In rod- or disk-shaped molecular systems, a state called “liquid crystal” appears in addition to the three states of matter; gas, liquid, and solid. Recently, electronic states that have similarities to liquid crystals have been observed in a variety of solid materials. These electronic states have been studied independently in the fields of quantum spins, strongly-correlated metals, and superconductivity, but here we define these states respectively as “spin liquid crystals”, “charge liquid crystals” and “pair liquid crystals”. In this innovative area research, we introduce a new concept “quantum liquid crystals” (QLCs) to unify these novel electronic states.
The advances in the field of “liquid crystals and soft matter” beyond the three states of matter have successfully led to many technological applications. Our QLC area can be considered as its quantum version, which can potentially generate novel phenomena and concepts. It will also pave a pathway to new QLC technology that has some useful functions in the quantum information.
Head Investigator
Prof. Takasada Shibauchi
(University of Tokyo)