Principal Investigator: Douglas Chrisey
Tulane Group Members: Shiva Adireddy, Venkata Puli, Sijun Luo, Josh Shipman, Charlie Sklare, Theresa Phamduy and Brian Riggs
Our research interests are wide ranging and include the novel laser fabrication of thin films and coatings of advanced materials for electronics, sensors, biomaterials, and for energy storage. The new materials were used in device configurations for testing and typically had an improved figure-of-merit. He is considered one of the pioneers in the field of Pulsed Laser Deposition and was the lead inventor of MAPLE processing technique (matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation). He is currently publishing in areas of metallic nanoparticle fabrication, biosensing, bionanotechnology, tissue engineering, stem cell processing, ceramics, and polyamorphism.
Principal Investigator: David L. Ederer (Emeritus)
Tulane Group Members: Tim Schuler
Professor David L. Ederer was a senior staff scientist in the Center for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), for almost thirty years. He came to Tulane in January 1992 to launch a new program in experimental solid state physics with the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) in Baton Rouge, as a focal point. Ederer carries out research on transition metals and rare earth materials at the Advanced Light Source as well, using soft x-rays to elucidate the electronic properties of complex and highly correlated materials such as high Tc superconductors. Ederer, a fellow of the American Physical Society, is an internationally recognized expert in the use of synchrotron radiation for research in atomic, molecular, and solid state physics. His research in atomic, and condensed matter physics, as well as instrument design has resulted in over one hundred and fifty papers.
Recent topics of research have included doped manganate systems, the superconducting perovskite Sr2RuO4 system and multi-layered variants, and magnetically doped semiconductors with particular focus on half-metallic behaviour.
Principal Investigator: Matthew Escarra
Tulane Group Members: Qi Xu, Adam Ollanik, John Robertson, Vera Ji, Kazi Islam, Nick Farrar-Foley, and Ben Lewson
The Escarra group explores novel photonic materials and devices with applications particularly, but not exclusively, in the area of solar energy conversion. On the fundamental end, we are exploring nanoscale photonic materials and devices, where quantum phenomena tend to dominate, for potential use as light emitters, photovoltaics, and more. We are also interested in nanostructured materials, where sub-wavelength, or nanophotonic, behavior determines optical properties. On the applied end, we are developing unique material, device, and system architectures for ultra-high efficiency solar energy conversion.
Active project thrusts include:
1) In collaboration with academic and industry partners, the group is developing a new hybrid solar energy converter that allows for high efficiency, dispatchable renewable energy production. This system features a spectrum splitting photovoltaic module designed to work in tandem with solar thermal energy capture and storage.
2) The group is exploring a nanophotonic approach to splitting the solar spectrum, enabling ultra-high efficiency solar energy conversion. This research area focuses on low-loss photonic micro/nanostructures for sculpting the flow of light, leading to improved light absorption and more efficient use of the full solar spectrum.
3) The group is studying two-dimensional transition metal chalcogenides and their quantum phenomena for use as semiconductor materials in ultra-thin optoelectronic devices. We have a particular interest in heterostructures of 2D materials and ternary transition metal chalcogenides.
The work in this group involves optical, thermal, and device physics simulations, micro/nanofabrication, and optoelectronic material and device characterization.
Principal Investigator: Ryan T. Glasser
Tulane Group Members: Onur Danaci, Benjamin Sloan, and Christian Rios
The Glasser group conducts experimental research in the closely related fields of quantum information and quantum optics. One core aspect of this research is to improve our understanding of the fundamental physics surrounding quantum entanglement and quantum states of light. A second aspect involves utilizing these concepts in various computation, communication, and measurement protocols to enhance performance beyond classical limits.
The fundamental process involved in this research is four-wave mixing in warm atomic vapor. This process generates pairs of photons in separate spatial modes that exhibit stronger correlations than allowed by classical physics, in multiple degrees of freedom. When a laser is used to seed the process, bright “twin beams” of light are created. The correlations in these “twin beam” states are exploited to enhance, for example, interferometric measurements and the resolution of imaging systems. Investigating novel methods to generate highly multimode “squeezed light” is an important aspect of this research area.
The group is also interested in the generation of novel high-dimensional entangled states of light. This work involves creating robust continuous-variable states that are applicable to real-world systems in which scattering and decoherence are present. The fundamental behavior of the quantum information present in these states is a key theme in this research.
