(NewsStand) Clemson University College of Science professor Joe Kolis recently received a $550,000 Department of Energy grant to rationally design new quantum materials from rare earth oxides. An expert in hydrothermal synthesis, Kolis will use a combination of water, high pressure and extreme heat to make new compounds with magnetic and other properties that are suitable for quantum computing and data storage.

Clemson Research to Design Quantum Material that Will Super Cool
One major consideration is how the material functions at extremely cold temperatures. To work properly, quantum computers operate at about minus-450 Fahrenheit, which prevents qubits from flipping between quantum states and introducing computational errors. This presents a major challenge for new materials. “By the time you cool material down to about 50 Kelvin or minus-370 Fahrenheit, the magnetic vectors have order in them,” Kolis explained. “But we want a material to supercool and have the magnetic vectors float around in the crystal and never quite fully order, which is what’s needed for the quantum phenomenon to take over.”

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