Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

This research area supports experimental studies that will advance our understanding of the quantum physics governing the electronic structure of complex materials and will allow us to achieve new materials functionalities through the coherent manipulation and control of electron and spin systems. The focus is on systems whose behavior derives from strong correlation effects of electrons as manifested in superconducting, semi-conducting, magnetic, 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 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 and/or under extreme conditions, such as in ultra-low temperatures (millikelvin), in ultra-high magnetic fields (100 Tesla), and at ultrafast time scales (femtosecond).

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

Growth areas for the program include emergent quantum phenomena in topological materials, e.g., topological superconductors and Dirac/Weyl semimetals. Of particular interest are quantum phenomena associated with narrow bands, strong spin orbit coupling, fractional and chiral states, spin liquids and frustrated magnetism, phononic/magnonic interactions, and moiré effects in van der Waals bonded heterostructures.

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, and/or materials property optimization.

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.