Principal Investigator: Zhiqiang Mao
Tulane Group Members: Jin Hu, Jinyu Liu, Yanglin Zhu, Zhijie Tang, Jianjian Ge, Alyssa Chuang
Emergent phenomena in quantum materials not only hold the promise for advanced applications in information technologies, but also challenge current knowledge in physics. Zhiqiang Mao's current research interest is the emergent phenomena of quantum materials. His current research is focused on four directions: a) Emergent quantum phenomena in strongly correlated oxides; b) interplay between magnetism and superconductivity in iron-based superconductors; c) Novel exotic properties of two-dimensional atomic crystals of layered ternary transition metal chalcogenides; 4) novel topological Dirac and Weyl semimetals.
His particular interest in correlated oxides lies in ruthenates, which have attracted tremendous interest due to their fascinating exotic properties, such as spin-triplet superconductivity. Ruthenates are characterized by the delicate balance between the charge, spin, lattice and orbital degrees of freedom and provide a remarkable opportunity for observing novel quantum phenomena through the control of external stimuli. Mao's research on ruthenates aims to discover novel emergent phenomena and understand their underlying physics. Since most exotic phenomena in ruthenates are associated with phase transitions between two distinct ordered states, studies of such phenomena can unveil the novel physics associated with competing interactions of correlated electrons.
Fe-based superconductivity has been a hot topic in condensed matter physics in recent years and its discovery has generated tremendous excitement. Mao's group has done remarkable work in the iron chalcogenide superconductor system, which is one of the most important members of the Fe-based superconductor family. Since this material system has the simplest structure compared to other Fe-based superconductors, it has been used as a model system in order to study the superconducting pairing mechanism. Mao's current focus is on addressing the role of magnetic fluctuations in superconducting paring as well as the mechanism of the magnetism of Fe-based superconductor parent compounds.
In addition to studies on strongly correlated oxides and iron-based superconductors, Mao has been making efforts to develop new projects which aim to discover novel quantum materials with fundamentally new physical phenomena. One particular interest is novel two-dimensional (2D) atomic layered materials. The fascinating properties of graphene have opened a new world of 2D crystals, which have high potential to show a rich spectrum of distinct and exotic properties due to the quantum confinement effect. Given the wide range of materials with 2D layered structures, many new 2D crystals could potentially be accessed. Indeed, many new 2D materials beyond graphene have been discovered such as 2D h-BN, black phosphorene and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). Mao's interest in 2D materials is to search for novel functional 2D materials in ternary transition metal chalcogenides (TTMCs). His research in this area is motivated by progress in understanding the 2D TMDCs whose distinct properties are attributed to the combined effects of quantum confinement, localized d-bands, spin-orbital coupling (SOC), and inversion symmetry breaking. These properties are shared by layered TTMCs, but with greatly expanded tunability. Firstly, one of the two metal ions in the ternary materials can be a 3d element. Since the 3d orbital is more localized than the 4d/5d orbital, including a 3d element in a TTMC can enhance Van Hove singularities in the density of states, which should result in a remarkable enhancement to the electric field effect and optical absorption. 3d ions such as Fe, Co, Ni, and Mn can also carry magnetic moments, which can possibly lead to 2D magnetic materials with spintronic properties. 3d electrons also involve strong correlation, which can possibly cause exotic properties such as superconductivity. Secondly, the other metal ion in a TTMC can be a heavy element such as a 4d/5d element or Sb/Bi, which would bring in strong spin-orbital coupling. Moreover, many TTMCs have lower structural symmetry and inversion symmetry breaking often occurs in their single layer forms, which, combined with strong spin-orbital coupling, can result in spin splitting. Therefore, we can reasonably expect that 2D TTMCs may show exciting properties due to greater tunability n their band structures. Mao has established close collaboration with his colleague, Prof. Jiang Wei at Tulane, in developing this project.
Zhiqiang Mao's group not only grows single crystals of quantum materials, but also performs various measurements to study the physics of quantum materials. For crystal growth, he primarily uses the optical floating-zone, flux and chemical vapor transport methods. He performs a wide range of measurements, including resistivity, Hall effect, magnetization and specific heat, to characterize electronic, magnetic and thermodynamic properties of quantum materials. In addition, he has also established extensive collaborations with researches at other institutions and National Laboratories to study quantum materials using advanced techniques such as neutron scattering and photoemission spectroscopy.
Principal Investigator: Wayne Reed
Tulane Group Members: Mike Drenski, Colin McFaul, Zheng Li, Zifu Zhu
Research in my group centers on fundamental and applied aspects of Polymer Science, with an increasing emphasis on private sector liaison. We study biological and synthetic polymers in solution, with an aim towards discovering basic physical principals involved in their structures and interactions, as well as solving practical problems of immediate interest to such industries as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food, paints, adhesives, resins, coating, water purification, etc. To this end we are also strongly involved in developing new characterization techniques and instrumentation for polymers, especially those involving light scattering.
