December 11, 2023

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Professor of Chemical Biology Explores Quantum Topological Materials | News

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Harvard Assistant Professor of Chemical Biology Suyang Xu is functioning toward increasing the application of topological products — new resources in the quantum field with the likely to appreciably increase our ways of saving data.

Storage info is a critical component of technological know-how and has taken numerous sorts all over the years, in accordance to Xu.

“A very important facet of our technological know-how is how we shop details. We carve on bones we create on paper most a short while ago, we make little styles on silicon wafer,” Xu wrote in an e mail.

Xu defined that topological supplies are distinct from recent varieties of facts storage and will make it possible for researchers to store and command information and facts with “great robustness.”

“Topological components are new elements past the ones people today understand and are now applying, these kinds of as silicon, copper, glass, and so on.,” Xu wrote.

“Topological supplies are elements the place electrons can make quantum mechanical knots at the scale of atoms,” he included. “This can make the details at the scale of atoms extremely sturdy, therefore can remedy some of the technological bottlenecks and also enable new systems this kind of as quantum computers.”

Xu wrote that his physics and chemistry background formulated all through his undergraduate a long time in China, and later as a graduate college student at Princeton, were being foundational to his understanding of topological resources.

“Chemistry dictates the synthesis and style supplies,” he wrote. “On the other hand, the main concepts of topological materials come up from improvements in quantum physics. With no a strong history in physics, we can not adequately fully grasp the quantum homes of these new elements or experimentally uncover them.”

Xu’s lab posted its most recent short article in the scientific journal Character in July 2021. Considering that then, the results from Xu’s get the job done have led Xu and his staff to even further examine subject areas which include axions, which are “elusive” elementary particles, and the development of “next-generation memory products.”

“Moving forward, we will keep on to investigate and have an understanding of the novel electrical, magnetic, and optical houses of topological products,” Xu wrote. “We are also arranging to check out the chemical attributes of these components this sort of as how they interact with molecules or how they facilitate chemical reactions.”

—Staff writer Jeremiah C. Curran can be arrived at at [email protected]. Adhere to him on Twitter @jerryccurran.

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