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Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Noyes 153 (J. Holmes Sturdivant Lecture Hall)
Fertile ground for quantum materials, and how to grow them
Daniel Shoemaker, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC,

***Refreshments at 3:45pm in Noyes lobby


For functional materials that are in a nascent stage, such as high-speed spintronics, quantum information storage, and new semiconductors, it is not clear what will be the high-performance materials of tomorrow. I will explain how we use chemical rules and bonding networks to identify promising uninvestigated or undiscovered materials, and then grow and characterize them in a detailed way. Our work shows that chemical spaces in emerging technical areas hold a surprising number of novel compounds. Because these materials have complex electronic, optical, and magnetic properties, they have anisotropic properties and growing large single crystals can be a crucial step toward understanding their behavior. The immediate impact of this framework is the organization and prediction of "monopole" magnets and materials where quantum information can be stored in the excitations of rare earth ions. Even with promising materials in mind, the task of crystal growth is still daunting. Due to the required millimeter dimensions, they must be grown from solutions, fluxes, or vapors. This process is often hard to observe, and highly kinetically dependent, so in situ techniques can be especially valuable. With a clearer view of how materials form, we can critically evaluate computational predictions (ab initio or machine-learned methods) and explore novel reactions to target new phases.

More about the Speaker:

Daniel Shoemaker is an Associate Professor and Racheff Scholar in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, where he is affiliated with the Department of Physics, the Materials Research Laboratory, and the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center. Daniel conducted a postdoctoral appointment at Argonne National Laboratory after receiving his PhD in Materials from UC Santa Barbara and BS from the University of Illinois. Among his awards are the Louis Rosen Award from the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center and a US Department of Energy Career Award. His service activities include serving as the President of the Oak Ridge SNS/HFIR User Group, where he initiated outreach activities for underrepresented users, leadership positions on governmental X-ray and neutron science committees, and developing and deploying outreach activities for elementary and middle schoolers. His graduate students have received awards and fellowships from the NSF, MRS, and Royal Society of Chemistry, and he has received campuswide and college awards for outstanding advising.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Blankenship by email at [email protected].