The Stavropoulos Center for Complex Quantum Matter was established in 2019, thanks to the generosity of Bill and Linda Stavropoulos.


It is no accident that historians categorize civilizations based on the materials used in making tools, weapons, buildings, and artwork. Each civilization, whether it belongs to the Stone, Bronze, Iron, or Silicon Age, is not only defined but also limited in its success by the progress it made in materials science. We did not leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones, but because bronze offered qualitative changes in life. The availability of novel advanced materials in the history of mankind marked new milestones.

We are now entering the Quantum Age, which will follow that of Silicon, based on quantum materials. It should be clear that quantum materials are not a new state of matter. Quantum mechanics is present in all matter, causing electrons to move around nuclei on quantized orbits without radiating energy and falling inward. The fact that we exist is the manifestation of the quantum nature of matter. In the Quantum Age, we will use the more subtle characteristics of quantum mechanics and elementary particles (photons, electrons, ions), the superposition of their wavefunctions (states), and their entanglement, which will allow for more efficiency, speed, and reliability for computing in the varied branches of science. This quantum leap could be achieved by finding and investigating unusual materials, called quantum materials, which support a long lifetime of quantum mechanical states. In turn, these states could be manipulated and controlled not only at dimensions million times smaller than the width of a human hair, but also at macroscopic scales.


The College of Science at Notre Dame perceived the advent of the new era and decided to establish a coherent program in the field of quantum materials through the creation of the Stavropoulos Center. Beyond having great discoveries, our university research in quantum materials is essential to prepare future scientists to implement the breakthroughs of the next quantum revolution into technologies that will benefit society. To begin, eight faculty lines are attributed to the SCCQM. This network of principal investigators is determined to cover the essential areas of research in quantum materials. These fields are materials discovery (imaging and synthesizing new materials along with our goals), electronic transport and magnetism (to learn the basic properties), state-of-the-art microscopy techniques that give atomic-resolution images for quantum materials and phenomena, out-of-equilibrium condensed matter (to learn how our materials respond to strong external disturbances), as well as two theory lines in time-dependent phenomena and quantum information.

"Our research should serve something. We want to understand the basic principles of what we are seeing, and once we get closer, the next question is: 'What is this good for?'"


The lead scientists of the Center, together with the associate members from the Physics Department working in condensed matter physics, will operate as a foundry for new ideas and materials. Beyond information technology, the research will focus on energy conversion and storage and the projection of our achievements on health-related issues. We are confident that we will make exciting discoveries, attract students and a large number of external funds, and contribute to the strong reputation of the University of Notre Dame by developing powerful technologies to fabricate functional nanostructures and devices beneficial for our society.