(1) Atomic-level Design of Novel Quantum Materials
We are unraveling the secrets of materials in which strong local atomic interactions and properties play a dominant role in determining electronic behavior, most often involving transition metals, such as iron-based high-temperature superconductors, ruthenates and iridates, as well as compounds based on rare earth elements such as samarium.
Combining multi-scale theoretical predictions and calculations with specialized, highly-informative experimental characterization techniques enables rational design of new materials that drive new computing and information storage paradigms, and new generations of exquisitely sensitive sensors, improved batteries, fuel cells, energy conversion catalysts and more.
(2) Emergent Electronic Phenomena at Interfaces
Using 2D electronic systems as a platform to realize quantum states that have never been achieved with 3D heralds the beginning of rational atomic-level design of complex structures with tunable properties - extending the potential of atomic-level quantum material design and creating a bridge from materials systems, to devices, to the controllable functionality needed for applications.
The multitude of properties achievable with distinct materials that are structurally compatible enables a wide range of devices and functionalities serving multiple applications.
(3) Topologically Protected Quantum States
Materials with topologically protected conducting or superconducting surface states are predicted to exhibit many exotic phenomena and comprise an area of intense research around the world. SBQMI researchers have played a key role in this emerging field and are playing a lead role in the natural next step of modeling and designing topological materials with strong interactions.
Robust topological protection of quantum states is widely recognized as offering the potential to create a revolutionary new class of quantum electronic devices that are not only fundamentally more advanced than conventional electronics, but could also leapfrog current efforts toward realizing quantum computing - building computers that will potentially be far more tolerant of faults and disruptive influences, and hence more robust and scalable than anything seen today.
(4) Photonic Manipulation of Quantum States
In collaboration with colleagues at Simon Fraser University, SBQMI is taking a unique, high-risk/high-reward approach in the race to realize the first scalable, general purpose quantum computer.
While numerous groups across the globe are pursuing quantum computing and communication systems based on many different physical systems, we are using a silicon-based approach where individual chalcogenide impurities in silicon are used to form qubits - the most basic part of a quantum computer. These individual impurities are then electromagnetically coupled through monolithically-integrated silicon photonic circuits.
This highly-collaborative, multi-disciplinary project leverages SBQMI’s core pillars and represents an alternative path to realizing the benefits of quantum information technology; it also aligns with SBQMI’s flagship research theme at a fundamental level because it relies on strong correlations between the excitonic states of chalcogenide impurities and photonic fields to couple the qubits.