read more here >

Spot an article or feature on us?

We love hearing about our work out in the world, so if you’ve seen an article about any of our group members that you think should be featured on this page, send it our way via the form below or email it to Thank you!