Since receiving a $25 million grant in 2019 to become the first National Science Foundation (NSF) Quantum Foundry, UC Santa Barbara researchers affiliated with the foundry have been working to develop materials that can enable quantum information-based technologies for such applications as quantum computing, communications, sensing, and simulation.
They may have done it.
In a new paper, published in the journal Nature Materials, foundry co-director and UCSB materials professor Stephen Wilson and multiple co-authors, including key collaborators at Princeton University, study a new material developed in the Quantum Foundry as a candidate superconductor—a material in which electrical resistance disappears and magnetic fields are expelled—that could be useful in future quantum computation.
A previous paper published by Wilson's group in the journal Physical Review Letters and featured in Physics magazine described a new material, cesium vanadium antimonide (CsV3Sb5), which exhibits a surprising mixture of characteristics involving a self-organized patterning of charge intertwined with a superconducting state. The discovery was made by Elings Postdoctoral Fellow Brenden R. Ortiz. As it turns out, Wilson said, those characteristics are shared by a number of related materials, including RbV3Sb5 and KV3Sb5, the latter (a mixture of potassium, vanadium and antimony) being the subject of this most recent paper, titled "Discovery of unconventional chiral charge order in kagome superconductor KV3Sb5."
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