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Condensed Matter and Materials Physics


High-Coherence Multi-layer Superconducting Structures for Large Scale Qubit Integration and Photonic Transduction

Program Leader: Irfan A. Siddiqi
Co-PI's: Stefano Cabrini, Andrew Minor, Frank Ogletree, William Oliver, Alexander Weber-Bargioni, Norman Yao

This program seeks to elucidate and enhance entanglement generation and characterization in superconducting films/interfaces in combination with transduction between microwave photons and solid matter.


J M Kreikebaum, K P O'Brien, A Morvan and I Siddiqi. Improving wafer-scale Josephson junction resistance variation in superconducting quantum coherent circuits. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 33, 06LT02 (2020).

K. Akkaravarawong, J. I. Väyrynen, J. D. Sau, E. A. Demler, L. I. Glazman, and N. Y. Yao. Probing and dressing magnetic impurities in a superconductor. Phys. Rev. Research 1, 033091 (2019).

P. Krantz, M. Kjaergaard , F. Yan, T. P. Orlando, S. Gustavsson, and W. D. Oliver. A quantum engineer's guide to superconducting qubits. Applied Physics Reviews 6, 021318 (2019.


Quantum Materials

Program Leader: Joe Orenstein
Co-PI's: James Analytis, Robert Birgeneau, Edith Bourret-Courchesne, Alessandra Lanzara, Dung-Hai Lee, Joel Moore, Ramamoorthy Ramesh

This program seeks to investigate the properties of strongly correlated materials by shining light onto them. Intense laser pulses have been used to restructure the free-energy landscape of these materials, and to generate rapid switching between the various forms of order deriving from the strong correlation. State of the art high harmonic generation photoemission spectroscopy and time- and spin- resolved photoemission spectroscopy systems have been developed. The future goal is to stimulate materials at selective excitations with higher intensity laser pulses to establish a mean for manipulation and control of materials properties.


Daniel E. Parker, Takahiro Morimoto, J. Orenstein, and J.E. Moore. Diagrammatic approach to nonlinear response with application to Weyl semimetals. Phys. Rev. B 99, 045121 (2019).

Frano, A., Bluschke, M., Xu, Z., Frandsen, B., Lu, Y., Yi, M., Marks, R., Mehta, A., Borzenets, V., Meyers, D., Dean, M. P. M., Baiutti, F., Maier, J., Kim, G., Christiani, G., Logvenov, G., Benckiser, E., Keimer, B., Birgeneau, R. J. Control of dopant crystallinity in electrochemically treated cuprate thin films. Physical Review Materials 3, 063803 (2019).

Everhardt, A. S., Mahendra, D. C., Huang, X. X., Sayed, S., Gosavi, T. A., Tang, Y. L., Lin, C. C., Manipatruni, S., Young, I. A., Datta, S., Wang, J. P., Ramesh, R. Tunable charge to spin conversion in strontium iridate thin films. Physical Review Materials 3, 051201 (2019).


Non-Equilibrium Magnetic Materials

Program Leaders:  Frances Hellman
Co-PIs:  Jeff Bokor, Peter Fischer, Steve Kevan, Sujoy Roy, Sayeef Salahuddin, Lin-Wang Wang

