(Stonybrook.edu) Qiang Li, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Stony Brook University, is co-author of a paper with Jigang Wang, a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and a professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, that is published in Nature Materials about the discovery of a new light-induced switch that twists the crystal lattice of a Weyl semimetal, switching on a giant electron current that appears to be nearly dissipationless. The discovery and control of such properties brings these materials another step closer to use in applications such as quantum computing.
Li, who also holds a joint appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory as leader of the Advanced Energy Materials Group, collaborated on the project with scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, Brookhaven Laboratory and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Pedro Lozano, Li’s PhD student, is also involved in the research.
After decades of being described only in the context of theoretical physics, there is growing interest in fabricating, exploring, refining and controlling their topologically protected electronic properties for device applications. For example, wide-scale adoption of quantum computing requires building devices in which fragile quantum states are protected from impurities and noisy environments.