Quantum devices –hardware– is made of stuff: atoms, molecules, nanoclusters, monolayers, crystals, heterostructures, hybrid assemblies …
Very often, a device’s performance depends crucially on the exact purity/quality of the materials out of which its most critical components are made. And the discovery of new materials can lead to altogether new sorts of devices and applications.
Members of the QSE hub from Imperial College’s Department of Materials do cutting-edge research into the highly engineered (and often quite exotic!) materials needed for new quantum gadgets. These materials include: nitrogen-vacancy centres in artificial diamond, molybdenum disulphide nanolayers, para-terphenyl crystals doped with pentacene, copper phthalocyanine thin films