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Quantum materials under extreme conditions

Quantum materials under extreme conditions

Dr Paul Goddard, Department of Physics

This €2 million project was funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under Horizon 2020. It was led by the University of Warwick and developed methodology and software to study quantum materials under extreme conditions of magnetic field and pressure. The project shed light on how complex quantum interactions give rise to states of matter with novel properties, the understanding of which is a first step in designing new materials for quantum computation and electrical power networks.

The exploration of new and exotic states of matter is as fundamental to our understanding of the universe as the detection of elementary particles or the discovery of celestial objects. Many of these states exhibit properties that could significantly benefit future technologies.

States of particular interest include: unconventional superconductors, low-dimensional ordered magnets, spin liquids and ices, topological insulators, bosonic superfluids, shape memory phases and multiferroics. All of these involve a complex mixture of many-body quantum interactions, making them difficult systems to understand. So finding out how the states arise is the first and essential step towards fully harnessing their capacity for application.

The project, which ran between 2016 and 2022, sought to advance our knowledge of these issues by using extreme conditions of magnetic field and pressure to enable a continuous, clean and reversible tuning of quantum interactions. It thereby shed light on the building blocks of exotic magnetism and unconventional superconductivity.

Read more about the research.