The program focuses on fundamental science of non-equilibrium magnetic materials and phenomena with emphasis on those enabled by Interfaces and Spin-Orbit-Coupling (SOC). It encompasses design, fabrication, measurement, and modeling of static and dynamic magnetic properties of thin film materials exhibiting strong spin-orbit interactions and inversion symmetry breaking due to interfaces, particularly dynamics and thermodynamics of spin accumulation, skyrmions and spin textures. The research addresses three interrelated sub-projects: i) static and quasi-static novel thin film spin structures such as skyrmions and chiral magnetic textures; ii) strong spin accumulation and consequent control of magnetization created by interfaces between ferromagnet/non-magnet with strong spin-orbit coupling; and iii) highly non-equilibrium magnetic states produced in these heterostructures and studied through electron, optical and x-ray pump/probe techniques at time scales ranging from nsec to fsec. Through strategic choice of materials and utilizing a collective expertise in growth, magnetic, electrical, optical, and thermodynamic characterization, spectromicroscopy, and theoretical modeling, the NEMM team aims to control the strength of the critical underlying, sometimes competing, interactions (spin-orbit, exchange, single ion anisotropy, Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya, Coulomb, disorder) within and between dissimilar materials in proximity to each other, enabling development of models for resulting magnetic states and their dynamics. Theoretical modeling will provide a basis for understanding the structure (atomic, electronic, magnetic) and dynamics (electron and spin transport, magnetization response) of these states, and will guide the exploration of the multidimensional space of new material systems.


A. Singh, J. C. T Lee, K. E. Avila, Y. Chen, S. A. Montoya, E. E. Fullerton, P. Fischer, K. A. Dahmen, S. D. Kevan, M. K. Sanyal, S. Roy. Scaling of domain cascades in stripe and skyrmion phases. Nature Communications 10 1988 (2019).

N. Kent, R. Streubel, Ch.-H. Lambert, A. Ceballos, S.-G. Je, S. Dhuey, M.-Y. Im, F. Büttner, F. Hellman, S. Salahuddin, P. Fischer. Generation and stability of structurally imprinted target skyrmions in magnetic multilayers. Appl Phys Lett 115 112404 (2019).

A. El-Ghazaly, B. Tran, A. Ceballos, C.-H. Lambert, A. Pattabi, S. Salahuddin, F. Hellman, and J. Bokor. Ultrafast magnetization switching in nanoscale magnetic dots. Appl. Phys. Lett., 114, 232407 (2019).


Novel sp2-Bonded Materials and Related Nanostructures

Program Leader: Alex Zettl
Co-PI's: Marvin Cohen, Michael Crommie, Alessandra Lanzara, Steven Louie, Feng Wang

The sp2 program investigates, both theoretically and experimentally, sp2-bonded structures which include carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanowires, onions, fullerenes, nanocrystals, hybrid structures, non-carbon nanomaterials (including BN), and nanococoons. Interest is in the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of sp2-bonded materials whose dimensions range from 1-100 nm. This program has three major thrusts: The first, fundamentals, focuses on theoretical predictions of new stable structures, theoretical and experimental examinations of intrinsic electronic, magnetic, and mechanical responses, transport measurements (electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, isotope effects, Raman, photoemission spectroscopy, TEM, STM), and mechanical properties and tensile strength. The second focus is on functionalized nanosystems, where two or more distinct nanostructures are brought together and allowed to interact. Here, focus is on methodologies to integrate nanosystems comprised of graphene, hBN, nanotubes, and other nanoparticles interfaced to each other or to complementary nanostructures and materials. The third and final thrust is on growth of nanostructures. Novel synthesis methods are explored for non-equilibrium growth of sp2-based and other nanoscale materials. This program also seeks to develop specialized instrumentation for synthesis, characterization, and applications.


Gilbert, S. M., Pham, T., Dogan, M., Oh, S., Shevitski, B., Schumm, G., Liu, S., Ercius, P., Aloni, S., Cohen, M. L., and Zettl, A. Alternative stacking sequences in hexagonal boron nitride. 2D Materials, 6(2), 021006 (2019).

D. Wong, Y. Wang, W. Jin, H.-Z. Tsai, A. Bostwick, E. Rotenberg, R.K. Kawakami, A. Zettl, A. A. Mostofi, J. Lischner, and M.F. Crommie Microscopy of hydrogen and hydrogen-vacancy defect structures on graphene devices. Phys. Rev. B. 98, 155436 (2018).

