Science Café presenter Christian Binek discussing future of quantum materials

WHAT: University of Nebraska at Kearney Science Café

HOSTED BY: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

TITLE: “Emergent quantum materials and technologies: What are they and why should I care?”

TOPIC: Quantum materials are a new class of materials that exhibit macroscopic quantum effects associated with phenomena such as strong electron correlation, quantum superposition and entanglement. These quantum phenomena give rise to the second quantum revolution leaving their fingerprints in specific and potentially useful materials properties such as superconductivity, magnetoelectricity and new topological states of matter. Their utilization enables new quantum technologies that are expected to disrupt the technological landscape in the fields of quantum sensing, quantum communication and quantum information technologies, including quantum emulation, quantum computing and quantum cryptography. To prepare Nebraska for this transition, a statewide effort has been launched in the form of a $20 million research and education cluster on Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies (EQUATE).

This presentation introduces and highlights the peculiarities of the second quantum revolution by contrasting it with the more familiar first quantum revolution, which gave rise to much of today’s high-technology. The presenter will provide examples for the theory-guided search, fabrication and characterization of emergent quantum materials and show how they enable quantum technologies with applications in sensing, communication, medicine, banking and national security. He will also highlight the specific role Nebraska’s EQUATE center plays in this global megatrend, which includes the race for quantum supremacy of future quantum computers.

PRESENTER: Christian Binek is a Charles Bessey Chaired Professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Physics and Astronomy. He serves as director of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience and the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility, a National Science Foundation-funded regional center of excellence in nanoscience and nanotechnology. He’s also the scientific director of Nebraska’s center on Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies. An NSF CAREER and Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Scientist awardee, Binek holds six patents and is the author of more than 120 peer-reviewed papers.

TIME: 5:30 p.m.

DATE: Monday, Jan. 31

PLACE: Discovery Hall, Room 212/213. Masks are required for the in-person event. A remote option is also available via Zoom. Email for the Zoom link.

CONTACT: Allen Thomas, UNK associate professor of chemistry, 308.865.8452,