The 2016 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize winner is Dr Andrea Caviglia, Assistant Professor at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize promotes and recognises the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures and/or high magnetic fields in Europe.

Dr Caviglia is recognised for his contribution to the field of complex oxide films and structures, in particular the electric field control of superconductivity at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface, and the dynamic control of the metal-to-insulator transition in nickelates.

The focus of Andrea Caviglia’s research is on the electronic properties of novel materials engineered at the atomic scale. He uses advanced techniques in order to synthesise artificial crystals of quantum matter layer-by-layer, and to control the behaviour of electrons at the nanoscale. He is also interested in using intense electromagnetic stimulation in order to drive these artificial structures towards novel states of matter. 

Dr Caviglia took up his Assistant Professorship at the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology in January 2013, where he is leading a research programme at the intersection between condensed-matter physics and nanoscience. In 2015 he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant by the European Research Council to further develop investigation of artificial quantum matter driven out of equilibrium.

“I feel very honoured to receive this prize. I am grateful to the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize Committee for recognising my work and to Oxford Instruments for supporting young scientists", commented Dr. Caviglia.

Dr Caviglia will be formally presented with the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize trophy at a future research conference in Europe, where he will present his research work.

The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize selection committee was particularly pleased to recognise Dr Caviglia’s effort to gain detailed understanding, and exhibit outstanding scientific skills, in quantum physics. The committee consists of leading European physicists, chaired by Professor George Pickett, Lancaster University, UK.

The objective of the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is to promote and recognise the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures and high magnetic fields within Europe. Oxford Instruments is aware that there is a critical and often difficult stage for many such researchers between completing their PhD and gaining a permanent research position. The company has therefore been helping individuals who are producing innovative work by offering assistance both financially and through promotion of their research work, through sponsoring the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize for now over 10 years, together with other such prizes for research in physical science in the Americas, Japan, China and India. The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is named in honour of the late Professor Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998). Professor Kurti is known for his distinguished work in ultra-low temperature physics at the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK which during his career earned the name “the coldest spot on earth” as a consequence of the ground-breaking research conducted there; using adiabatic demagnetisation Professor Kurti was able to create temperatures of a millionth of a degree above absolute zero.

More information on all the Science Prizes supported by Oxford Instruments can be found at:

The previous winners of the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize are Professor Dr Alexander Ako Khajetoorians, Dr Lapo Bogani, Professor Ronald Hanson, Professor Mathias Kläui, Professor Dr Christian Rüegg, Professor John Morton, Professor Lieven Vandersypen, Professor Kostya Novoselov, Professor Andreas Wallraff, Dr Silvano De Franceschi and Dr Isabel Guillamón.