Our group focuses on quantum materials. Quantum in this context really means edgy. Quantum materials are never far from a phase boundary, and can often be tipped from one phase to another by relatively weak external stimuli. This edginess results from a multiplicity of competing interactions, each of which favors a different ground state.
The potential for the discovery of new phases, as well as the ability to controllably switch between them, accounts for the tremendous interest in quantum materials. However, their diversity and complexity require a multidisciplinary and multi-investigator approach. Our lab is part of the Quantum Materials Group in the Materials Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley Lab. The other group members are Profs. Analytis, Birgeneau, Lanzara, Lee, Moore, and Ramesh. As part of this team effort, our group focuses on time and space-resolved optical probes of the symmetry-breaking that accompanies new phases.