2. D.W. Latzke, C. Ojeda-Aristizabal, S. M. Griffin, J. D. Denlinger, J. B. Neaton, A. Zettl and A. Lanzara. Observation of highly dispersive bands in pure thin film C60. Phys. Rev. B. 99, 045425 (2019).


Van der Waals Heterostructures: Novel Materials and Emerging Phenomena

Program Leader: Feng Wang
Co-PI's: Michael Crommie, Steven Louie, Zi Q. Qiu, Mike Zaletel, Alex Zettl

This program aims to exploit extraordinary new scientific opportunities enabled by designing van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures that allow creation of novel functional materials with unprecedented flexibility and control. Atomically-thin two-dimensional (2D) layers with wide-ranging properties can be grown separately and then stacked together to form a new class of materials - van der Waals-bonded heterostructures - in which each layer can be engineered separately. We will integrate expertise in advanced synthesis, experimental characterization, and theoretical predictions to explore novel quantum phenomena emerging in vdW heterostructures, including field-tunable 2D magnetism, superconductivity, quantum-spin Hall effects, and exciton condensates.


Jin, C., Regan, E. C., Yan, A., Utama, M. I. B., Wang, D., Qin, Y., Yang, S., Zheng, Z., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Tongay, S., Zettl, A., Wang, F. Observation of Moiré Excitons in WSe2/WS2 Heterostructure Superlattices. Nature 567, 76 (2019).

Jin, C., Regan, E. C., Wang, D., Iqbal Bakti Utama, M., Yang, C.-S., Cain, J., Qin, Y., Shen, Y., Zheng, Z., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Tongay, S., Zettl, A., and Wang, F. Identification of spin, valley and Moiré quasi-angular momentum of interlayer excitons. Nature Physics. (2019).

Azizi, A., Antonius, G., Regan, E., Eskandari, R., Kahn, S., Wang, F., Louie, S. G., and Zettl, A. Layer-Dependent Electronic Structure of Atomically Resolved Two-Dimensional Gallium Selenide Telluride.. Nano Letters, 19(3), 1782 (2019).


Theory of Materials

Program Leader: Steven Louie
Co-PI's: Marvin Cohen, Dung-Hai Lee, Jeff Neaton, Lin-Wang Wang

The goal of this program is to understand and compute material properties and behaviors, covering a range of systems that include complex materials, nanostructures, superconductors, reduced-dimensional materials, and strongly correlated electron systems. The major objectives include studies on: superconductivity and mechanisms; excited states in novel materials and nanostructures; methodology developments; symmetry and topological phases of matter; and transport phenomena. A variety of theoretical techniques are employed, ranging from first-principles electronic structure methods and many-body perturbation theory approaches to new conceptual and computational frameworks suitable for complex materials/nanostructures and strongly interacting systems. Close collaboration with experimentalists is maintained. Equally important is the development of computational methods suitable for increasingly complex materials, reduced dimensional systems, and strongly correlated materials.


L. Tsui, Z. X. Li, Y. T. Huang, S.G. Louie and D.H. Lee. Classification of topological trivial matter with non-trivial defects. Science Bulletin, 64, 575-579 (2019).

S. A. Mack, S. M. Griffin, and J. B. Neaton. Emergence of topological electronic phases in elemental lithium under pressure PNAS, 116(19), 9197 (2019).

Y. Huang, J. Kang, W.A. Goddard III, L.-W. Wang Density functional theory based neural network force fields from energy decompositions. Phys. Rev. B 99, 064103 (2019)


The Materials Project

Program Leader:  Kristin Persson
Co-PI's: Gerbrand Ceder, Jeff Neaton, Shreyas Cholia, Mark Asta, Shyue Ping Ong, Geoffroy Hautier, Daryl Chrzan, Lane Martin, Peter Khalifah, Anubhav Jain

The Materials Project aims to accelerate materials discovery and education through advanced scientific computing and innovative design methods, scale those computations to cover all known inorganic compounds, and disseminate that information and design tools to the larger materials community. Specifically the Project is achieving this by:

  • Providing unprecedented data and materials design tools as well as comprehensive capabilities for scientists to share their processes and results.
  • Leveraging high-throughput calculations, state-of-the-art electronic structure methods as well as novel data mining algorithms for surface, defect, electronic and finite temperature property predictions for tens of thousands of materials to yield an unparalleled materials design environment.
  • Demonstrating the derived data and infrastructure in the design of novel functional electronic materials: photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, transparent conductors and photocatalytic materials.

