Condensed Matter Seminar

semester, 2019

Wednesday, January 23rd 2019
1:30 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.

Wednesday, February 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Rafael Fernandes, University of Minnesota
Subject: Vestigial orders in electronic correlated systems: nematicity and beyond

A hallmark of the phase diagrams of correlated electronic systems is the existence of multiple electronic ordered states. In many cases, they cannot be simply described as independent competing phases, but instead display a complex intertwinement. A prime example of intertwined states is the case of primary and vestigial phases. While the former is characterized by a multi-component order parameter, the fluctuation-driven vestigial state is characterized by a composite order parameter formed by higher-order, symmetry-breaking combinations of the primary order parameter. This concept has been widely employed to elucidate nematicity in both iron-based and cuprate superconductors. In this talk, I will present a group-theoretical framework, supplemented by microscopic calculations, that extends this notion to a variety of phases, providing a general classification of vestigial orders of unconventional superconductors and density-waves. Electronic states with scalar and vector chiral order, spin-nematic order, Ising-nematic order, time-reversal symmetry-breaking order, and algebraic vestigial order emerge from this simple underlying principle. I will present a rich variety of possible phase diagrams involving the primary and vestigial orders, and discuss possible realizations of these exotic composite orders in different materials.

Wednesday, February 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Andrey Chubukov, University of Minnesota, TPI
Subject: TBD

Wednesday, February 20th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Boris Spivak, University of Washington
Subject: Magneto-transport phenomena related to the chiral anomaly in Weyl and Dirac semimetals

I will present a theory of magnetotransport phenomena related to the chiral anomaly in Weyl semimetals. I will show that conductivity, thermal conductivity, thermoelectric and the sound absorption coefficients exhibit strong and anisotropic magnetic field dependences. I will also discuss properties of magneto-plasmons and magneto-polaritons, whose existence is entirely determined by the chiral anomaly.

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Wednesday, February 27th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Joerg Schmalian, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Subject: Hierarchy of Information Scrambling, Thermalization, and Hydrodynamic Flow in Graphene

We determine the information scrambling rate due to electron-electron Coulomb interaction in graphene. The scrambling rate characterizes the growth of chaos and has been argued to give information about the thermalization and hydrodynamic transport coefficients of a many-body system. We discuss the scrambling rate at strong coupling, using a direct diagrammatic analysis and holographic methods and show that scrambling behaves similar to transport and energy relaxation rates. A weak coupling analysis, however, reveals that scrambling is in fact related to dephasing and single particle relaxation. Thus, while scrambling is obviously necessary for thermalization and quantum transport, it does generically not set the time scale for these processes.

Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Wednesday, March 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
March APS Meeting - No speaker this week

Wednesday, March 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Oleg Starykh, University of Utah
Subject: Collective modes of magnetized spin liquids

The search for the enigmatic quantum spin liquid (QSL) state has switched into high gear in recent years. Amazing experimental progress has resulted in several highly promising QSL materials such as ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2, YbMgGaO4, and NaYbO2, to list just a few. All of these quasi-two-dimensional materials are characterized by a broad continuum of spin excitations observed in neutron scattering experiments. Unfortunately many, if not all, of these QSL candidates suffer from the presence of significant substitutional disorder which often tends to strongly broaden inelastic neutron spectra and thus calls into question the QSL interpretation of the experimental data. It is therefore incumbent upon the theoretical community to identify specific experimental signatures, more detailed than a “broad continuum” arguments, that evince the unique aspects of spin liquid states of magnetic matter.

In this talk I focus is on the prominent metal-like magnetic insulators – U(1) quantum spin liquids with spinon Fermi surface – excitations of which are represented by neutral spin-1/2 fermions (spinons) and emergent gauge fields. The gauge field mediates strong interactions between spinons. We argue that the full effect of this interaction becomes apparent when the spin liquid is partially magnetized by the Zeeman magnetic field. Under this condition, the spectrum of the spin liquid acquires a new transverse collective spin-1 mode, distinct from incoherent particle-hole excitations of the spinon continuum. Despite being located outside the spinon continuum, this novel collective excitation interacts with emergent gauge fluctuations which are responsible for partially damping it.

I present a tentative theory of this collective mode, including its dispersion, lifetime and other spectral characteristics, and identify conditions needed for its experimental observation. Collective properties of Dirac spin liquids, in which spinon bands form relativistic cone dispersion, will be described as well.

