Harvard-led consortium forms Center for Integrated Quantum Materials

Sept. 20, 2013
Cambridge, MA--The National Science Foundation (NSF) has chosen Harvard University to lead a new science and technology center called the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials.

Cambridge, MA--The National Science Foundation (NSF) has chosen Harvard University to lead a new science and technology center called the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials. The multi-institutional grant based at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will provide up to $20 million over five years to fund science and education programs that explore the electronic behavior of quantum materials including graphene, topological insulators, and nitrogen-vacancy-center diamond, with the goal of discovering new approaches to signal processing, computing, and terahertz electronics (many approaches to this sort of research involve photonics, especially those using graphene and nitrogen-vacancy-center diamond). Harvard’s proposal was one of three selected through a merit-based competition.

Harvard will partner with Howard University (Washington, DC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Museum of Science, Boston. The Center will also encourage young students to pursue careers in science and engineering through an affiliated College Network including Bunker Hill Community College, Gallaudet University, Mount Holyoke College, Olin College, Prince George's Community College, and Wellesley College.

Principal investigators at the new center will be Robert Westervelt of Harvard University (director and principal investigator), Raymond Ashoori of MIT (co-principal investigator), Gary Harris of Howard University (co-principal investigator), and Carol Lynn Alpert of the Museum of Science, Boston (co-principal investigator).

Three areas of research
The Center for Integrated Quantum Materials will integrate three areas of research. The first will involve synthesizing new materials based on graphene. The researchers hope to use these materials to fabricate new types of ultra-high-speed atomic-scale devices, including stacked atomic layers that use hexagonal boron nitride as an insulator between sheets of graphene.

The second area will explore a class of materials called topological insulators, which are materials that conduct only at their surface. Topological insulators preserve the direction of an electron spin as it travels along the surface, allowing a spin to carry bits of information in a future quantum network.

The third area involves the use of a single atom to store a bit of information. A nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center is created in diamond when a nitrogen atom replaces a carbon in the crystal structure.The electron spin in an NV center can store a bit of information for more than 1 ms at room temperature, and is written and read out using light. The Center aims to integrate NV-center diamond storage sites with atomic-layer devices and topological-insulator data channels to create new devices and systems for storing, manipulating, and transmitting information.

The National Science Foundation also announced this month that a second science and technology center -- the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines -- will be based at MIT and co-led by Harvard faculty member L. Mahadevan, who is the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics at Harvard SEAS, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and professor of physics.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!