The department uses neutron and X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy as well as optical spectroscopy and Raman scattering to explore the structure and dynamics of materials with strong electron correlations. We also have a strong effort in the development of new spectroscopic methods. As the close collaboration between experimentalists and theorists is essential for the progress in this field, a small theory group operates within the department.
X-ray diffraction has revealed structural modifications in high-temperature superconductors induced by femtosecond pulses of THz radiation, which appear to be responsible for transient superconductivity far above the equilibrium transition temperature. The results were published in Nature.
A new technique that allows Raman scattering from 10 nm thin metal-oxide films has shown that spin and charge order in nickelates can be tuned by epitaxial strain. The paper appeared as an Editor's Choice in Physical Review Letters.
Nakheon Sung has received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research on correlated-electron materials with strong spin-orbit coupling.