Berkeley Lab

Quantum Materials for Classical Computing

By Shannon Ciston

On August 21, 2020, the second day of the Molecular Foundry Annual User Meeting, I attended the symposium: Quantum Materials for Classical Computing, hosted by Foundry scientists Sinéad Griffin and Archana Raja. The virtual context made for a highly international slate of speakers, with speakers joining us from France, and Ireland, as well as Massachusetts, and California.

This premise of this symposium was that our need for faster and more efficient computing can be met by scientific developments in quantum materials. The speakers in the session laid out some really exciting opportunities, such as Julia Mundy’s work on atomically-precise thin layers of BiFeO3 in a dielectric matrix, demonstrating induction of a metastable antiferroelectric structure, and Adolfo Grushin’s work to extend the concept of topological materials to include a class of amorphous materials via Weaire-Thorpe models. Shelly Conroy described some work in the new area of Dynamic charged ferroelectric domain walls, drawing on the aberration-corrected STEM capabilities offered at the Molecular Foundry.

With so many promising new ideas to explore, it will be really exciting to follow work in this area over the next 5-10 years.