Faculty Host: Andrey Chubukov

Friday, March 15th 2019
Speaker:  Fernando Luis de Araujo Machado, Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Subject: Symmetric and anti-symmetric contributions in mixed spin-current effects in a Si/Ta/Py/NiO/Pt nanostructure

Spin-currents generated by thermal gradients are efficiently converted into charge-currents by the inverse spin-Hall effect in films of metals presenting strong spin-orbit coupling. The nature of the thermal induced effects depends on the relative orientation among the directions of the spin-current, the applied magnetic field (H), the thermal gradient and the electrical contacts in the metallic film. Mixings in the currents generated by different effects are expected to occur. In this work, the H-dependent anti-symmetric spin-Seebeck effect (SSE) was generated altogether with the symmetric planar Nernst effect in a NiO(100 nm)/Pt(6 nm) nanostructure grown on a 0.5 mm thick Si substrate. A sample holder adapted to a PPMS was used for measuring the voltage in the Pt-film for H in the range ±85 kOe and for temperatures (T) varying from 100 to 300 K. A simple procedure developed for separating the SSE from the planar Nernst effect yielded magnitudes for the SSE in the range ±30 pAcm/K for a temperature different of 10 K across the sample at 300 K. The magnitude of the SSE signal was found to vary with H and T in good agreement with a drift-diffusion magnonic theory. Work supported by CNPq, FACEPE, CAPES and FINEP (Brazilian Agencies).

Faculty Host: E. Dan Dahlberg

Monday, March 18th 2019
1:30 pm:
Speaker: Ray Orbach, University of Texas at Austin
Faculty Host: E. Dan Dahlberg

Wednesday, March 20th 2019
1:25 pm:
Spring Break - No speaker this week.

Wednesday, March 27th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Itamar Kimchi, University of Colorado - Boulder
Subject: Dirty Entangled Quantum Magnets
Faculty Co-Host: Alex Kamenev

Studying quantum entanglement over the past 1--2 decades has allowed us to make remarkable theoretical progress in understanding correlated many-body quantum systems. However electrons in real materials experience random heterogeneities ("dirt") whose theoretical treatment, including strong correlations, has been a challenge. I will describe how synthesizing ideas from quantum information theory, statistical mechanics, and quantum field theory gives us new insights into the role of randomness in 2D correlated quantum spin systems. First I will outline our results on weak bond-randomness in two theoretically controlled cases (valence-bond-solids and classical dimer models) and apply them to random quantum magnets to show that topological defects with free spins necessarily nucleate and control the low energy physics. Second I will describe how the results lead us to conjectures in 2D, and a proved theorem in 1D, of Lieb-Schultz-Mattis-type constraints on all possible low-energy fates of quantum magnets, that hold even with randomness. Third I will describe how the theory predicts a scaling collapse of the temperature and magnetic-field dependence of thermodynamic quantities that is consistent with experimental observations from multiple materials, suggesting that these materials exhibit randomness-driven long range entanglement.

Faculty Host: Fiona Burnell

Wednesday, April 3rd 2019
Speaker: Graeme Luke, McMaster University
Subject: Exotic Probes and Extreme Conditions Reveal New States of Quantum Matter

Condensed matter systems provide an exciting laboratory for observing new states of quantum matter via emergence, where the collective behavior of electrons results in quasi-particles with fractional statistics, spin-charge separation, magnetic monopoles and Majorana fermions (particles that are their own anti-particles). I will describe how we design and synthesize new quantum materials that can host these exotic new states of matter and then use a variety of experimental techniques including muon spin relaxation and neutron scattering to probe their properties.

Wednesday, April 10th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Vidya Madhavan, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Subject:  Signatures of 1D dispersing Majorana modes in the proximitized topological surface states of FeSe0.5Te0.5

Majorana fermions can be realized as quasiparticle excitations in a topological superconductor, whose non-Abelian statistics provide a route to developing robust qubits. In this context, there has been a recent surge of interest in the iron-based superconductor, FeSe0.5Te0.5. Theoretical calculations have shown that FeSe0.5Te0.5 may have an inverted band structure which may lead to topological surface states, which can in turn host Majorana modes under certain conditions in the superconducting phase. Furthermore, recent STM studies have demonstrated the existence of zero-bias bound states inside vortex cores which have been interpreted as signatures of Majorana modes. While most recent studies have focused on Majorana bound states, more generally, akin to elementary particles, Majorana fermions can propagate and display linear dispersion. These excitations have not yet been directly observed, and can also be used for quantum information processing. This talk is focused on our recent work in realizing dispersing Majorana modes. I will describe the conditions under which such states can be realized in condensed matter systems and what their signatures are. Finally, I will describe our scanning tunneling experiments of domain walls in the superconductor FeSe0.45Te0.55, which might potentially be first realization of dispersing Majorana states in 1D.

Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Wednesday, April 17th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Jorn Venderbos, University of Pennsylvania
Subject: Many-body band inversions

Topological materials are a new class of quantum materials with remarkable properties, which are rooted in the topology of the ground state wave function. Our understanding of topological electronic phases, in particular free fermion phases, relies on one of the central paradigms of modern electron band theory: the notion of a band inversion. In this talk I will first review what a band inversion is, and then describe our attempt to construct a many-body generalization of the band inversion transition, providing a new perspective for interacting topological phases. In particular, I will introduce a special class of band inversions in two dimensions for which interactions are expected to determine the fate of the transition and present evidence that these provide promising venues for a strongly correlated fractionalized fluid of electrons and holes. I will describe possible routes to material realizations and will discuss connections to new types of topological semimetals in three dimensions as well as superconductors.

Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Friday, April 19th 2019
11:00 am:
Speaker: Ritika Dusad, Cornell University
Subject: Magnetic Monopole Noise

Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical elementary particles exhibiting quantized magnetic charge m_0=±(h⁄(μ_0 e)) and quantized magnetic flux ϕ_0=±h/e. A classic proposal for detecting such magnetic charges is to measure the quantized jump in magnetic flux Φ threading the loop of a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) when a monopole passes through it. Naturally, with the theoretical discovery that a plasma containing equal numbers of emergent magnetic charges 〖±m〗_ should exist in several lanthanide-pyrochlore magnetic insulators including Dy_2Ti_2O_7, this SQUID technique was proposed for their direct detection. Experimentally, this has proven extremely challenging because of the high number density, and the generation-recombination (GR) fluctuations, of the monopole plasma. Recently, however, theoretical advances have allowed the¬ spectral density of spontaneously generated magnetic-flux noise S_Φ (ω,T) due to a thermally generated plasma of magnetic monopoles 〖±m〗_to be predicted for Dy2Ti2O7. I will describe development of a high-sensitivity, SQUID based flux-noise spectrometer, and consequent measurements of the frequency and temperature dependence of S_Φ (ω,T) for Dy2Ti2O7 samples. Virtually all the elements of S_Φ (ω,T) predicted for a magnetic monopole plasma, including the existence of intense magnetization noise and its characteristic frequency and temperature dependence, are detected directly. Moreover, measured correlation functions C_Φ (t) of the magnetic-flux noise Φ(t) reveal that the motion of magnetic charges is correlated. A final striking observation is that, since the GR time constants τ(T) are in the millisecond range for Dy2Ti2O7, magnetic monopole flux noise amplified by the SQUID is audible to human perception.

Faculty Host: Vlad Pribiag

Wednesday, April 24th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Ming Yi, Rice University
Subject: Role of Orbital Physics in Iron Chalcogenide Superconductors

Electron correlation effects give rise to a variety of emergent phenomena in quantum materials—high temperature superconductivity, electronic nematicity, Mott insulating phase, magnetism. The family of Fe(Se,Te) superconductors plays a remarkable host to all of these phenomena in different parameter regimes. In this talk, I will present angle-resolved photoemission results on two aspects of electron correlation effects in this material family—i) orbital-selective Mott insulating behaviors towards the FeTe end of the phase diagram, and ii) electronic nematicity in completely detwinned FeSe. Both examples showcase the phenomenal way that correlation effects rewrite the low energy electronic states of a material system, and reveal the exceptional role the orbital degree of freedom plays in composing the fundamental physics in iron chalcogenide superconductors.

Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Wednesday, May 1st 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Jack Harris, Yale University
Subject: A pedagogical introduction to the emergence of topology in non-Hermitian dynamics

A collection of coupled linear oscillators is widely regarded as a trivial physical system. Nevertheless, in recent years it has become evident that weak loss (or gain) in these systems can result in a variety of qualitative surprises - even in the purely linear regime. Effects that have attracted considerable attention include: PT symmetry breaking, exceptional points, non reciprocity, and topological control. I will describe a simple framework that unites these "non-Hermitian" effects and explains why topology emerges generically in damped coupled linear oscillators. I will discuss the application of these concepts in classical systems and in quantum systems. Lastly, I will describe an optomechanical experiment that offers a natural way to realize generic non-Hermiticity.

Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Wednesday, May 8th 2019
1:30 pm:
To be announced.

