Chemistry is all about understanding and controlling the properties of matter -- Where are the electrons? How do particular arrangements of atoms and bonds result in the zoo of behaviors known in matter? What new properties can be created by arranging atoms in unnatural configurations? Today, there are about 50 million known chemical compounds. Where and how will the next billion be discovered, and what new properties will they have?
In this talk, I will highlight the progress being made to address these questions, with a particular focus on quantum materials. Quantum mechanics is essential to understand individual atoms. Yet, in many cases, it is not necessary to treat the entire system quantum mechanically – quantum mechanics need only be considered locally, while the collective properties of a large collection of atoms adopts behavior describable with classical models. But this is not true in all cases – in some compounds, so-called quantum materials, the observed behavior defies classical models and requires a full quantum mechanical description – that is, the quantum behavior is ‘writ large’ across macroscopic length scales. I will give examples of recent advances and discoveries of quantum materials that have implications ranging from sustainable energy to information technology, and also more recent connections to the rapidly growing area of quantum information science and engineering. I will provide a perspective on how tools of chemistry – especially those related to understanding bonding and the motion of nuclei and electrons – can be applied to make further advances in these areas.