University of Arkansas physicists recently received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to research "topological quantum materials," which are unusual in that they have a robustness of electrical properties regardless of temperature shifts or changes in structural form.
Their research could lead to advancements in electronics, optoelectronics, quantum information and spintronics, or the use of a property of electrons called "spin" to record and store data, according to a news release.
Theories related to topological quantum materials were recognized with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2016.
The UA research team is led by assistant professor Jin Hu and includes assistant professor Hugh Churchill and associate professor Salvador Barraza-Lopez. They are working with researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.