Monday, May 13th 2019
Speaker: Mikhail I. Dyakonov, Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université Montpellier, CNRS, France
Subject: Spin Hall effect and related phenomena

The spin Hall effect (SHE) was predicted nearly half a century ago [1, 2]. Following the proposal in [3], the (inverse) SHE was experimentally observed for the first time in [4], without arousing much interest. The first experimental observations of the (direct) SHE were reported [5, 6] more than 30 years after the original prediction, causing great excitement and many theoretical and experimental studies of this phenomenon.
The spin current density is described by a tensor qij, where the first index corresponds to the direction of flow, and the second one - to the component of the spin that is flowing.
The spin-orbit interaction provides coupling between the spin and charge currents, so that a charge current in the z direction produces the xy component of the spin current, resulting in spin accumulation at the lateral surfaces of the sample (direct spin Hall effect). In turn, the xy component of the spin current induces the z component of the charge current resulting in the change of the sample resistance (inverse spin Hall effect).
Related phenomena are the spin Hall magnetoresistance [7, 8] and the effect of swapping spin currents, which was predicted theoretically [9] but so far not yet observed experimentally.

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Tuesday, May 14th 2019
Speaker: Mikhail I. Dyakonov, Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université Montpellier, CNRS, France
Subject: Will we ever have a quantum computer?

The state of a classical computer at a given moment is described by a sequence (↑↓↑↑↓...), where ↑ and ↓ represent bits of information – realized as the on and off states of individual transistors. The computation process consists in switching some transistors between their ↑ and ↓ states according to a prescribed program.
In quantum computing one replaces the classical two-state element by a quantum element with two basic states, called the quantum bit, or qubit. The simplest object of this kind is the electron spin, which can have only two possible projections on any axis: +ћ/2 or −ћ/2. For some chosen axis, we can again denote the two basic quantum states of the spin as ↑ and ↓.
However an arbitrary spin state is described by the wave function ψ = a↑ + b↓, where a and b are complex numbers, satisfying the condition |a|2 + |b|2 = 1. In contrast to the classical bit that can be only in one of the two states, ↑ or ↓, the qubit can be in a continuum of states defined by the quantum amplitudes a and b. The qubit is a continuous object.
With N qubits, there are 2N basic states of the type (↑↓↓↑↑↓↑↓...). Accordingly, the general state of a system with N qubits is described by 2N complex parameters restricted by the normalization condition only. So, while the state of the classical computer with N bits at any given moment coincides with one of its 2N possible discreet states, the state of a quantum computer with N qubits is defined by the values of 2N continuous variables, that we should be able to control.
Thus, basic quantum mechanics tells us that the hypothetical quantum computer is an analog machine whose state at any given moment is described by a very large number of continuous parameters. Note that for a toy quantum computer with only 300 qubits this number greatly exceeds the number of particles in the observable Universe!
An important issue is related to the energies of the ↑ and ↓ states. While the notion of energy is of primordial importance in all domains of physics, both classical and quantum, it is not in the vocabulary of QC theorists. They implicitly assume that the energies of all 2N states of an ensemble of qubits are exactly equal. Otherwise, the existence of an energy difference ∆E leads to oscillations of the quantum amplitudes with a frequency Ω = ∆E/ ћ, where ћ is the Planck constant, and this again is a basic fact of Quantum Mechanics. (For example, one of the popular candidates for a qubit, the electron spin, will make a precession around the direction of the Earth's magnetic field with a frequency ~ 1 MHz).
On the basis of these elementary facts, the obvious answer to the question in title is - NO!

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Friday, May 24th 2019
12:20 pm:
Special Condensed Matter Seminar in Physics Tate 301-20
Speaker: Andrey Antipov, Microsoft Station Q
Subject: Engineering Majorana zero modes.

The initial theoretical proposal for the realization of Majorana bounds states in a condensed matter setup requires three simple ingredients: superconductivity, spin-orbit coupling and magnetic field. While this proposal is simple, the experiments are not, as they involve material science, fabrication steps, cooling, electrostatic control and actual measurements. The results of experiments are not unambiguous and allow for multiple interpretation by simple theoretical models. In order to bridge the gap one has to include peculiarities of experimental setup and engineer the modelling of systems supporting Majorana zero modes. In this talk I will show how the next generation of numerical models captures the effects of electric fields, disorder, orbital effects and how it can feedback and guide the ongoing experimental effort in the field.

