The Quantum Materials Center (QMC) is one of two new Transdisciplinary Centers for Advanced Study supported by the Provost Office of Research at George Mason University. Established in February 2018, the QMC merges the expertise of nine GMU scientists from the physics, engineering, and data science departments, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
The primary goal of the QMC is to develop a unified approach to materials discovery and exploration for the realization of quantum electronics technologies that outperform the present state-of-the-art. This is as much a sustainability challenge as a performance challenge since it is anticipated that the energy devoted to data processing and acquisition will exceed the planet’s energy budget by 2040 (NSF commissioned study, 2015).
The QMC seeks to address this challenge by creating technologies based on quantum materials that offer substantial reductions in energy consumption while simultaneously increasing device performance. Spintronics, photonic computing, neuromorphic computing, valleytronics, and quantum computing all represent competing next-generation technologies for Beyond Moore computing. However, the primary roadblock to realizing scalable, cost-effective implementations of these technologies is the absence of materials that exhibit robust quantum properties.
The QMC adopts a new approach to identifying and benchmarking such quantum materials by combining our expertise in machine learning, theoretical modeling, nanophotonics, materials growth, and optical, magnetic, and electronic characterization techniques. The result of this collaboration will be the realization of several computationally designed quantum materials, their characterization, and their implementation into proof-of-concept quantum technologies.