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Ames Laboratory’s Ke earns DOE Early Career Research Award

Contacts:                                                                                                                           For Release: June 21, 2018
Adam Schwartz, Ames Laboratory Director, 515-294-2770
Alissa Brammer, Ames Laboratory Communications, 515-294-1048

Ames Laboratory scientist Liqin Ke is one of 30 scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories to be selected for funding as part of the DOE’s Early Career Research Program.

Ke is an assistant scientist in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at Ames Laboratory, researching the computational design of two-dimensional (2D) quantum materials, which hold promise in applications for energy-efficient, nanoscale information storage and computing. His proposed project, "Quantum Control and Tuning of Magnetic Two-Dimensional van der Waals Heterostructures,” will be funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

"The computational challenge is to enhance and apply an efficient method to accurately predict and analyze magnetic properties in various Magnetic Two-Dimensional van der Waals systems with a large phase space of tuning parameters," said Ke.

A key ingredient of the proposed method is a novel computational framework that can greatly accelerate the calculations of intrinsic magnetic properties. It has been under development in an ongoing Laboratory Directed Research & Development (LDRD) project. For experimental verification, Ke will collaborate with Ames Laboratory experimental scientists Paul Canfield, Adam Kaminski, and Rob McQueeney.

"I am very fortunate to be at Ames Laboratory, which has a prestigious reputation in magnetic materials research built by my senior colleagues and generations of great scientists before them," said Ke. "This gives me an enormous advantage, and I am so grateful to them." 

DOE’s Office of Science selected 84 scientists from across the nation – including 30 from DOE’s national laboratories and 54 from U.S. universities – to receive significant funding for research as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The effort, now in its ninth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

“Supporting talented researchers early in their career is key to building and maintaining a skilled and effective scientific workforce for the nation. By investing in the next generation of scientific researchers, we are supporting lifelong discovery science to fuel the nation’s innovation system,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “We are proud of the accomplishments these young scientists have already made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come.”

The research grants are planned for five years. To be eligible for the DOE award, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory, who received a Ph.D. within the past 10 years. For more information about the award and a list of the 84 awardees, their institutions, and titles of research projects, please click HERE.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

Ames Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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