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Tuesday, May 28th 2019
11:00 am:
Special Condensed Matter Seminar in Physics Tate 201-20
Speaker: Ying-Jer Kao, National Taiwan University
Subject: Gapless spin liquid in the kagome Heisenberg antiferromagnet with Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions

A preponderance of evidence suggests that the ground state of the nearest-neighbor S=1/2 antiferromagnetic Heisenberg model on the kagome lattice is a gapless spin liquid. Many candidate materials for the realization of this model possess in addition a Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) interaction. We study this system by tensor-network methods and deduce that a weak but finite DM interaction is required to destabilize the gapless spin-liquid state. The critical magnitude, Dc/J≃0.012(2), lies well below the DM strength proposed in the kagome material herbertsmithite, indicating a need to reassess the apparent spin-liquid behavior reported in this system.

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Wednesday, July 10th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Hechen Ren, Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Subject: Probing Topological Superconductivity in Planar Josephson Junctions

While signatures of Majorana bound states have been observed in one-dimensional systems, there is an ongoing effort to find alternative platforms that can be easily scalable. In this talk, I will present a novel experimental approach based on two-dimensional materials. Using a Josephson junction made of HgTe quantum well coupled to thin-film aluminum, we can tune between a trivial and a topological superconducting state by applying an in-plane magnetic field and controlling the phase difference ϕ across the junction. First, I will recapitulate our supercurrent measurement in the context of spatially varying order parameter of the induced superconductor. Then, I will delve into the observation of its topological transition by measuring the tunneling conductance at the edge of the junction. At low fields, we observe a minimum in the tunneling spectra near zero bias, consistent with a trivial superconductor. However, as the magnetic field increases, the tunneling conductance develops a zero-bias peak which persists over a range of ϕ that expands systematically with increasing magnetic fields. Our observations are consistent with theoretical predictions for this system and with full quantum mechanical numerical simulations. This work provides a new platform for probing topological superconducting phases which can be generalized to other two-dimensional systems with spin-orbit coupling.


H. Ren, F. Pientka, S. Hart, A. T. Pierce, M. Kosowsky, L. Lunczer, R. Schlereth, B. Scharf, E. M. Hankiewicz, L. W. Molenkamp, B. I. Halperin, and A. Yacoby, “Topological superconductivity in a phase-controlled Josephson junction”, Nature (London) 569, 93 (2019).

S. Hart, H. Ren, M. Kosowsky, G. Ben-Shach, P. Leubner, C. Brüne, H. Buhmann, L. W. Molenkamp, B. I. Halperin, and A. Yacoby, “Controlled finite momentum pairing and spatially varying order parameter in proximitized HgTe quantum wells”, Nature Physics 13, 87 (2017).

Faculty Host: Michael Zudov

Thursday, August 1st 2019
Speaker: David Goldhaber-Gordon, Stanford University
Faculty Host: Andrey Chubukov

Wednesday, September 4th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: There will be no seminar this week.

Wednesday, September 11th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Vadim Smelyanskiy, Google, Los Angeles
Subject: Non-ergodic delocalized states for efficient population transfer within a narrow band of the energy landscape

We will review the advances and challenges in the field of quantum combinatorial optimization
and closely related problem of low-energy eigenstates and coherent dynamics in transverse field
quantum spin glass models. We will discuss the role of collective spin tunneling that gives
rise to bands of delocalized non-ergodic quantum states providing the coherent pathway for the
population transfer (PT) algorithm: the quantum evolution under a constant transverse field that
starts at a low-energy spin configuration and ends up in a superposition of spin configurations
inside a narrow energy window. We study the transverse field induced quantum dynamics of the
following spin model: zero energy of all spin configurations except for a small fraction of spin
configuration that form a narrow band at large negative energy. We use the cavity method for
heavy-tailed random matrices to obtain the statistical properties of the low-energy eigenstates in
an explicit analytical form. In a broad interval of transverse fields, they are non-ergodic, albeit
extended giving rise to a qualitatively new type of quantum dynamics. For large transverse
fields the typical runtime of PT algorithm scales with n and  as that of the Grover’s quantum
search, except for the small correction to the exponent . The model we consider is non-
integrable. As a result, our PT protocol does not require any fine-tuning of and may be
initialized in a computational basis state. We argue that our approach can be applied to study PT
protocol in other optimization problems with the potential quantum advantage over classical

Faculty Host: Alex Kamenev

Wednesday, September 18th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Gabor Halasz, ORNL
Subject:  Vison crystals in an extended Kitaev honeycomb model

We introduce an extension of the Kitaev honeycomb model by including four-spin interactions that preserve the local gauge structure and hence the integrability of the original model. The extended model has a rich phase diagram containing five distinct vison crystals, as well as a symmetric π-flux spin liquid with an approximate Fermi surface of Majorana fermions and a sequence of topological Lifshitz transitions. We discuss possible experimental signatures and, in particular, present finite-temperature Monte Carlo calculations of the specific heat and the static vison structure factor. We argue that our extended model emerges naturally from generic perturbations to the Kitaev honeycomb model.

