Chemistry-Physics Colloquia: Prof. Tyrel McQueen The Dawn of the Chemistry of Quantum Materials: Discovery, Synthesis, and Potential Applications
Materials by design is the rational prediction and creation of functional materials with defined properties. Its goal is to meet current and future societal needs for better or more complex materials, from biocompatible materials in medicine to lightweight alloys for space applications and energy generation, storage, and transport. Unfortunately the chemistry underlying modern materials science and engineering has lagged other sub-fields in an extremely critical area: the ability to selectively make and break bonds in the solid state. This is due to limited synthetic methodology and method development. True materials by design cannot be achieved until reliable synthetic capabilities are developed that can actually produce the specified materials. In this talk, I will highlight the progress being made in such synthesis by design, with a particular focus on quantum materials – a class of material in which quantum phenomena not only underlie but are ‘writ large' across macroscopic materials. What is a quantum material? How can chemistry be used to design and improve them? How can their unique properties be used to improve society? Examples will be drawn from topology and quantum magnetism.