Moore Foundation awards $32 million for quantum materials research

Moore Foundation awards $32 million for quantum materials research

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has announced a second round of Experimental Investigator awards totaling $32 million through its Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative.

Through the initiative, twenty U.S. scientists will each receive $1.6 million in unrestricted support over the next five years to pursue innovative, risky research with the potential to advance concepts and methods used to investigate quantum materials. Launched by the foundation in 2013 with a five-year, $90 million commitment and expanded in 2018 with a commitment of $95 million over six years, EPiQS supports integrated research encompassing materials synthesis, experiment and theory, and the intersection of physics, chemistry, and materials science. 

The second cohort of EPiQS Experimental Investigators will work to advance experimental probes of quantum states in materials, elucidate emergent phenomena observed in systems with strong electron interactions, investigate light-induced states of matter, explore the vast space of two-dimensional layered structures, and illuminate the role of quantum entanglement in exotic systems such as quantum spin liquids. Investigators also will participate in EPiQS investigator symposia, workshops, and the QuantEmX scientist exchange program.

Recipients include Eva Andrei (Rutgers University), who will investigate strategies for transforming the electronic properties of two-dimensional materials so as to create robust phases characterized by strong electronic correlations; Vidya Madhavan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), who will examine the unusual electronic properties of atomically thin quantum materials using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopic techniques; Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), who will use quantum electronic transport and optoelectronic techniques to investigate emergent quantum phases in two-dimensional correlated moiré heterostructures; Ali Yazdani (Princeton University), who will develop and apply atomic-scale microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to visualize electronic wave functions in topological and correlated quantum materials; and Ming Yi (Rice University), who will investigate emergent phenomena in strongly correlated quantum materials using a suite of photoelectron spectroscopy techniques.

"The first cohort of EPiQS Experimental Investigators made advances that changed the landscape of quantum materials, and I expect no less from this second cohort," said EPiQS initiative director Dušan Pejaković. "Emergent phenomena appear when a large number of constituents interact strongly, whether these constituents are electrons in materials, or the brilliant scientists trying to crack the mysteries of materials." 

For a complete list of Experimental Investigator award recipients, see the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation website.

(Image credit: Ali Yazdani)

"New Awards to Enable Experimental Leaps in Quantum Materials." Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Press Release 05/28/2020.