Prof. Beratan to Direct NSF's Center for Synthesizing Quantum Coherence
The National Science Foundation is funding the new Center for Synthesizing Quantum Coherence (CSQC) as a Phase I Center for Chemical Innovation. Led by Duke, and featuring distinguished chemists at Northwestern University, University of California – Berkeley, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Center aims to unmask the coherent quantum mechanical flow of electronic excited states and of charges, along with their coherent spin-spin interactions, in precisely tailored nanostructures and molecules. In the longer term, discoveries of the Center will contribute to realizing materials that exploit coherence to harvest and transmit energy and information via novel quantum mechanical mechanisms, direct coherent flow of charge and excitation into specific reaction coordinates, and develop new ways for "doing chemistry" that optimize the conservation of energy and unshackle chemical transformations from the constraints of Boltzmann statistics. Beyond the new knowledge that the Center creates, the CSQC will have a broader impact on society by developing novel schemes for cross-disciplinary student training, driving innovation, enhancing science communication skills of its participants, and contributing to a diverse STEM workforce. The Center is directed by David Beratan (Duke), with co-investigators Graham Fleming (Berkeley), Nancy Makri (Urbana Champaign), Michael Therien (Duke), and Michael Wasielewski (Northwestern).