Michel Côté’s research has the long-term goal of creating a revolutionary superconductor (a conductor with no resistance, which would have the ability to persist with no power source) that can function at room temperature. Part of his research output has been the software ABINIT, a package that informs on the energy of systems within Density Function Theory. It is freely available at http://www.abinit.org/
My research consists of calculating the quantum properties of materials such as high-Tc superconductors, organic polymers, and carbon nanotubes. Last year some of our research included predicting new polymers for use in photovoltaics. The results of this research have the potential to impact Canadians by making it possible to predict the properties of materials before they are synthesized. In the case of polymers for photovoltaic applications, this would save synthesis groups a lot of time by allowing them to focus exclusively on the most promising systems. In another project on high-Tc superconductors, the long-term objective with the biggest potential social and economic impacts is clearly the synthesis of a superconductor able to function at room temperature. While it is unrealistic to expect such results from the current project, the methods developed will shed new light on the mechanisms that induce superconductivity in high-Tc superconductors. Equipped with this knowledge and the ability to realistically model materials, we may be able to propose new materials with the potential for superconductivity at higher temperatures. This research would not have been possible without Compute Canada’s infrastructure because it serves as our virtual laboratory. The fact that infrastructure maintenance is performed by a highly qualified team allows my group to concentrate on the scientific issues at hand. Moreover, since it is a world-caliber facility, it levels the playing field so we can compete head-to-head with other research groups around the world.