The Department of Defense has selected Chang-Beom Eom, a professor of materials science and engineering and physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to receive a 2020 Vannevar Bush faculty fellowship. The five-year, single-investigator award includes $3 million in funding to support basic research with the potential for transformative impact.

The fellowship will allow Eom to investigate the flip side of perovskite oxides, the materials he’s worked with over the last decade. Perovskite materials have a specific crystal structure or placement of atoms. Eom has pioneered methods to layer different types of perovskite oxides with other materials to produce thin-film heterostructures that have unique electrical and magnetic properties at the interfaces of those layers. These types of layered structures could lead to major leaps in electronics, data storage devices and other applications.

In this new work, Eom plans to investigate antiperovskite materials, in which the placement of positively and negatively charged ions in the crystal structure are the opposite of those in perovskites. He plans to produce thin films and complex heterostructures of these materials.

Eom’s initial investigations into the growth and properties of antiperovskite thin films indicate several exciting directions that promise discoveries in materials physics rivaling those from perovskites.

“This is a new family of quantum materials,” Eom says. “There are clear directions, but several unknowns; the Vannevar Bush faculty fellowship provides a solid framework enabling exploration and discovery in these systems.”

Read more at University of Wisconsin-Madison.