Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

By Savannah Mitchem and Mary Fitzpatrick

Argonne scientists Michael Bishof, Maria Chan, Marco Govoni, Alessandro Lovato, Bogdan Nicolae and Stefan Wild are among 76 scientists across the nation awarded funding for their work through DOE’s Early Career Research Program.

The program, now in its eleventh year, awards each recipient with at least $500,000 per year for five years to advance their research. Offered by DOE’s Office of Science, the award is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists perform their most formative work. The awardees were selected from a large and competitive pool of university- and national laboratory-based applicants.

Marco Govoni

The development of quantum technologies that can store and manipulate information has the potential to provide groundbreaking discoveries that can transform computing technologies and generate a new class of nanoscale sensors.

Marco Govoni, a materials scientist in Argonne’s Materials Science division (MSD) and Center for Molecular Engineering (CME), aims to provide broad and predictive theoretical models to help accelerate the experimental examination of candidate materials for quantum applications.

The electronic states of defects in semiconductors are promising units of quantum information because they combine the quantum properties of isolated atoms with the convenience and scalability of a solid-state host system.

Govoni will develop new computational capabilities to model light-activated mechanisms within quantum materials where contradictory needs for isolation and accessibility must be reconciled in order to obtain robust quantum functionality.

“I am grateful to the Department of Energy for the award. This is an incredible opportunity to solve a materials science challenge and explore new and exciting paths for computing, communication and sensing,” said Govoni.

The project will leverage advanced computational techniques to provide a quantitative description of a wide range of materials to better guide and understand experimental activities. In particular, Govoni will harness pre-exascale computing, quantum computing and AI, while taking advantage of Argonne’s expertise and world-class user facilities.

Govoni’s research was selected for funding by DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Read more at Argonne National Laboratory.