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New research centre for quantum materials

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $20 million to fund a new Science and Technology Center, the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials.
During the next five years, the multi-institution center will support science and education programs that explore the unique electronic behavior of quantum materials.

Researchers will examine materials such as graphene, a potential replacement for silicon in today's computer chips. Graphene is thinner, lighter and stronger and may work at room temperature, which could eliminate the need for bulky cooling apparatus in computers of all sizes.

"As we move into a post-silicon age, quantum materials are an emerging technology with enormous promise for science and engineering and for our country's overall economy in the form of new products and business opportunities," said Robert M. Westervelt, Mallinckrodt Professor of Applied Physics and Physics at Harvard, who will lead the center. "The scientists collaborating on this project have a vision of future quantum materials and quantum devices--new devices and systems that were not conceived to be possible 10 years ago. This line of research promises an impressive trajectory over the coming decades."

"All ingredients for substantive scientific progress are present in the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials," said Daniele Finotello, NSF program director for Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, and technical adviser for the award. "Originality, creativity and depth, breadth and diversity of scientific ideas of participating scientists and of contributing institutions--we look forward to exciting discoveries and future applications in the years ahead."

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