University of Hong Kong Research Pushes the Limits of Topological Quantum Materials

Quantum material research facilitates discovery of better materials that benefit our society

Points to note…

+  A joint research team from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Institute of Physics at Chinese Academy of Science, Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory, Beihang University in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai, has provided a successful example of modern era quantum material research. By means of the state-of-art quantum many-body simulations, performed on the world’s fastest supercomputers (Tianhe-I and Tianhe-III protype at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin and Tianhe-II at National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou), they achieved accurate model calculations for a rare-earth magnet TmMgGaO4 (TMGO). They found that the material, under the correct temperature regime, could realize the the long-sought-after two-dimensional topological Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) phase, which completed the pursuit of identifying the KT physics in quantum magnetic materials for half a century.

“This research work provides the missing piece of topological KT phenomena in the bulk magnetic materials, and has completed the half-a-century pursuit which eventually leads to the Nobel Physics Prize of 2016. Since the topological phase of matter is the main theme of condensed matter and quantum material research nowadays, it is expected that this work will inspire many follow-up theoretical and experimental researches, and in fact, promising results for further identification of the topological properties in quantum magnet have been obtained among the joint team and our collaborators,” said Dr. Meng

+  Quantum materials are becoming the cornerstone of the continuous prosperity of human society. From the next-generation AI computing chips that go beyond Moore’s law, to the high speed Maglev train and the topological unit for quantum computers, investigations along these lines all belong to the arena of quantum material research.

+  Dr. Meng added: “The joint team research across Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai also sets up the protocol of modern quantum material research, such protocol will certainly lead to more profound and impactful discoveries in quantum materials. The computation power of our smartphone nowadays is more powerful than the supercomputers 20 years ago, one can optimistically foresee that with the correct quantum material as the building block, personal devices in 20 years’ time can certainly be more powerful than the fastest supercomputers right now, with minimal energy cost of everyday battery.”

Source:  PHYS.ORG.  The University of Hong Kong,  Quantum material research facilitates discovery of better materials that benefit our society…

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