ETH boosts Quantum Research in Switzerland

ETH Zurich is planning a highly specialised physics laboratory building on the Hönggerberg campus. (Image: Ilg Santer Architekten / ETH Zurich)

ETH Zurich in Switzerland intends to further expand its leading position in quantum research, and so it is planning a highly specialised physics laboratory building on the Hönggerberg campus.

A generous donation from ETH alumnus and ETH Honorary Councillor Martin Haefner (40 million Swiss francs to the ETH Foundation) is now the key step to taking the project further. Martin Haefner is the sole owner and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss automotive group AMAG.

Designed by Ilg Santer Architects, the new HPQ building appears calm and orderly from the outside. Above the two-​storey entrance floor, which is open to the public, four floors provide office and laboratory space for 18 professorships with a total of almost 500 staff. But the new building’s centrepiece is underground: three high-​tech research platforms will sit deep in the earth below. This is where researchers will produce new materials and electronic-​optical components, conduct sophisticated laser experiments and investigate how to manipulate specific atoms and ions as quantum objects.

By virtue of its design, the new building will minimise interference from external vibrations or electromagnetic waves. It will also meet the highest standards of temperature stability and cooling capacity.

If everything goes according to plan, construction can begin in 2022 and the building will be ready in 2028.

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