Quantum mechanics is a theoretical description of reality that has been used to understand numerous phenomena at atomic and subatomic scales. It is among the most successful scientific theories, exhibiting not one single contradiction in nearly a century since its inception. In the coming decades, the discovery of quantum phenomena in various scientific realms promises to revolutionize science, technology, and society. In biology, the quantum effects of photosynthesis are still being unravelled, while the miniaturization of integrated circuits forces us to confront quantum mechanics head-on. As scientists, we have a unique opportunity to explore quantum mechanics in the laboratory and unravel the bizarre and unintuitive behavior that emerges in atomic-scale systems.
The QMO lab aims to discover new quantum phenomena in atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials including graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, and layered transition metal dichalcogenides. These materials, many of which can be separated into few or single atomic layers, exhibit quasi-low dimensionality that may lead to strongly correlated electron behavior. Among correlated electronic materials, true 2D materials provide the distinct advantage that they are one atom thick, thus allowing the utilization of techniques generally applied to small atomic ensembles, such as laser-cooling and optical cavity coupling. By incorporating these materials into nanoscale electronic devices, we envision a distinct field of research that explores atomically thin condensed matter systems using precision techniques and concepts employed in atomic, molecular, and optical physics.