Quantum Café is CCQ’s ongoing seminar series: open to all bona fide members of the greater NYC scientific community and held every second week, Quantum Café presents a series of informal, highly interactive talks, typically by external speakers, which present the most interesting recent developments and open questions in our field.
Title: A Chemical Approach to New Quantum Materials
Abstract: At the core of solid state chemistry are chemical synthesis and the determination of the formulas and crystal structures of new solids. Solid state chemists typically direct their work towards their favorite kinds of chemical systems, with little interest in materials physics. In a research program like ours, however, our major emphasis is in trying to determine how the structure and chemistry of solids might lead to the novel electronic and magnetic properties of interest to materials physicists. In our work on quantum materials, we reach into the fields of mainstream chemistry, condensed matter physics, and materials science, and enjoy the challenge of trying to determine the sometimes indecipherable relationships between chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties. Because those relationships often remain too complex to predict, how quantum materials with interesting electronic and magnetic properties are found is sometimes a non-linear process; for sure, however, recent advances in quantum materials have been dramatically impacted by theoretical predictions. In this talk I’ll give a flavor of how we work on new quantum materials through a combination of chemical ideas and directions about what would be interesting to look for based on discussions with experimental and theoretical experts in condensed matter physics. We are particularly interested in learning from our collaborators, and optimizing new materials to best display interesting electronic or magnetic properties, and I hope that you will approach me with ideas for what might be interesting quantum materials systems to try to make and study.