This Materials World Network (MWN)/Inter-American Materials Collaboration project expands and deepens current understanding of correlated electron behavior in a variety of low-dimensional systems, including atoms and molecules on surfaces, electrons and spins in carbon nanotubes and graphene, and excitons in semiconductor quantum dots. Efforts focus on elucidating the roles of local and global symmetries, as well as interactions with thermal baths or radiation fields, in determining properties of interest for potential applications in nanomagnetism and spintronics, in new carbon-based devices, and in quantum information. A central goal is to guide and interpret experiments involving techniques that probe local interactions with high spatial and temporal resolution. This research is carried out by combining the complementary theoretical and numerical expertise of groups at Ohio University, the University of Florida, and Oakland University in the U.S., at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro and the Universidad Federal Fluminense in Brazil, at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in Argentina, and at the Universidad de Antofagasta in Chile, with the non-US participants receiving support from their respective national funding agencies for their contribution. In addition to applying existing state-of-the-art methods, the team develops new techniques for the description of non-equilibrium phenomena.
The project immerses young scientists in cooperative international research activities through extended visits to MWN partner institutions and participation in a mini-workshop to be held in the second year of the award. Webcasts of technical lectures across institutions will advance technical training and foster collaborations among MWN participants. The project also seeks to engage a broader audience through the development of pedagogical materials related to nanoscience. Some of this development is carried out in collaboration with students from writing and visual design programs.