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Wednesday, September 25th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Scott Crooker, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Los Alamos National Lab
Subject: Electrons, holes, and excitons in monolayer semiconductors: Insights from optical spectroscopy in (really) high magnetic fields

Much of the current interest in atomically thin transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD) semiconductors such as MoS2 and WSe2 derives from the physics of coupled spin & valley degrees of freedom and the potential for new spin/valley-based devices. This talk will discuss recent optical studies that probe the valley-related physics of electrons, holes, and excitons in monolayer TMD semiconductors, as well as the crucial role played by the surrounding dielectric environment.

Our first studies focused on revealing fundamental properties relevant for optoelectronics, such as exciton mass, size, binding energy, and dielectric screening. To date, many of these parameters are still assumed from density functional theory. Historically, magneto-optical spectroscopy has played an essential role in determining these properties in semiconductors; however, for TMD monolayers the relevant field scale is substantial – of order 100 tesla! – due to heavy carrier masses and huge exciton binding energies. Fortunately, modern pulsed magnets can achieve this scale. Using exfoliated monolayers affixed to single-mode optical fibers, we performed low-temperature magneto-absorption spectroscopy up to ~90T of all members of the monolayer TMD family. By following the diamagnetic shifts and valley Zeeman splittings of the exciton’s 1s ground state and its excited 2s, 3s, … ns Rydberg states, we determined exciton masses, radii, binding energies, dielectric properties, and free-particle bandgaps. These data allow a quantitative comparison with the popular “Rytova-Keldysh” model of the (non-hydrogenic) attractive electron-hole potential in a 2D material, and provide essential ingredients for the rational design of optoelectronic van der Waals structures [1,2].

In separate studies we used ultrafast optical methods for time-resolved Kerr rotation to measure the coupled spin-valley dynamics of resident electrons and holes in electrostatically-gated TMD monolayers [3,4]. Very long relaxation timescales of order 100 ns are observed for electrons in n-type monolayers, which is many orders of magnitude longer than typical exciton lifetimes. Even longer valley relaxation (2 microseconds) is observed for holes in p-type monolayers, confirming long-standing expectations of strong spin-valley locking in monolayer TMD semiconductors.

*In collaboration with X. Marie & B. Urbaszek (INSA-Toulouse), and X. Xu (U. Washington)

[1] M. Goryca et al., Nature Comm. (in press); arXiv:1904.03238
[2] A. V. Stier et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 057405 (2018)
[3] M. Goryca et al., Science Advances 5, eaau4899 (2019)
[4] P. Dey et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 137401 (2017)

Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

Wednesday, October 2nd 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Michael Norman, Argonne National Lab
Subject: Superconductivity in Nickelates: Similarities and Differences from Cuprates

The recent discovery of superconductivity in Sr-doped NdNiO2 has refocused attention on the relation of nickelates to cuprates. First, I review the experimental situation, including earlier work on trilayer nickelates, as well as the new work on infinite-layer nickelates. Next, I comment on various proposed models, including charge-transfer, Mott, and Kondo. Then, I relate these models to the electronic structure of nickelates, contrasting this with cuprates. Finally, I comment on relevant parameters in regards to the observation of superconductivity.

Faculty Host: Andrey Chubukov

Wednesday, October 9th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Qianhui Shi, Columbia University
Subject: Quantum Hall physics in 2D WSe2

2D semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) represent a unique class of 2D electronic system. The atomically-thin structure, just like graphene, eliminates finite thickness effects and facilitates gate-tunability. On the other hand, they hold promise for properties beyond graphene with a sizable band gap and strong spin-orbital coupling. In this talk, I will discuss correlated electronic states in WSe2 under a perpendicular magnetic field, probed through capacitance measurements. In monolayer WSe2, we observe fractional quantum Hall states with a unique sequence at odd-denominator fillings. In addition, an even-denominator state is observed which is expected to host non-Abelian statistics. In bilayer WSe2, the spin-valley locking, together with the valley misalignment in natural AB stacking, results in strongly suppressed interlayer tunneling and allows independent control of the individual layer population. We observe signatures consistent with interlayer exciton condensate when the two layers have matched orbital wavefunction. Interestingly, compared to other double layer systems with an intentional barrier, the natural bilayer has a smaller interlayer spacing and allows exciton condensate to be realized in high Landau levels, with different properties than the previously known version in the lowest Landau level .

