Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

This research area supports experimental studies that will advance our understanding of the quantum phenomena governing the electronic structure of complex materials and will allow us to achieve new materials functionalities through the manipulation and control of electron and spin systems. The focus is on systems whose behavior derives from correlation effects of electrons, their excitations, and other quasiparticles, as manifested in superconducting, semi-conducting, magnetic, ferroelectric, thermoelectric, and optical properties. The goal is to understand microscopic collective behavior emerging from nontrivial band topology, low dimensionality, and interplay of charge, spin, valley, and orbital degrees of freedom. The Experimental Condensed Matter Physics program supports design, synthesis, and characterization of new materials systems required to explore the central scientific themes. This includes development of novel experimental techniques enabling such research. Also supported is the development of new techniques and instruments for characterizing the electronic states and properties of materials in situ, operando, and/or under extreme conditions.

The incorporation of computational tools and domain aware scientific machine learning algorithms is welcome and should aim at enhancing the utility of experimental data for predictive design and discovery of materials.

Targeted materials systems and phenomena should advance our scientific understanding of novel states of matter with potential to provide the foundation for transformative impact in one or more of the following areas: clean energy, critical materials alternates, quantum systems, and next-generation microelectronics.

Growth areas for the program include emergent quantum phenomena in topological systems, e.g., topological insulators, topological superconductors, Dirac/Weyl semimetals, and topological excitations. Of particular interest are quantum phenomena associated with flat bands, strong spin orbit coupling, and fractional and chiral states. Additional areas of interest include the study of interactions at the interfaces of heterostructures comprising organic and inorganic quantum materials, resulting in functionalities that are not accessible to inorganic materials alone.

Areas of decreasing emphasis include heavy fermion (non-topological) superconductivity and 2D electron and hole gases in conventional semiconductors. The program will not consider applications on cold atom physics, conventional superconductivity, bulk semiconductor physics (e.g., Si, GaAs), device development, materials property optimization, and/or incremental optimization of known phenomena.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Claudia Cantoni orTim Mewes.