Efforts are concentrated on innovative ways of monitoring processes occurring in polymer solutions in real time. We make extensive use of light scattering and other optical techniques, viscometry, size exclusion chromatography, and other auxiliary techniques (DSC, electron-microscopy, etc.). We have interests in the fundamental areas of polymer reaction kinetics and mechanisms, conformations, interactions and hydrodynamics, with a special focus on polyelectrolytes.
Principal Investigator: Diyar Talbayev
Tulane Group Members: Kate Heffernan, Shuai Lin, Shukai Yu, Skylar Deckoff-Jones, and Adam Kehoe
We are interested in optical and electrical properties of complex materials, which include materials with strong electronic correlations (e.g. magnetic and superconducting transition metal oxides), multiferroic materials that combine ferroelectricity with magnetism, and artificial THz plasmonic structures. We use time-resolved optical and terahertz spectroscopy to probe low-energy magnetic, lattice, and electronic excitations that reveal the microscopic physics governing a material. Time-resolved spectroscopy employs femtosecond light pulses to perturb and manipulate the equilibrium state of solids and adds another dimension, the time domain, to expose the relationships between the fundamental interactions in a material.
Current research topics include:
1. Time-resolved studies of coupled spin and charge dynamics in multiferroic materials. The motivation for this work is the exploration of THz-frequency switching magnetic and ferroelectric domains and the understanding of the basic physics that governs the switching dynamics.
2. Time resolved and THz spectroscopy of quasiparticle dynamics in strong correlated electron systems, specifically magnetic and superconducting materials.
3. Properties of surface plasmons at THz frequencies, THz plasmonics. Plasmonics studies electromagnetic waves interacting with electrons inside materials, the interaction that is governed by Maxwell's equations. Out of this simplicity have emerged such fascinating phenomena as negative refraction and sub-wavelength light focusing. We are focusing on the most immediate uses of THz surface plasmons in high-sensitivity chemical and biological sensing.
Principal Investigator: Jiang Wei
Tulane Group Members: Chunlei Yue, Xue Liu, Jake Smith
The Wei group's research interest focuses on nanoscale condensed matter physics, particularly on the underlying physics of the emerging quantum phenomena in nanostructures. Nanodevice physics fascinates us because when the characteristic length of physical systems approaches to nanoscale, quantum mechanical effects start to appear or even dominate. We are primarily interested in two groups of nanostructured materials: 1D and 2D quantum materials, and strongly correlated materials. We utilize our state-of-the-art micro-nano fabrication facilities to transform these materials into measureable nanoscale devices. Because low-dimensional material exhibits different physical properties from those of bulk material, we investigate the electrical, magnetic, and optical properties of low-dimensional structures to understand the fundamental physics. The nanostructured devices of strongly correlated material can be used as a research vehicle to explore the unknown territory of phase diagram, to investigate the collective many-body behavior, and to manipulate the phase transition by applying electric field, magnetic field, strain, and chemical doping. We also explore the technological applications of these nanodevices.
Current research directions:
Principal Investigator: Fred Wietfeldt
Tulane Group Members: Alexander Laptev,Taufique Hassan, Chandra Shahi
My group is engaged in experimental nuclear physics research using cold and ultracold neutrons. This work falls into three related, but distinct categories:
Our main focus right now is on categories (1) and (3).
Cold neutrons are free neutrons that are moving so slowly (less than 2000 m/s) that their deBroglie wavelengths are larger than the spacing between atoms in matter, typically in the range 0.2 to 2.0 nm. In this regime the neutron-matter interaction is coherent, the neutron interacts with many atoms simultaneously, and so it is more wave-like than particle-like. Cold neutrons can be manipulated optically, in many ways similar to light optics. They can be reflected, refracted, and diffracted in matter. Neutron guides, analogous to fiber optic guides, can be used to transport cold neutrons long distances with very little losses.
Ultracold neutrons (UCN's) are neutrons whose kinetic energy is less than about 300 neV. This energy is comparable to three important energy scales:
Precise measurements of neutron scattering lengths using a neutron interferometer can be used to improve our understanding of the nucleon-nucleon potential and other parameters such as the charge radius of the neutron. The neutron interferometer is also used for fundamental tests of quantum mechanics. These experiments are carried out at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (Center for Neutron Research). In addition to comprehensive instrumentation for neutron scattering research, this facility supports and operates a suite of neutron beams (both monochromatic and polychromatic) dedicated to fundamental neutron physics. It also operates the most sensitive Neutron Interferometer in the world.
We design and develop experiments in our laboratories at Tulane, usually in collaboration with groups at other institutions, and then bring experiments to NIST for data collection. We usually spend summers at NIST and students in my group often spend one or more years full time at NIST, after completing their Tulane course-work, to complete their dissertation research.
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