Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research


PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

Research

PHYSICS at Colorado School of Mines

The Physics Department is dedicated to advancing the world’s knowledge in condensed matter physics, applied optics, quantum physics, renewable energy, and subatomic physics.

Faculty also teach and conduct research for the graduate interdisciplinary programs in Materials Science, Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Quantum Engineering and enjoy close ties with the nearby National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as institutions across the country and in Canada.

Numerous projects involve cooperative relationships with local companies, national and international collaborations with other universities and government labs, and active partnerships with members of the Mines faculty in other departments on campus.

Faculty in the Department of Physics at Colorado School of Mines includes several NSF CAREER Award winners and have received millions in external research awards from national laboratories and government agencies.

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to contact faculty members regarding opportunities to participate in their research.

Our research areas include

Condensed Matter Physics

Advanced materials, materials characterization and nanoscale physics  Craig Taylor lab

We focus on the basic physics of new materials. These include nanostructures and other artificial lattice materials, novel and disordered solids in one, two, and three dimensions, and soft condensed matter — polymers, bio-molecules, liquid crystals, and generalized complex matter. We overlap strongly with renewable energy and quantum physics.

Research by Mines faculty
  • Reuben T. Collins: Condensed matter physics semiconductor science; electronic and optical properties; photovoltaic materials and devices Collins Photovoltaics
  • Thomas E. Furtak: Optical properties of surfaces, interfaces, and thin-films; Raman scattering; ellipsometry; nonlinear optical methods; photovoltaic and electronic materials; liquid crystals and soft condensed matter Furtak Nanotechnology
  • Lakshmi Krishna: Electronic materials — synthesis and characterization, fundamental relationship between structure of materials and their optical and electronic properties
  • Timothy R. Ohno: Surface physics, thin film epitaxial growth, interfacial properties, photovoltaic materials, and catalysis Ohno Solid States Physics
  • John A. Scales: Application of optical and RF techniques to materials characterization; wave propagation in random media; laser ultrasonics; millimeter wave and ultrasonic spectroscopy; remote sensing, with applications to landmine detection; mesoscopic phenomena, including quantum chaos, amorphous materials and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics
  • Craig Taylor: Optical, electronic and structural properties of crystalline and amorphous semiconductors; localized electronic states in amorphous semiconductors; electronic instabilities in films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon and related alloys; electronic properties of III-V semiconducting nanostructures; ordering in ternary III-V alloys
  • Eric Toberer: Electronic, thermal, and optical properties of semiconductors; novel semiconductor materials; photovoltaic materials Advanced Energy Materials
  • Don Williamson: X-ray diffraction; small-angle X-ray scattering; Mossbauer spectroscopy
  • Jeramy Zimmerman: Condensed matter physics, photovoltaics, semiconductor interfaces, small molecule organic electronics. Zimmerman Material Physics Lab

The list of researchers in Condensed Matter Physics includes all researchers listed under Quantum Physics and Renewable Energy Physics.

Optical Physics

Chip Durfee laser labOptics, Quasi-Optics and Quantum Electronics

The Department of Physics at Mines features state-of-the-art, world-class optics laboratories. These facilities enable the generation and control of electromagnetic waves spanning the range from X-rays to millimeter-waves. Our sources are used to explore a broad range of fundamental phenomena, such as high intensity laser-matter interactions, molecular dynamics in biological systems and mesoscale phenomena, as well as applied technologies including femtosecond micromachining, nonlinear optical microscopy, and materials characterization.

Faculty research

Quantum Physics

We focus on quantum simulators, quantum computing, quantum sensing, and quantum materials.  Specific focus areas include quantum decoherence in open quantum systems; quantum device simulation; quantum causality and speed limits; quantum information compression algorithms and machine learning.

Faculty research

  • Lincoln Carr: Quantum many-body physics; ultracold atomic and molecular quantum gases: quantum phase transitions; strongly correlated states; macroscopic quantum tunneling and quantum transport; complexity; chaos and fractals; solitons, vortices, and nonlinear waves. Carr Complexity Science Group
  • Serena Eley: Effects of disorder on electronic and magnetic properties of quantum materials, applied superconductivity, magnetism, materials-issues for quantum devices, skyrmion dynamics, low temperature physics Eley Quantum Materials Lab
  • Zhexuan Gong: Quantum computing, quantum information theory, and quantum many-body physics. Ion-trap quantum computers and quantum simulators. Application of machine learning for understanding quantum many-body problems. Non-equilibrium dynamics and phase transitions in open and closed quantum systems. Long-range interacting quantum systems and fully-connected quantum computers.
  • Eliot Kapit: Quantum computing and simulation; passive quantum error correction; superconducting circuits; theoretical quantum hardware engineering; quantum simulation and chaos; analog quantum optimization; noise tolerant quantum algorithms; bath engineering; fractional quantum Hall physics; localization and entanglement Kapit Group
  • Meenakshi Singh: Charge, spin and thermal transport in low dimensional systems; superconductivity; magnetism; cryogenics; post-Moore computing (spintronics, quantum computing, neuromorphic computing); superconductor-semiconductor hybrids; quantum dots; quantum thermal effects. