Recently, new classes of extremely promising materials have been discovered and, at the same time, fundamental theoretical developments have lead to a different view on hitherto unexplored features of existing materials, opening new routes for their use. The unifying feature of these novel materials is that their electronic structure is given by a so-called Dirac cone and, consequently, the now common name “Dirac materials” was coined.
The first material in this series was graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms and slightly later the so-called topological insulators. By now, the range of these new materials goes far beyond graphene, containing entire classes of new two-dimensional materials, the so-called Weyl and Dirac semimetals and even unconventional superconductors. The discovery of Dirac materials is so recent that many fundamental questions are still wide open, and there is a strong potential for groundbreaking discoveries.
In June 2016, the VILLUM foundation has given a grant of 33 million DKK in order to establish the VILLUM Centre of Excellence for Dirac Materials (VCDM). The centre is organized combining experimental research mainly at Aarhus University and Radboud University in Nijmegen with theoretical research at Nordita in Stockholm and in the US. On these pages, you can find more information on the Centre’s activities.