Many colleagues are currently working in their home offices. However, there is a lack of opportunities to meet other colleagues in the hallway or kitchen. In our small series, we shift the “floor conversations” into the digital world. Today we ask Dr. Nazmul Islam from HZB Institute Quantum Phenomena in Novel Materials.

What has changed due to Home Office?

Usually I work mainly in the laboratory, producing crystalline samples for research on quantum materials. Now I am sitting in my living room in front of the computer. 

What are you working on?

I have taken a pile of technical literature home with me and I am also going through database of phase diagrams very thoroughly and looking for ideas to grow crystals of materials we had in mind. Now that we got some time we are also writing up some manuscripts we kept delaying for long time.

We have Skype conferences with our colleagues 2-3 times a weeks, and there we discuss the materials each of us is working on. We also make a structure  of the joint paper the students are writing. 

What is the biggest challenge for you at the moment?

It’s not so easy when you’re used to working a lot in the labs, sitting at the computer for eight hours. It is important to keep connected with the colleagues and keep each others‘ motivation up.

Do you see any opportunities in this Corona time?

Yes, it’s a break in the routine. I’ve much more time to think about fundamental issues. For instance: the different materials we had been working on in the last few years, which we didn’t succeed. Now there is time to look back at some of those and to think about what could be done differently. New ideas come through reading and we now collect many ideas and suggestions – and maybe we can implement some of them later in the Labs.

What are you most looking forward to when this time is over?

We have to be patient now, I think that’s important. So I won’t mention a specific event in the future. But of course I am looking forward to when we can live normally again.