Research in Disa’s group centers around understanding and controlling the properties of quantum materials at the smallest length and time scales possible.
Quantum materials are characterized by strong interactions that couple electron charges, spins, and orbitals, and the surrounding atomic lattice, leading to unique emergent phenomena, such as high-temperature superconductivity, colossal magnetoresistance, and topologically protected transport. These features could help address global technological challenges by enabling faster and more efficient information processing, enhanced energy harvesting and storage, scalable quantum computing, and more. In the Disa group, we seek to harness these quantum functionalities by combining ultrafast optical techniques with atomic layer synthesis.
A major focus of our lab will be exploring the use of light to dynamically control quantum phases and induce new non-equilibrium functionalities on ultrafast (femto- to picosecond) timescales. Systems of interest include superconductors, magnets, ferroelectrics, and other electronically ordered solids. Key to this approach is the development of novel optical sources and nonlinear techniques to enable the study of structural and electronic excitations spanning the terahertz/infrared frequency range.
We are especially interested in investigating non-equilibrium processes in artificially engineered heterostructures with atomic dimensions. By exploiting the ability to tune picometer scale structure, composition, and dimensionality in such heterostructures, our goal is to gain a microscopic understanding of how light-induced non-equilibrium phases form, how to control them, and how to functionalize them. Ultimately, we aim to establish a novel paradigm of non-equilibrium materials design, centering around the idea that one can create highly desirable dynamical states of matter by engineering light-matter interactions at the atomic scale