IRG-2: Topology and Fractionalization

IRG-2: Topology and Fractionalization in Magnetic Materials

image of IRG-2 research

Topology, best understood for weakly interacting electrons, implies robust protection ofelectronic properties. Magnetism, on the other hand, arises fundamentally from strong interactions. An urgent and tantalizing question is whether topological protection can arise in magnetic systems, since achieving precise control over the magnetic properties of solids is a long-standing problem with critical applications for both spintronics and quantum information. IRG-2 seeks to establish a new paradigm for topological phases in strongly correlated magnetic materials.


  • IRG-2’s materials synthesis and crystal growth programs will generate a new class of magnetic materials for the condensed matter community, with great potential impacts on science and our national competitiveness.
  • New algorithms and software developed within this proposal to search for topological magnetic materials will be internet accessible, leading to improvements in the computer-aided design of materials in physics, chemistry, and materials communities.
  • All members of IRG-2 will engage fully in CEM diversity and outreach programs. Valdés-Aguilar, the CEM REU Director and Bridge Program steering committee member, and Trivedi, the faculty lead of the Scientific Thinkers program, will take leadership roles. Also, during the course of the work, they plan to include these topics in a CEM organized international conference.

IRG-2 Faculty

Prof. Joseph P. Heremans, Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engr. (Co-Leader)
Prof. Yuan-Ming Lu, Assoc. Professor of Physics (Co-Leader)
Prof. Joshua Goldberger, Professor of Chemistry
Prof. Sara Haravifard, Asst. Professor of Physics at Duke University
Prof. David W. McComb, Professor of Materials Science Engr.
Prof. Roberto C. Myers, Professor of Materials Science Engr.
Prof. Brian Skinner, Asst. Professor of Physics
Prof. Nandini Trivedi, Professor of Physics
Prof. Rolando Valdés Aguilar, Asst. Professor of Physics
Prof. Yiying Wu, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry