Quantum Materials Research Gains Momentum at LSU

Weiwei Xie, assistant professor at the LSU Department of Chemistry, leads a research group bridging chemistry and physics in solid-state materials. Her group combines experimental techniques and theoretical calculations to understand the structure-property relationship in quantum materials, such as superconductors and magnetic semiconductors. Recently, she received an EPSCoR grant from the National Science Foundation to use a combination of X-ray and neutron diffraction to study the magnetism in inorganic molecules. (Also, she was named a Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr) Fellow in April, and received a Beckman Young Investigator award in 2018—one of 20 and one of 10, respectively, in the U.S.):

Weiwei Xie with Ph.D. candidates Madalynn Marshall and Xin Gui.

Weiwei Xie (left) with Ph.D. candidates Madalynn Marshall and Xin Gui.


“Quantum materials, in which the extraordinary effects of quantum mechanics can induce unique and unexpected behaviors, are the key to revolutionizing future energy and information technologies. My group aims to establish a strong research program in inorganic materials at LSU with the goal of discovering new quantum materials with exotic physical properties. By understanding the relationships among crystal structures, physical properties, and chemical bonding, we will synthesize and characterize novel quantum materials and see how magnetic properties are related to chemical compositions and atomic structures. The EPSCoR funding will give my students and I the unique opportunity to learn neutron diffraction techniques at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), allowing for a new direction in materials research at LSU. We aim to find new quantum materials from a chemistry perspective and also through interdisciplinary study of quantum materials in both physics and chemistry.
“This project is a close collaboration between LSU and Oak Ridge. Graduate students will have many opportunities to visit the collaborating institution to gain knowledge and experience with complementary approaches to this complex, solid-state problem. Although this project was funded last October, our group has already published three papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Physical Chemistry C and ACS Central Science.”


Elsa Hahne
LSU Office of Research & Economic Development