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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees
  • Yasuyuki Nakajima
  • (301) 332-6408
Award Date:07/10/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 558,706
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 212,270
  • FY 2020=$212,270
Start Date:07/15/2020
End Date:06/30/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Probing Nematic Superconductivity in Topological Semimetals
Federal Award ID Number:1944975
DUNS ID:150805653
Parent DUNS ID:159621697
Program Officer:
  • Tomasz Durakiewicz
  • (703) 292-4892

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Central Florida Board of Trustees
Street:12201 Research Pkw
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

Non-technical abstract: Understanding and controlling the physical properties of novel quantum materials is key to future technologies. For example, recent theoretical studies have predicted that a new type of quantum materials called topological superconductors may be useful in quantum computing. Despite intensive efforts to discover such superconductors, only a handful of promising candidates have been found to date, and little is known about their properties. The goal of this project is to identify the key ingredients to realize topological superconductivity, by elucidating the connection between superconductivity and topology in novel quantum materials through advanced experimental techniques. The project outcomes will impact fundamental scientific research, but also future applications in energy, information and electronic technologies. Integrated with research, this project aims to increase quality, participation, and retention of students, particularly underrepresented students, in STEM fields through the American Physical Society-funded Bridge Program as well as Valencia-University of Central Florida Physics Research Exchange Program. Education materials will be made available to students, researchers, and the general public. Technical abstract: Topology and symmetry breaking are key ingredients of novel quantum phases of matter. Combined with superconductivity that breaks the U(1) gauge symmetry, topological order can host Majorana fermions arising at the boundaries of systems. However, a major bottleneck to employ the potential of Majorana fermions is a lack of prototypical platforms for topological superconductivity. Recent experimental and theoretical studies suggest that topology is linked to the unique superconducting gap structures involving electronic nematicity. This project investigates the interrelation between nematic superconductivity and topology in superconducting topological semimetals, aiming at identifying key ingredients to realize topological superconductivity with Majorana fermions. To achieve this aim, the specific research objectives proposed here are: (1) engineer the interplay between topology and nematicity in topological semimetals with controlling various physical parameters by chemical substitutions, (2) identify nematic superconductivity in topological semimetals via magnetic field angle-resolved thermal transport and heat capacity measurements, and (3) observe fractionalized excitations in the superconducting state of topological semimetals. The elements of close integration of education with research include the educational content of upper-level undergraduate integrated lab-lecture course for materials research, training of a strong STEM workforce for materials research that is needed for future technologies, and enhanced participation and retention of students, in particular underrepresented students, in STEM disciplines. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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