Some of the most exciting novel materials that could lead to transformational technologies are those where useful macroscopic properties originate from explicitly quantum effects. Such materials have the potential to result in new, more energy efficient technologies for next generation electronic devices. Many of the most technologically interesting materials exhibit couplings of multiple degrees of freedom. Prime examples include multiferroic or spintronics systems based on metals, oxides, or organics which have a range of potential applications including magnetic field sensors, low power memory modules, high density storage devices, and quantum computing. These materials are important components of the infrastructure for energy technologies at all levels. A central goal for fulfilling DOE’s energy mission is to characterize and understand such materials.
Research on quantum materials addresses several of the scientific “grand challenges”:
- How do we control material processes at the level of electrons?
- How do remarkable properties of matter emerge from complex correlations of atomic or electronic constituents and how can we control these properties?
- How do complex phenomena emerge from simple ingredients?