The 1986 discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in the copper-oxides by IBM researchers Bednorz and Müller fuelled an explosion of research and accolades, including the awarding of the Nobel prize to Bednorz and Mueller in 1987. As a result, the University of Maryland's Center for Superconductivity Research (CSR) was established at College Park in July 1988 to conduct interdisciplinary research in the area of superconductivity and advanced electronic materials. With state funding to hire personnel, purchase research equipment, construct office and laboratory space and set up infrastructure support, the CSR's major goal was to train students and researchers with the expertise necessary to make contributions to the fundamental science and technology of superconductivity and related areas.
The experimental and theoretical research programs at CSR rapidly grew in the early years, with upwards of 50 professors, research associates and scientists, administrative and engineering staff, and graduate students working in the center by 1993. Spanning several departments including Physics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Engineering, this multidisciplinary effort fostered a rich research environment that made the CSR one of the best known and respected research centers in the world. The CSR was officially dedicated to Governor William Donald Schaefer in a ceremony on October 6, 1992. In 2007, the CSR merged with Condensed Matter Physics to encompass modern research trends and efforts of several faculty, creating a new collaborative entity known as the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials (CNAM). CNAM included all experimental CMP faculty from the department in its membership, and for a period also included faculty from the Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC) as well.
In 2019, CNAM was renamed the Maryland Quantum Materials Center (QMC) in order to both update and reinforce the position of the CMP effort at UMD and accelerate further toward top-tier status in the world. The QMC’s purpose remains focused on the fundamental exploration and development of advanced materials and devices using multi-disciplinary expertise drawn from physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science departments, placing strong emphasis on the pursuit of optimized and novel quantum phenomena with potential to nucleate future computing, information and energy technologies.
The objectives of the Center are to:
- Establish a unique, interdisciplinary center for the interchange of ideas and skills among scientists working in all aspects of condensed matter physics and quantum materials and phenomena.
- Lay the foundations for future technologies based on electronic properties of quantum materials, for applications ranging between power/energy infrastructure to quantum information and computation technologies, nanoelectronic, nanooptic and spintronic materials.
- Develop and nurture talented scientists to become future leaders in the field.
QMC receives support from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Laboratory for Physical Sciences.