Harnessing emergent excitations in quantum materials

In an attempt to answer some of the most important questions in the field of quantum materials, the team will try to obtain compelling evidence for emergent excitations in quantum materials. They will focus on quantum spin liquids that may exhibit exotic emergent excitations, including anyons.

In the long term, the project could lead to the development of new research techniques on quantum materials as well as lay the groundwork for applications in quantum computing and spintronics.

What is your project?

Elementary excitations in quantum materials often exhibit emergent properties that are fundamentally different from the electrons from which they are formed. In this project we aim at studying emergent excitations in quantum materials, in particular magnetic materials called spin liquids.

We have two main objectives:

  • To develop measurement techniques that allow us to reveal these excitations and ideally to obtain irrefutable proof of their existence in real materials.
  • To start incorporating these materials into devices to take the first steps towards applications, for example in quantum information.

Who are the members of your team and what expertise do they bring to the project?

Five experimenters

  • Jeffrey Quilliam: expert in magnetic resonance and frustrated magnetic systems, including a strong interest in spin liquids
  • Bertrand Reulet: researcher at the interface of materials and quantum information who is very strong in developing new measurement techniques
  • Louis Taillefer: expert in thermal transport measurements in quantum materials
  • Eva Dupont-Ferrier: expert in quantum information, will work with us on spin detection using superconducting resonators
  • Mathieu Massicotte : expert in 2D materials, such as graphene

Two theorists

  • Ion Garate: specialist in phonons and topological materials
  • Stefanos Kourtis: expert in numerical techniques (tensor networks) which are very applicable to quantum materials

How is your project ambitious (how does it differ from your usual projects)?

  • It’s something we could not do on our own. The new techniques we want to develop require the collaboration of several teachers in different fields, with different skills.
  • It involves difficult handling.
  • We are aiming at the interface of the fields of quantum materials and information, which is quite original, quite rare.

What is the role of the Institut quantique in your project?

The institute encourages us to work together, to be ambitious, to work at the interface of two axes of the institute (information and quantum materials), to do something that we could not do individually.

 What will your project contribute to society?

It is still a fundamental project. The early researchers who tried to understand semiconductors did not know how to use them to make a computer either. The development of new technologies depends on fundamental research, and often follows the discovery of new types of materials. More concretely, it is thought that in the long run, the specific properties of the excitations emerging in quantum materials could allow us to encode quantum information and ultimately make quantum computers. Here we are trying to take the first steps in this direction by incorporating these quantum materials in devices, for example in superconducting circuits. Moreover, it is important to embark on this kind of creative and ambitious project and involve students and postdocs in it, to train the next generation of Canadian researchers and innovators.

To join this research project

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