The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded grants to support twenty U.S. scientists as experimental investigators in the Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative. Each investigator will receive $1.6 million of unrestricted support over the next five years to pursue innovative, risky research with a potential for significant advances in the concepts and methods used to investigate quantum materials. The collective impact of these investigators will produce a more comprehensive understanding of the fundamental organizing principles of complex quantum matter in solids.

“The Experimental Investigator awards are the largest grant portfolio within the EPiQS Initiative. We expect that such substantial, stable and flexible support will propel quantum materials research forward and unleash the creativity of the investigators."

Amalia Fernandez-Pañella, program officer in the EPiQS Initiative.

The cohort’s research will cover a broad spectrum of research questions, types of materials systems, and complementary experimental approaches. The investigators will: advance experimental probes of quantum states in materials; elucidate emergent phenomena observed in systems with strong electron interactions; investigate light-induced states of matter; explore the vast space of two-dimensional layered structures; and illuminate the role of quantum entanglement in exotic systems such as quantum spin liquids. In addition, the investigators will participate in EPiQS community-building activities, which include investigator symposia, topical workshops and the QuantEmX scientist exchange program.

Current and emerging leaders in experimental investigations of quantum materials were selected through a national competition with an extensive peer review process. “Being part of this program gives me the flexibility to undertake projects carrying a higher risk but potentially leading to much higher reward than would otherwise have been possible,” said Professor Daniel Dessau, University of Colorado at Boulder. "I am fascinated by the range of collective behaviors in materials and plan to use my Moore award to develop tools that take correlated quantum matter into new regimes. As an early career researcher, I am very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in this field,” said Professor Ming Yi of Rice University.

Since 2013, EPiQS has supported an integrated research program that includes materials synthesis, experiment and theory, and that crosses the boundaries between physics, chemistry and materials science. The second phase of the initiative was kicked off earlier this year with the launch of two major grant portfolios: Materials Synthesis Investigators and Theory Centers. The twenty newly inaugurated Experimental Investigators will join these grantees to form a vibrant, collaborative community that strives to push the entire field towards a new frontier.

“The first cohort of EPiQS Experimental Investigators made advances that changed the landscape of quantum materials, and I expect no less from this second cohort. Emergent phenomena appear when a large number of constituents interact strongly, whether these constituents are electrons in materials, or the brilliant scientists trying to crack the mysteries of materials.”

Dušan Pejaković, Ph.D., director of the EPiQS Initiative.


The 2020 Cohort of EPiQS Experimental Investigators

Peter Abbamonte, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Eva Andrei, Rutgers University

Peter Armitage, Johns Hopkins University

Dmitri Basov, Columbia University

Collin Broholm, Johns Hopkins University

J.C. Séamus Davis, Cornell University

Daniel Dessau, University of Colorado

Nuh Gedik, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David Goldhaber-Gordon, Stanford University

M. Zahid Hasan, Princeton University

Tony Heinz, Stanford University

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alessandra Lanzara, University of California at Berkeley

Vidya Madhavan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nai-Phuan Ong, Princeton University

Joseph Orenstein, University of California at Berkeley

Amir Yacoby, Harvard University

Ali Yazdani, Princeton University

Ming Yi , Rice University

Andrea Franchini Young, University of California at Santa Barbara



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