A research collaboration led by the University of York's Department of Physics has created open-source software to assist in the creation of quantum materials which could in turn vastly increase the world's computing power.

Throughout the world the increased use of data centres and cloud computing are consuming growing amounts of energy—quantum materials could help tackle this problem, say the researchers.

Quantum materials—materials which exploit unconventional quantum effects arising from the collective behaviour of electrons—could perform tasks previously thought impossible, such as harvesting energy from the complete solar spectrum or processing vast amounts of data with low heat dissipation.

The design of quantum materials capable of delivering intense computing power is guided by sophisticated computer programmes capable of predicting how materials behave when 'excited' with currents and light signals.

Computational modelling has now taken a '' forward with the announcement of the Quantum KITE initiative, a suite of open-source computer codes developed by researchers in Brazil, the EU and the University of York. KITE is capable of simulating realistic materials with unprecedented numbers of atoms, making it ideally suited to create and optimise for a variety of energy and computing applications.

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