News & Topics

JST-Princeton University Joint Workshop: The Future of Topological Materials

October 17, 2019

On October 2–5, 2019, JST and Princeton University held the joint workshops “The Future of Topological Materials” at the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, New Jersey.

News that the Nobel Prizes in Physics were awarded “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” in 2010 and “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter” in 2016 is fresh in our memories. In response to the prizes, research and development related to new materials that are expected to be applied to future electronics and superconducting technologies such as graphene and topological materials is being actively promoted around the world.

Since 2014, JST Strategic Basic Research Programs has promoted the CREST “Two-Dimensional Films” area, aiming for the creation of fundamental technologies and construction of basic science to realize innovative materials and devices in physical science, synthetic chemistry, and device engineering in relation to the development and use of atomic or molecular two-dimensional functional films. It also has promoted the PRESTO “Topology” area, aiming to seek topological material science for the creation of innovative materials and functions in diverse areas including quantum, magnetism, optics, mechanics, and soft matter (polymer materials, gel materials, etc.) since 2018.

For topological materials among these areas it has been more than 10 years since the first “topological insulator” was proposed as a representative example. A database on topological materials has been constructed through research in many countries around the world, and there are many candidate materials. Indeed, topological materials research is entering a new stage, and the selection and development of excellent topological materials for future applications are in progress.

JST and Princeton University held a joint workshop to discuss the future directions and applications of topological materials science by inviting prominent researchers around the world to Princeton University, the world’s leading research institutes in topological materials science.

A total of 14 researchers from Japan delivered lectures in four program areas: CREST and PRESTO “Thermal Control” areas, aiming for the creation of fundamental technologies of thermal control that will contribute to the realization of future devices and new materials in addition to the above-mentioned “Topology” and “Two-Dimensional Films” areas. Furthermore, a total of 19 researchers from Europe, China, Israel, and the United States, including the co-organizer Princeton University, gave lectures. Apart from the participation of Professor Duncan Haldane of Princeton University, a Nobel Laureate of Physics in 2016, the attendance of over 100 people in the workshops during the four-day term indicates a substantial interest in these areas.

At the workshops, presentations and Q&A sessions were held on cutting-edge research over a wide range of research themes and across the boundaries of research areas. Themes covered research relating to thermal transportation, such as thermal energy control based on magnon heat conduction and spintronics, and up to the latest topics, such as double-layer graphene and antiskyrmion. Along with top-notch researchers around the world, researchers of CREST-PRESTO programs also delivered presentations and introduced research results. Participants including postdoctoral research fellows and students of Princeton University engaged in active discussions.

In his closing remarks, Shuichi Murakami (Professor of the School of Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology), the Research Director of PRESTO “Topology” and one of the organizers of the workshop, described his expectations for international research exchange through this workshop.

JST is aiming for a fusion of diverse research areas across boundaries and the construction of a foundation of the international network; at the same time, we will support the research development of “The Future of Topological Materials,” as indicated by the workshop title, and will foster young researchers who engage in the research at JST’s strategic basic research programs.

PRESTO[Topology] Topological Materials Science for Creation of Innovative Functions

CREST[Two-Dimensional Films] Development of Atomic or Molecular Two-Dimensional Functional Films and Creation of Fundamental Technologies for Their Applications

PRESTO[Thermal Control] Thermal Science and Control of Spectral Energy Transport

CREST[Thermal Control] Creation of Innovative Core Technologies for Nano-enabled Thermal Management