Recent Publications

T. Angsten, L.W. Martin, and M. Asta. Electronic and polar properties of vanadate compounds stabilized by epitaxial strain. Chem. Mater. 30 (17), 5870 (2018).

W. Ye, C. Chen, S. Dwaraknath, A. Jain, S.P. Ong, and K.A. Persson Harnessing the Materials Project for machine-learning and accelerated discovery. MRS Bull., 43 (09), 664 (2018).

S.E. Reyes-Lillo, K.M. Rabe, and J.B. Neaton Ferroelectricity in [111]-oriented epitaxially strained SrTiO3 from first principles. Phys. Rev. Mater. 3, 030601(R) (2019).


SciDAC: Topological and Correlated Matter

Program Leader: Joel Moore
Co-PI's: Dung-Hai Lee

This is a BES-funded SciDAC program that seeks to improve the effectiveness of two methods, QMC and DMRG, widely used for studies of superconducting or topological quantum materials. These are both full-Hilbert-space methods called out in the recent Basic Research Needs for Quantum Materials. For DMRG, a goal is to develop efficient parallelizations for large-scale DOE machines. QMC work will understand competing phases in high-temperature superconductors by sign-problem-free simulations.

Recent Publications

To be added later...


Characterization of Functional Nanomachines

Program Leader: Michael Crommie
Co-PI's: Paul Alivisatos, Carlos Bustamante, Marvin Cohen, Felix Fischer, Steven Louie, Alex Zettl

The goal of this program is to understand the fundamental principles of nanomachine systems and to apply those principles toward the creation of new molecule-based nanomachines capable of converting energy into directed mechanical action at the nanoscale. The program seeks to understand the microscopic mechanisms underlying nanomechanical energy conversion in both synthetic and naturally occurring nanomachines that operate in different dissipative environments. Establishing new techniques to achieve controlled "bottom-up" fabrication of molecular nanostructures at surfaces is an important component of this program.


J. Lu, H.-Z. Tsai, A.N. Tatan, S. Wickenburg, A.A. Omrani, D. Wong, A. Riss, E. Piatti, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, A. Zettl, V. M. Pereira, M.F. Crommie Frustrated supercritical collapse in tunable charge arrays on graphene. Nature Comm 10, 477 (2019).

S. Oh, M. Crommie, M. Cohen. Simulating the Nanomechanical Response of Cyclooctatetraene Molecules on a Graphene Device. ACS Nano, 13(2) 1713 (2019).

Thang Pham, Alex Zettl. Electrically Driven Dynamics of Few-Chain NbSe3. Phys. Stat. Solidi B1900241 (2019)


Electronic Materials

Program Leader: Ali Javey
Co-PI's: Joel Ager, Daryl Chrzan, Oscar Dubon, Mary Scott, Junqiao Wu

This program discovers and creates semiconductors of novel composition and morphology for energy applications by removing chemical and physical constraints that limit materials performance and growth. The program has three thrust areas:

  • Thrust 1: Defect control in 2D semiconductors
  • Thrust 2: Interface enabled band engineering
  • Thrust 3: New synthesis modes for qunatum membranes

Common to these research themes is a synthetic strategy that allows to control structure and phase transitions at the nanoscale. In the case of quantum membranes, the ability to make and control free-standing 2-D semiconductors enables study of the interplay of quantum confinement and surface/interface properties with electronic structure and carrier transport at a fundamental level. Focus has been on exploring their electrical and optoelectronic properties at the ideal limit by repairing/passivating their defects. The control of materials composition via highly non-equilibrium synthesis techniques allows to tune band structures and interface properties on command. By exploiting new insights in the nanoscale control of phase transitions, one can synthesize new functional structures. As an example, single-crystalline growth of InP with user-defined shapes and geometry, from a few nm to 10’s of μm in lateral dimensions, on amorphous substrates is demonstrated for the first time.


H. Kim, G.H. Ahn, J. Cho, M. Amani, J.P. Mastandrea, C.K. Groschner, D. Lien, Y. Zhao, J.W. Ager, M.C. Scott, D.C. Chrzan, and A. Javey. Synthetic WSe2 Monolayers with High Photoluminescence Quantum Yield. Sci. Adv. 2019, 5, eaau4728.

D.-H. Lien, S. Z. Uddin, M. Yeh, M. Amani, H. Kim, J. W. Ager, E. Yablonovitch, A. Javey Electrical suppression of all nonradiative recombination pathways in monolayer semiconductors. Science 2019, 364, 468

S. B. Desai, H. M. Fahad, T. Lundberg, G. Pitner, H. Kim, D. Chrzan, H.-S. P. Wong, A. Javey Gate Quantum Capacitance Effects in Nanoscale Transistors. Nano Lett. 2019, 19, 10, 7130


Damage-Tolerance in Structural Materials

Program Leader: Robert Ritchie
Co-PI's: Mark Asta, Andrew Minor

The attainment of strength and toughness is a vital requirement for structural materials; unfortunately, these properties are generally mutually exclusive. Indeed, the development of strong and tough materials has traditionally been a compromise between hardness vs. ductility. Using advanced metallic alloys, we examine strategies to solve this “conflict” by focusing on the interplay between the individual mechanisms that contribute to strength and toughness, that of plasticity and crack-tip shielding, noting that these phenomena originate at very different structural length-scales. Our central objective is to seek a fundamental understanding, at atomistic to near-macroscopic length-scales, of the scientific origins of damage-tolerance in multi-element metallic alloys. Our focus is currently on single-phase high-entropy alloys and metallic glasses, which can display exceptional damage tolerance, due to novel mechanisms that arise from their disordered structures. For metallic glasses, we have focused, on the existence of short and medium range ordering within the amorphous state, using numerical simulation and most recently state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy, to discern its role in triggering shear-band formation, which we believe represents the fundamental origin of plasticity and toughness in these alloys. With respect to the damage-tolerance in face-centered cubic CrCoNi-based high-entropy alloys, we have coupled fracture mechanics measurements with in situ SEM and TEM testing to discern the synergy of dislocation and twinning mechanisms responsible for their properties. We will now also focus on body-centered cubic refractory high-entropy alloys which are intended for ultrahigh-temperature applications but are often plagued by severe brittleness. Our ultimate aim is to uncover the relationships between atomic-scale phenomena and the macroscopic mechanical behavior of structural metallic materials.


T. C. Pekin, J. Ding, C. Gammer, V. B. Ozdol, C. Ophus, M. Asta, R. O. Ritchie, A. M. Minor Direct Measurement of Nanostructural Change During In Situ Deformation of a Bulk Metallic Glass. Nature Communications, vol. 10, June 4, 2019, p. 2445

E. P. George, D. Rabbe, R. O. Ritchie High-Entropy Alloys. Nature Reviews Materials, vol. 4 (8), Aug. 2019, pp. 515534.

K. V. S. Thurston, B. Gludovatz, Q. Yu, G. Laplanche, E. P. George, R. O. Ritchie Temperature and Load-Ratio Dependent Fatigue-Crack Growth in the CrMnFeCoNi High-Entropy Alloy. Journal Alloys and Compounds, vol. 794, 2019, pp. 523-533.