The National Science Foundation has issued a solicitation for proposals for rapid prototyping and development of quantum materials and devices. The solicitation is part of the NSF’s new “Enabling Quantum Leap: Convergent Accelerated Discovery Foundries for Quantum Materials Science, Engineering, and Information” program — or Q-AMASE-i, for short.
Q-AMASE-i is part of the NSF’s push to “rapidly accelerate quantum materials design, synthesis, characterization, and translation of fundamental materials engineering and information research for quantum devices, systems, and networks.” The initiative is managed by the Division of Materials Research (DMR), the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC).
Classes of materials encompassed by Q-AMASE-i include:
- materials directly serving novel quantum technologies by exploring the paradigms of spintronics, valleytronics, twistronics, and hybrid 2D materials design principles where properties can be tuned and controlled, for example, by changing the parameters of stacking;
- materials based on topological electronic phases, such as topological insulators, and topological semimetals, including but not limited to Dirac and Weyl systems, but also materials exploring quantum collective phenomena like superconductivity, charge order, or nematic order; and
- materials whose properties emerge from the interplay of many-body interactions and topology, such as materials hosting non-Abelian quasiparticles, topological superconductivity, Majorana quasiparticles, or spin liquids.
Detailing the program, the NSF writes: “Six-year awards totaling $20,000,000 to $25,000,000 for the award period are anticipated. Q-AMASE-i Foundries will be awarded as cooperative agreements with an initial commitment of six years, with the possibility of one six-year renewal, subsequent to a rigorous and favorable review by NSF. The annual performance review includes NSF’s evaluation of the annual report after the first year, an annual site visit after the second and fourth year of Foundry activities, and a reverse or program management site visit after the third and fifth year. Funding after the second year will depend on the quality of progress and performance documented during the site visits[.]”
The NSF plans to issue between one and five awards. Submissions are restricted to institutes of higher education, with a limit of one proposal per organization.
With this solicitation, the NSF continues its push to advance U.S. leadership in the quantum computing field. The call for Q-AMASE-i proposals comes on the heels of the NSF’s $15 million investment into quantum STAQ, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution project aimed at developing the world’s first practical quantum computer over the next five years.
Letters of intent for Q-AMASE-i proposals are due on September 17, 2018, and full proposals are due on November 5, 2018. For full details on the requirements and terms of the program, see the full solicitation.