University of Nebraska, Creighton and Others Awarded $20 million to Advance Quantum Research

May 25, 2021, noon ·

Group of leaders in the project standing in front of a building
The Nebraska leaders in the effort are (from left): Abdelghani Laraoui, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Nebraska; Jonathan Wrubel, associate professor of physics at Creighton University; Xia Hong, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Nebraska; Christian Binek, Charles Bessey Professor of physics at Nebraska and EQUATE scientific director; Rebecca Lai, associate professor of chemistry at Nebraska and EQUATE associate director; and Matt Andrews, Nebraska EPSCoR director and EQUATE principal investigator. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln office of Research and Economic Development)

The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to schools across the state to study the future of quantum properties in materials. The Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies group, also referred to as EQUATE, is a new research collaboration in Nebraska that includes University of Nebraska campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney and Creighton University, among others. The group, including 20 scientists, will study quantum properties of materials, with the potential to advance technology, medicine, and security.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter said this project is exciting for the entire state of Nebraska.

"Nebraska is taking a major step forward in meeting the scientific and workforce needs of the future. This is to create a research and education cluster focused on quantum materials and technologies," Carter said.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter
Ted Carter serves at the president of the University of Nebraska system. (Photo courtesy University of Nebraska)

In layman’s terms, Carter describes quantum science as the foundation for the modern way of life.

"The field itself is not new. But the world is now on a cusp of enormous advances that will significantly impact our day to day lives," Carter said. "In short as I've heard Chancellor Ronnie Green describe it, a second quantum revolution is underway. EQUATE is Nebraska’s answer and our opportunity to lead the way forward.”  

The National Science Foundation will begin funding the research June 1 and will disperse the money over five years.