Haute 100: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Donates $2M to NYU Researchers


Gordon and Betty Moore, credit Susanna Frohman San Jose Mercury News (1)

New York City scientists have received a $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. According to New York University (NYU), the grant will help explore new ways create advanced materials atom-by-atom—with the aim of laying the groundwork for the next generation electronic devices.

Andrew Kent, a professor in NYU’s Department of Physics and one of the project’s chief investigators, works will be centered in the realm of quantum physics, which examines the behavior of matter and energy at the molecular and atomic levels. It will also be part of the foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative to encourage advances in understanding the organizing principles of complex quantum matter. In particularly, Kent will focus on magnetic materials and devices that use the electron’s magnetic moment (also known as its spin) to create new types of electronics.

“Future technologies will stem from breakthroughs in the development and study of new quantum states,” Kent explained. “Under this grant, we will be investigating new ways to deploy electrons, with the goal of reconfiguring basic physical properties, setting the stage for the creation of improved semiconductors, magnets, insulators, and other materials that could result in faster more energy efficient computing devices.”

The project’s co-chief researcher Andrew Wray also shared some word regarding the assignment. He said, “What we’re setting up will give us both hands and eyes on the atomic scale. We’ll have several state-of-the-art techniques for growing materials, and right there in the growth chamber will be some of the most powerful current tools for measuring the quantum states of electrons. This is a powerful synergy, which will let us watch what happens to the electrons in real time as we combine atoms in ways that have never before been tried.”

Other researchers who will be part of the project include Davood Shahrjerdi, an assistant professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and Paul Chaikin, a professor in NYU’s Department of Physics.

This project aligns well with the foundations mission, which is to create positive change for future generations. The foundation was created by husband and wife duo Gordon and Betty Moore.