Faculty Host: Boris Shklovskii

Wednesday, October 16th 2019
Speaker: Mingda Li, MIT, Nuclear Science and Engineering
Subject: Quantized Dislocations

A dislocation, just like a phonon, is a type of atomic lattice displacement but subject to an extra topological constraint. However, unlike the phonon which has been quantized for decades, the dislocation has long remained classical. In this talk we introduce our recent theoretical effort to quantize a dislocation, the “dislon” theory [1], by emphasizing a few predictions on tailoring electronic and thermal properties in a dislocated crystal, along with some initial agreement with recent simulations and experiments. By establishing a concept that complex defects can naturally be described by a quantum field, quantum many-body theory may be applied to explain complex disordered materials at a new level of clarity.
[1] M. Li, “Quantized Dislocations”, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 31, 083001 (2019).

Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Wednesday, October 23rd 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Andrei Bernevig, Princeton University
Subject: Exact Eigenstates in Non-Integrable Systems: A violation of ETH

We find that several non-integrable systems exhibit some exact eigenstates that span the energy spectrum from lowest to the highest state. In the AKLT Hamiltonian and in several others “special” non-integrable models, we are able to obtain the analytic expression of states exactly and to compute their entanglement spectrum and entropy to show that they violate the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis

Faculty Host: Andrey Chubukov

Wednesday, October 30th 2019
Speaker: Peter D. Johnson, CM Physics and Materials Science Division, BNL
Subject: Time Reversal Symmetry Breaking in the FeTe1-xSex family of high Tc superconductors

Laser-based ARPES with variable light polarization offers a powerful probe of the electronic structure near the center of the Brillouin zone. Here the technique is used to examine the Fe-based superconductor family, FeTe1-xSex. At the zone center we observe the presence of Dirac cones with helical spin structure as expected for topological surface states and as previously reported in the related FeTe0.55Se0.45.[1] These studies are compared with theoretical studies that take account of the disordered local magnetic moments related to the paramagnetism observed in this system. Indeed including the magnetic contributions in the theoretical description is necessary to bring the chemical potential of the calculated electronic band structure into alignment with experimental observation. In the bulk superconducting state for FeTe0.7Se0.3 the system appears to reflect the presence of some level of orbital selectivity in the pairing even though no structural transition occurs at the transition temperature Tc. At the same time the topological state appears to acquire mass below Tc.

[1] P. Zhang et al., Science 360, 182 (2018)

Faculty Host: Martin Greven

Wednesday, November 6th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker:  Gregory Fiete, Northeastern University
Subject:  Effective Descriptions of Time Periodic Systems

Recently, there has been much interest in non-equilibrium phenomena in cold atomic gases and condensed matter systems. An important class of non-equilibrium systems includes those subjected to periodic drive, such as cold atoms in an optical lattice with periodically modulated parameters, or a solid state system with an incident laser beam. In this talk, I will describe some of our recent theoretical work aimed at finding accurate effective Hamiltonians for general periodically driven systems, including those with interactions. I will describe a “flow equation approach” inspired by renormalization group-type ideas that provides a useful description for highly accurate effective Hamiltonians. The method also serves as an anchor point for a wide range of approximate, physically motivated treatments of obtaining the effective Hamiltonian. I will also describe complementary work aimed at finding accurate Floquet Hamiltonians in the low-frequency, low-drive intensity limit.


[1] M. Vogl, P. Laurell, A. D. Barr, G. A. Fiete, “A flow equation approach to periodically driven systems”, Phys. Rev. X 9, 021037 (2019).

