Quantum Technology Finland awards Bayan Karimi

PhD student wins prize for her groundbreaking research achievements

This year the Quantum Technology Finland Centre of Excellence (QTF) annual discovery prize is being awarded to Bayan Karimi. She was first author on this year’s Nature Communications paper “Reaching the ultimate energy resolution of a quantum detector” ( In the work, Bayan as part of the PICO group in the Department of Applied Physics, developed a nanocalorimeter with record sensitivity. The device aims to measure energy differences in qubits at the sensitivity limits imposed by nature.

The €1,000 prize is awarded by the QTF for the best discovery made by one of its members in the last year. The judging panel consisted of  Mikko Merimaa (VTT), Elisabetta Paladino (University of Catania), Martti Kauranen (Tampere University). The judges praised the paper for successfully tackling fundamental questions in quantum calorimetry and opening up new experimental directions fo the field. They also specifically praised Karimi for her role as main author of the work.

‘We have a bigger goal in mind,’ says Karimi. ‘It’s great to have developed this detector, but now that we have it, the real research actually begins!’ The team in the PICO group are aiming to do experimental work to get data to help the wider research community make more advances in quantum thermodynamics. ‘This detector is a beautiful testbed for quantum thermodynamics. We’re now looking to answer many long-standing questions. The dream would be to detect single microwave photons from superconducting qubits.’

Karimi says that part of the key of her work were the facilities and infrastructure at Aalto, particularly that the cleanroom and equipment at OtaNano have been really valuable. ‘This prize is a recognition to all our research group PICO and coauthors, and I want to thank especially my supervisor Prof. Jukka Pekola for his support and continuous collaboration.’

Karimi works in QTF and Marie Curie training network QuESTech. The work for the Nature Communications paper was funded through Academy of Finland, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the European Research Council program and Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions.

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Pico - Quantum Phenomena and Devices

We investigate mesoscopic physics and its sensor applications. The main focus is on charge transport and thermal properties of metallic, superconducting and hybrid nanostructures.

Department of Applied Physics

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