The 1986 discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in the copper-oxides by IBM researchers Bednorz and Müller fuelled an explosion of research and accolades, including the awarding of the Nobel prize to Bednorz and Mueller in 1987. As a result, the University of Maryland's Center for Superconductivity Research (CSR) was established at College Park in July 1988 to conduct interdisciplinary research in the area of superconductivity and advanced electronic materials. With state funding to hire personnel, purchase research equipment, construct office and laboratory space and set up infrastructure support, the CSR's major goal was to train students and researchers with the expertise necessary to make contributions to the fundamental science and technology of superconductivity and related areas.

The experimental and theoretical research programs at CSR rapidly grew in the early years, with upwards of 50 professors, research associates and scientists, administrative and engineering staff, and graduate students working in the center by 1993. Spanning several departments including Physics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Engineering, this multidisciplinary effort fostered a rich research environment that made the CSR one of the best known and respected research centers in the world. The CSR was officially dedicated to Governor William Donald Schaefer in a ceremony on October 6, 1992.

In 2007, the CSR merged with Condensed Matter Physics to encompass modern research trends and efforts of several faculty, creating a new collaborative entity known as the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials (CNAM).

The objectives of the Center are to:

  • Establish a unique, interdisciplinary center for the interchange of ideas and skills among scientists working in all aspects of condensed matter, nano physics, and advanced materials

  • Lay the foundations for future high technologies based on electronic properties of condensed and nano systems

  • Develop talented scientists to become future leaders in the field.

CNAM receives support from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Laboratory for Physical Sciences.