[2] M. Vogl, P. Laurell, A. D. Barr, G. A. Fiete, “Analogue of Hamilton-Jacobi theory for the time-evolution operator”, Phys. Rev. A 100, 012132 (2019)

[3] M. Vogl, M. Rodriguez-Vega, G. A. Fiete, “Effective Floquet Hamiltonian in the low-frequency regime”, arXiv:09

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

Wednesday, November 13th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Ana Maria Rey, University of Colorado - Boulder
Subject: Entanglement Dynamics and Fast Scrambling in a Trapped Ion Quantum Magnet

Scrambling of quantum information is the process by which information initially stored in the local degrees of freedom of a quantum many-body system spreads over its many-body degrees of freedom, becoming inaccessible to local probes and thus apparently lost. Scrambling and entanglement are considered key concepts that reconcile seemingly unrelated behaviors including thermalization of isolated quantum systems and information loss in black holes. Moreover, these two concepts have revolutionized our understanding of non-equilibrium phenomena. In this talk I will argue that a specific family of fidelity out-of-time-order correlators (FOTOCs), recently measured in a trapped-ion quantum simulator via time reversal of the many-body dynamics followed by a fidelity measurement can serve as a unifying diagnostic tool that elucidates the intrinsic connection between fast scrambling, volume law entanglement, ergodicity, quantum chaos, and the butterfly effect in the associated semiclassical dynamics of the system. I will illustrate the utility of FOTOCs by presenting our calculations in the Dicke model an iconic model in quantum optics, recently implemented in atomic and trapped-ion setups. This model describes the coupling of a large spin to an oscillator and features rich behaviors, including a quantum phase transition and chaos. I will show that FOTOCs provide a direct measure of the Renyi entropy and thus give us access to study quantum thermalization. These findings open a path for the experimental use of FOTOCs to quantify fast scrambling, to determine bounds on quantum information processing and to identify possible candidates of black hole analogs in controllable quantum systems.

Faculty Host: Rafael Fernandes

Wednesday, November 20th 2019
Speaker: Scott A. Chambers, Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Subject: Extracting Quantitative Band-edge Profiles from Buried Heterojunctions from Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectra

Semiconductor based devices are of broad, general importance, not only in electronics, but also in energy technology. In such devices, internal electric fields dictate the flow of charge that occurs both laterally and vertically. The associated potential profiles can be approximated from electronic transport data, and also calculated via Poisson-Schrodinger modeling, provided the properties of the constituent materials and interface structures are sufficiently well understood. These approaches work well for heterostructures involving, for instance, III-V semiconductors. However, when oxides are involved, such methods become unreliable because of poorly understood defects that can be present. There is, therefore, a critical need for new methods to enable the direct, experimental determination of band-edge profiles in heterojunctions involving these materials. In this lecture, I will demonstrate that hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES), interpreted by means of a newly developed algorithm, constitutes such a method. I will illustrate the power and utility of this approach with examples taken from the realm of epitaxial complex oxides on Group IV semiconductors [1-3] .
[1] Y. Du, P. V. Sushko, S. R. Spurgeon, M. E. Bowden, J. M. Ablett, T.-L. Lee, N. F. Quackenbush, J. C. Woicik, S. A. Chambers, Phys. Rev. Mater. 2, 094602 (2018).
[2] Z. H. Lim, N. F. Quackenbush, A. Penn, M. Chrysler, M. Bowden, Z. Zhu, J. M. Ablett, T.-L. Lee, J. M. LeBeau, J. C. Woicik, P. V. Sushko, S. A. Chambers, J. H. Ngai, Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 026805 (2019).
[3] P. V. Sushko and S. A. Chambers, Sci. Rep., submitted (2019).

Faculty Host: Bharat Jalan

Wednesday, December 11th 2019
1:25 pm:
Speaker:  Stefano Martiniani, Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota
Subject: Squeezing order out of disorder

While the equilibrium properties, states, and phase transitions of interacting systems are well described by statistical mechanics, the lack of suitable state parameters has hindered the understanding of non-equilibrium phenomena in diverse settings. I will discuss how Computable Information Density (CID), the ratio of the length of a losslessly compressed data file to that of the uncompressed file, is a measure of order and correlation in both equilibrium and nonequilibrium systems. The technique will be shown to reliably identify nonequilibrium phase transitions, determine their character, quantitatively predict dynamical critical exponents and correlation lengths without prior knowledge of the order parameters. I will show how CID revealed previously unknown ordering phenomena, such as a cascade of phase transitions in the BML traffic model, and a “checkerboard” dynamical instability in the parallel update Manna sandpile model. The scaling of the CID length scales agree well with those computed from the decay of two-point correlation functions g2(r) when they exist. But CID also reveals the correlation lengths scaling when g2(r) = 0, as we demonstrate by “cloaking” the data with a Rudin-Shapiro sequence. If time allows it, I will discuss preliminary results on how we can capture the local entropy production of an active Brownian particles system by compression.

[1] S. Martiniani, P. M. Chaikin, D. Levine, “Quantifying hidden order out of equilibrium”, Phys.
Rev. X, 9, 011031 (2019).

Faculty Host: Jorge Vinals

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