Harlem Center for Quantum Materials


Harlem Center for Quantum Materials (HCQM) strives to solve fundamental problems in novel functional materials systems that have vital scientific and technological importance. We aim to design hybrid low-dimensional quantum materials and structures that do not exist in nature to achieve dissipation-free transport at chiral edges and superconducting surfaces, and unprecedented spin-control (magnetism control) by static electric fields and light. The new systems may impact sustainable energy in electronics, error-free quantum computing, and photo-spintronics. The Center builds off a strong materials synthesis/modification effort at the CCNY. It brings together a multidisciplinary team with the expertise and accomplishments in 2D materials synthesis/growth/modification, in advanced probes of charge/spin transport, in nanodevice fabrication/ characterization, and in optical probes, all working jointly on materials design, quantum transport, and toward developing topological photonics. Our HCQM team has a sustained and well established history of collaborations, both individually and through two major NSF supported centers: a joint Columbia-CCNY Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids (PAS3) and CREST Center for Interface Design and Engineered Assembly of Low-Dimensional Systems (IDEALS). The latter links faculty from the CCNY Physics, Chemistry and Engineering, all with widely cast collaborations around the world.


The overarching vision of HCQM is to nourish a collaborative research in design, synthesis, assembly, nanostructuring, and characterization of emergent low-dimensional and topologically-protected quantum materials that will revolutionize the fields of quantum information processing, nanospintronics, and nanophotonics. Recent discoveries of chiral materials, such as graphene, topological insulators and superconductors, Dirac/Weyl semimetals, as well as of diverse classes of 2D dichalcogenides (TMDs) undergird a remarkable ongoing transformation in key areas of Materials Science. The new materials are expected to support nondissipative and quantized transport in spin and charge channels, as well as unprecedented optical response ─ indeed, they hold promise for solving some of the most pressing problems in nanoscience through harvesting their potentially disruptive behaviors for transmitting information and energy. In recent years the emergent field of topological photonics had a similar transformative effect enabling robust guiding and routing of electromagnetic waves (photons) from radio to optical frequencies. The Center aims at leveraging these advances to bridge two promising directions of novel solid-state materials and topological photonics by utilizing the concept of topological polaritons – hybrid excitations of photons and quasiparticles in solids. Strong interaction of chiral light and spin-helical topological matter will be achieved by modifying nanostructured materials to break time-reversal symmetry (in magnetic materials) or to preserve it (in metamaterials and photonic crystals).