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CIFAR has been invaluable in helping me build international connections.

Irene Bloemraad
Senior Fellow, Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being

Quantum Materials

Quantum Materials invents and explores materials whose novel and unusual electronic properties, like superconductivity, could revolutionize technology.

Quantum materials are substances that, when subjected to extreme temperatures and pressures, become endowed not only with superconductivity, but also with unusual forms of magnetism, strange phase transitions, and other physical qualities we are only beginning to understand. Early indicators suggest they could be used to create everything from improved wireless devices to new magnetic imaging tools.

Quantum Materials was launched in 1987 to pursue an understanding of these unusual physical qualities. Together, CIFAR's experts are accelerating both basic and applied research.

The Quantum Materials program membership includes theorists, experimentalists and specialists in materials synthesis, who collectively apply their knowledge and skills to investigate a wide variety of fascinating materials. A typical collaborative scenario within the program involves one or more members producing high-quality samples of a particular material and passing them among several experimentalists who each study the samples using different techniques. These studies help to refine theories about electron behaviour in quantum materials and help to illustrate promising new avenues for materials synthesis.

Quantum Materials is a global research effort which includes twenty-five non-Canadian researchers based in countries other than Canada, including France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and the United States. It has been instrumental in enhancing the collective international reputation of Canada’s researchers in the field of condensed matter physics. The program's prestige has compelled many top scientists to pursue their research at Canadian universities and research institutions.

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Louis Taillefer

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Dr. Louis Taillefer is a physicist and the Director of CIFAR’s Quantum Materials program. He investigates why some materials exhibit remarkable electronic properties, such as magnetism and superconductivity.

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12 Events that will change everything

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Scientific American has identified room-temperature superconductivity as one of the "12 Events That Will Change Everything."

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