The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute aims to launch a new paradigm of 3D printing at the atomic scale here at UBC. To do this research, a new, specialized laboratory is being built where researchers can advance quantum theory and the practical application of discovery through the development of new materials that harness quantum phenomena. Your support for the Quantum Matter Institute will help facilitate this ground-breaking work.
Quantum materials—such as the strongly correlated oxides or topologically important materials in which UBC is an internationally recognized leader—exhibit unique electronic and magnetic properties dependent not only on chemical composition, but also on their electronic structures and interactions. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), a technique currently used to manufacture semiconductors, has revolutionized the control of these materials in the vertical dimension, allowing custom stacking of individual atomic layers.
Our researchers are taking these advances further by integrating MBE with scanning probe lithography (SPL). For the first time, quantum structures can now be assembled in 3D, thanks to a new lateral control of electronic configurations and individual atoms by SPL that wasn’t possible with MBE alone.
Devices exploiting quantum heterostructures are widely expected to lead a technological revolution, with the potential to spawn entirely new industries in clean energy, electronics, communications, and medicine. Examples include incredibly fine wires for fast computing with charge or spin, extremely dense memory, ultra-precise metamaterials for shaping electromagnetic fields, and exquisitely sensitive magnetic detectors.
The Quantum Matter Institute
The Quantum Matter Institute will explore the full scope of quantum printing: materials synthesis, imaging, and fundamental theory; computational modeling to suggest desired atomic configurations; MBE and SPL; comprehensive spectroscopic, optical, and transport characterization; and eventual engineering of novel applications.
To work with materials at an atomic scale, the laboratory environment must be free of electrical, seismic, and acoustic noise. UBC already has experience building one such lab, the Laboratory for Atomic Imaging Research. A new lab is needed to house the four particular instruments required to develop this research. Each instrument will be housed in an isolated pod, with multiple layers of acoustic isolation, and will rest on a massive, 100 tonne floating slab for vibration isolation. The design is similar to a set of Russian dolls: a room within a room within a room. Additional space, also isolated from the building, will house the electron microscopy needed by researchers working on materials at the nanoscale level.
Once the Quantum Matter Institute is completed, UBC’s existing expertise, coupled with the combined experience of QMI's researchers, will offer capabilities presently unmatched in the world. With this exceptional team, UBC will be at the forefront of an emerging technology. Your support of the Quantum Matter Institute will be the spark that helps ignite the quantum printing revolution.