UOW researcher awarded ARC Future Fellowship
Dr Zhi Li to develop topological superconductors for use in quantum computing and future electronics
University of Wollongong researcher Dr Zhi Li from the Institute of Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) has been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for his work on iron-based high-temperature topological superconductors.
Dr Li, a condensed-matter physicist with a background in topological insulators, interface superconductors and two dimensional materials, will receive funding of $802,288 over four years with his Future Fellowship.
Dr Li is also affiliated with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET), which seeks to develop ultra-low energy electronics to face the challenge of energy use in computation.
Dr Li said research on topological superconductors had vast potential economic benefits, and that topological superconductors were very promising in the application of future electronic devices, including quantum computing.
“This project involves the synergy of expertise in superconductors, surface science, functional materials and condensed matter physics,” Dr Li said.
“It is in an area of emerging scientific interest and falls into the Australian Science Research Priority area of advanced manufacturing, with regard to specialised, high value-add areas such as high-performance materials, and will improve Australia's comparative advantages and capacity to meet current and emerging global and domestic demand.
“This research will advance Australia’s position as a world leader in topological superconductor research and potentially benefit research in quantum computing, which is a key research strength of Australia.”
Dr Li’s project aims to achieve intrinsic and robust topological superconductors at high-temperature by engineering iron-based superconductors via precisely controlling the defects, chemical doping, interface and substrates.
ISEM Director and FLEET Node leader Distinguished Professor Xiaolin Wang is a mentor for Dr Li on his Future Fellowship project.
“This project will open a new horizon for one of ISEM’s 10 research programs on superconductors and low-energy materials, provide research training for PhD students and post-doc fellows, and build Australian expertise in the emerging field of topological superconductors,” Professor Wang said.
“Intrinsic and robust topological superconductors are the ideal platform for future topological quantum computation.”
ARC Future Fellowships reflect the Australian Government’s commitment to excellence in research by supporting excellent mid-career researchers to undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.
The Future Fellowships are designed to expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capacity, and deliver economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia.
In announcing the 2021 Future Fellowships, Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the additional funding would ensure Australia is at the forefront of research that will deliver real-world solutions to global challenges.
“We want Australian researchers developing the breakthrough ideas, new products and innovations that will create jobs, grow our economy and improve our society,” Minister Tudge said.
“Importantly, these research projects will keep some of the world’s finest minds right here in Australia so that we directly reap the benefits of their research.”