In August, Argonne National Laboratory in southwest suburban Lemont, Illinois, received $115 million in funding over five years from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create Q-NEXT, a transformative 100-person collaboration among universities, national laboratories and private companies that will work to advance the leading edge of quantum information science.

In designing this collaboration, Argonne has enlisted the expertise of three Northwestern faculty members from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences: physicist Nathaniel Stern and chemists Danna Freedman and Michael Wasielewski, all of whom are also affiliated of Northwestern’s cross-disciplinary quantum hub, the INQUIRE research institute. Freedman and Wasielewski serve on INQUIRE’s executive committee.

Wasielewski, who is also both executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) and director of the Center for Molecular Quantum Transduction (CMQT) at Northwestern, describes Q-NEXT as an “all-encompassing” effort to harness the quantum properties of materials – those that rely on discrete energies or states of molecules or atoms – to gain “amazing advancements” in fields like computing or communications.

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