This award supports theoretical research and education that is aimed to advance understanding of strongly correlated electron materials. A recent advance from string theory, the gauge-gravity duality, has opened up a possible non-perturbative approach to the physics of quantum many-body systems. The PI will explore whether through this theory it may be possible to understand the physics of strongly correlated materials at low energies in a controlled way. The PI aims to tailor this technique for Mott insulators. A goal is to extend this technique so that basic problems of superconductivity in a non-fermi liquid system can be addressed. The PI will engage a new line of research to explore the possibility of superconductivity in the multi-orbital Mott systems, the oxychalcogenides. The PI also aims to disentangle how orbital ordering and magnetic order mediate transport anisotropies seen in recent experiments on the iron-based pnictide superconductors.

This award also supports graduate student training at the frontiers of condensed matter theory. The PI will continue his work to increase the participation of minorities in science through recruiting and mentoring minority students and through outreach activities to public schools. The PI will also revise his recent textbook for the second edition.

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY

This award supports theoretical research and education on materials which contain electrons that interact strongly with each other. Strong interaction between electrons leads to their correlated motion, rather like a complicated dance, and in the quantum world to new states of electronic matter. Of particular interest is the appearance of superconductivity in these strongly correlated materials. Superconductivity is one of the possible complicated dances of electrons with unusual properties, among them the ability to conduct electricity without losses. The problem of how to precisely describe these new states of matter in the language of theory is a challenging one. The PI will attempt to exploit advances in the theory of gravity to understand systems of many strongly interacting electrons and how they organize themselves into new states of matter. The PI will also use advanced but more conventional methods to study the emergence of unusual superconductivity in recently discovered materials.

Through these studies, the PI aims to elucidate the nature of superconductivity in strongly correlated materials and the physical mechanism that leads electrons to organize into this state of matter. Understanding the latter could lead to the discovery of materials in which superconductivity appears at higher temperatures. So far superconductivity is relegated to the deep freeze where the atmospheric gas nitrogen is nearly a liquid or even colder still. The discovery of materials which exhibit superconductivity at temperatures higher than room temperature would lead to possible new electronic device technologies and methods for virtually lossless transmission of electric power.

This award also supports graduate student training at the frontiers of condensed matter theory. The PI will continue his work to increase the participation of minorities in science through recruiting and mentoring minority students and through outreach activities to public schools. The PI will also revise his recent textbook for the second edition.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1104909
Program Officer
Andrey Dobrynin
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-09-15
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$330,000
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Champaign
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
61820