The University of Adelaide has today, Wednesday, 1 December, launched its Quantum Materials strategy with its focus on cutting-edge fundamental research and delivering new quantum-enabled technologies for a safer, wealthier and healthier world.
Quantum materials were the backbone of the transformative quantum technologies revolution of the late 20th century, leading to solid-state transistors now used in nearly everything, lasers for communications and medicine, efficient solid-state lighting, solar energy, memory storage, and optical fibre for communication.
"We are now on the cusp of a second quantum technology revolution, with the hope and expectation that research in quantum materials will deliver revolutionary technologies for next generation communications, navigation, computing, cybersecurity and biomedicine," said Professor Glenn Solomon, Inaugural Hicks Chair of Quantum Materials, the University of Adelaide.
"We are building a coherent and collaborative research program in quantum materials across schools at the University of Adelaide that will translate into new and serendipitous discoveries and emerging technologies. These will contribute to emerging concepts in physics and help shape Australia's future industries."
The University's quantum materials strategy is to:
- Establish sovereign and world-class capability in fundamental and applied quantum materials research;
- Become a trusted partner of industry and the Department of Defence;
- Be ranked in the top five universities globally specialising in quantum materials;
- Create an educated workforce for future industry, defence and academic environments.
"Quantum materials make use of the extraordinary effects of quantum mechanics to give rise to exotic and often incredible properties; providing insight into the natural world and underpinning new technologies," said Professor Solomon.
"They have strange, fascinating properties that can push forward our conceptual understanding and be exploited to deliver devices that have new capabilities in telecommunications, defence and medical sciences."
New materials born out of the University's research have many potential uses such as sterilising food, water and air; in new electronics and optics for electric and automated vehicles, in power grids, in a variety of defence applications; in highly accurate timing systems for navigation as well as in quantum information.
"The University of Adelaide has created a world-leading ecosystem of people, facilities and partnerships in quantum materials," said Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.
"This builds on the University's historic strengths in physics, engineering and material sciences."
"Through a focussed co-investment and collaboration strategy with industry, defence and government, we have created the foundations required to build a billion-dollar quantum materials industry in South Australia."
Education and training will be a key component of the quantum materials ecosystem at the University of Adelaide.
"We will provide a state-of-the-art cross-disciplinary education which will produce the future leaders in the field," said Professor Solomon.
The Quantum Materials strategy aims to encourage the top five universities in the field globally to collaborate, grow and support research into quantum materials and attract talented people to deliver world-class research in teams supported by the necessary infrastructure.