Hao studied physics as an undergraduate at Princeton University. In 2010, he enrolled in the PhD program in applied physics at California Institute of Technology, where he developed second harmonic generation rotational anisotropy technique for investigating symmetry-breaking of phase transitions in correlated materials. In addition, he also studied the dynamics of correlated materials and photo-induced phase transitions using optical pump probe technique. The materials he investigated include the iridates, ruthenates, vanadates, magnetic van der Waals materials. In 2017, Hao joined the Max-Planck-UBC-UTokyo Center to pursue further studies on the dynamics and photo-induced phases of correlated quantum materials using a wider range of spectroscopic tools available to the center.
Hao's research focuses on two closely-related topics: collective excitation of BEC/BCS condensates and light-induced superconductivity in cuprate high-Tc superconductors. A holistic understanding of the two topics requires a multi-dimensional approach involving different experimental techniques as well as theoretical insight. To this end, the diverse expertise of the Max Planck-UBC-UTokyo center furnishes a very comprehensive and conducive platform.
Within the Kaiser group, Hao is developing time-resolved Raman and optical near-field microscopy to further understand the recently discovered Higgs mode of the exciton condensate in excitonic insulator Ta2NiSe5. These tools and studies will complement the pioneering table-top experiments of the Shimano group (UTokyo) on the Higgs excitation of superconducting condensate in conventional and unconventional superconducting materials. Hao will also use beamline facilities to complement the table-top experiments in their search and characterization of Higgs excitations in these superconducting materials.
With a deeper understanding of the collective excitation of the BEC/BCS condensates, Hao also plans to coherently control these excitations using MIR and phonon pumping. MIR and phonon pumping are also closely related to the light-induced superconductivity recently reported in cuprate high-Tc superconductors. Hao plans to combine the high repetition high harmonics generation expertise of the Jones group (UBC) and the ARPES and cuprate expertise of the Damascelli group (UBC) to investigate light-induced superconductivity produced by MIR and phonon pumping. The spectroscopic results from other correlated materials at the Kaiser group would also provide the first hint into other collective or coherently driven phenomena that can be investigated by the time-resolved ARPES setup at UBC.