University of Minnesota receives major U.S. Department of Energy grant to study next generation of materials

Oct. 18, 2016 - The University of Minnesota announced today that it will receive $2.6 million over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The grant will be used to study materials at the most fundamental level that could improve important technologies including data storage, superconductors, fuel cells, and electrical power plants.

The new Center for Quantum Materials brings together an interdisciplinary research team from the University of Minnesota’s School of Physics and Astronomy (Professors Andrey Chubukov, Rafael Fernandes, and Martin Greven) and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (Professors Bharat Jalan and Chris Leighton). They will study chemical compounds, called complex oxides, that are notable for their wide range of magnetic and electrical properties.

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.

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.

“This new center allows us to work collaboratively to accomplish much more than we could ever do as individuals,” said Martin Greven, physics and astronomy professor and lead researcher in the new Center for Quantum Materials. “Our long-term goal is to make the University of Minnesota a leader in the field of quantum materials.”

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