|Center for Quantum Materials faculty (left to right) Andrey Chubukov, Martin Greven, Bharat Jalan, Rafael Fernandes, and Chris Leighton|
Three faculty members in the School are part of a $2.6 million grant over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The new Center for Quantum Materials brings together an interdisciplinary research team of Professors Andrey Chubakov, Rafael Fernandes and Martin Greven from the School and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science professors Bharat Jalan and Chris Leighton.
The Center will be focused on chemical compounds, called complex oxides, that are notable for their wide range of magnetic and electrical properties, which have potential applications including data storage, superconductors, fuel cells, and electrical power plants.
"Complex oxides are finding their way into many technologies from energy to electronics, but in many cases scientists still don’t understand the fundamental science of how they work," said Martin Greven, the lead researcher in the new Center. "By understanding these materials at a very basic level, we can begin to predict and control how they will act. This can help us develop new materials to improve technology."
The Center for Quantum Materials is only the second center of its kind funded by the Department of Energy Office of Basic of Energy Sciences. A similar Institute for Quantum Matter includes researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Princeton University. The new center at the University of Minnesota will stimulate research by expanding research teams and improving collaboration among researchers locally, nationally, and internationally.
“This center puts the University of Minnesota on the map as a leading U.S. institution in the cutting-edge field of quantum materials,” Greven said. “It’s also recognition that the basic sciences are key to developing new materials that can improve our lives.”
Researchers in the new Center for Quantum Materials will use high-tech equipment at U.S. Department of Energy national labs such as one of the world’s most powerful X-ray machines at Argonne National Lab in Illinois and the world’s strongest neutron beam machine at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. Work at the national labs will complement experimental and theoretical work done at the University of Minnesota to prepare, characterize, measure, analyze and model the complex oxides.
In addition to Greven, researchers who are part of the new Center for Quantum Materials include School of Physics and Astronomy professors Andrey Chubukov and Rafael Fernandes and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science professors Bharat Jalan and Chris Leighton.
"This new center allows us to work collaboratively to accomplish much more than we could ever do as individuals," Greven said. "Our long-term goal is to make the University of Minnesota a leader in the field of quantum materials."