Assaf Hamo’s undergraduate studies in physics and mathematics at the Hebrew University were focused on theoretical, rather than experimental, science. It wasn’t until he designed a piece of equipment that explored basic physics questions as a PhD student at Weizmann Institute that his focus changed. He developed a new fabrication technique for electronic sensors based on ultra-clean carbon nanotubes, setting a new standard in the field of carbon nanotubes and making them attractive platforms for studying the fundamental physics of interacting electrons in a clean, controlled setting.
Dr. Hamo was surprised to discover that his new electronic sensors made it possible to control an individual electron. He had expected it to be much harder. He comments that he learned the fear of failure should not guide scientists—sometimes the impossible can be achieved.
A postdoc at Harvard University’s Department of Physics was, for Dr. Hamo, an eye-opening experience—the first time he interacted in depth with researchers from different countries and cultures. He believes this improved his abilities as a researcher.
Dr. Hamo joins Bar-Ilan University’s Physics Department, where he is combining his unique knowledge of scanning diamond Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) centers, which he researched at Harvard, with pristine carbon nanotube sensors, which he developed at the Weitzman Institute. Together, this new hybrid quantum system has the potential to push the boundaries of quantum technology.
Building his new lab from scratch has become a pedagogical opportunity for Dr. Hamo’s students as they discuss the details and reasons for every design choice. He hopes to create a culture where students feel part of the lab and are spurred to innovate and successfully deploy new projects.