Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Revolutionising Quantum Material Design in the U.S.

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In the journey of development at the intersection of quantum materials and digital technology, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, have unveiled a powerful computational tool. This tool, set to be integrated into the open-source software package WEST, holds the potential to revolutionise the understanding and engineering of materials for quantum technologies.

The Midwest Integrated Centre for Computational Materials (MICCoM), led by the University of Chicago’s Marco Govoni, has been pivotal in creating this computational tool. Known as Without Empty States – Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (WEST-TDDFT), the tool offers scientists an expanded capability to study the behaviour of atoms within quantum materials when they absorb and emit light.

Giulia Galli, the Liew Family professor of molecular engineering, highlighted the significance of the breakthrough. “What we have done is broaden the ability of scientists to study these materials for quantum technologies. We can now study systems and properties that were really not accessible, on a large scale, in the past,” she stated. Galli, who also holds a joint appointment with Argonne, emphasised the potential impact of this tool in enabling the exploration of previously inaccessible aspects of quantum materials.

Galli’s group demonstrated the accuracy of WEST-TDDFT through the study of three semiconductor-based materials. However, they emphasised that the tool’s application extends across various related materials, showcasing its versatility. Importantly, the software has been developed to operate at scale on different high-performance architectures, showcasing its potential for large-scale applications.

Quantum information, a key focus of this research, revolves around the concept of qubits as the fundamental units of information. Unlike classical computing bits that encode data using only zeros and ones, qubits can exist in superposition states, simultaneously representing zero and one. Studying point defects within materials and their quantum states is crucial for harnessing these defects as qubits for quantum technologies.

Integrating WEST-TDDFT into the MICCoM’s computational arsenal marks a significant stride in understanding how materials absorb and emit light at the atomic level. This knowledge is crucial for manipulating point defects and designing materials utilising qubits as sensors or data storage units. Galli emphasised, “How these materials absorb and emit light is critical to understanding how they function for quantum applications. Light is how you interrogate these materials.”

The computational tool streamlines the complex calculations in solving quantum mechanical equations to determine atomic properties, making them more efficient and accessible. This efficiency is particularly important in dealing with large and complex systems, bringing the study of these materials closer to experimental systems used in laboratories.

The tool’s efficiency is further highlighted by its adaptability to run on central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). This versatility allows researchers to study excited state properties of point defects within materials, such as diamond, 4H silicon carbide, and magnesium oxide, even when these systems involve hundreds or thousands of atoms.

Yu Jin, a UChicago graduate student and the first author of the research paper, explained the significance of the efficient approach, stating, “With these methods, we can study the interaction of light with materials in systems that are quite large, meaning that these systems are closer to the experimental systems actually being used in the laboratory.”

Beyond quantum technologies, the MICCoM team behind WEST, including researchers Victor Yu and Marco Govoni, continues to apply and refine the algorithms to study a broader class of materials. The goal is to advance quantum technologies and explore low-power and energy applications.

Govoni summarised the broader implications of their work, saying, “We have found a way to solve the equations describing light emission and absorption more efficiently so that they can be applicable to realistic systems. We showed that the method is both efficient and accurate.”

This research aligns with the overarching objective of the Galli lab to study and design new quantum materials. The potential applications of their findings extend to the design of quantum sensors, with recent results from the lab highlighting the behaviour of spin defects near the surface of a material, a factor critical for the design of quantum sensors relying on spin defects. This research’s confluence of computational advancements and materials science opens new frontiers in exploring quantum technologies, offering unprecedented scientific discovery and technological innovation opportunities.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.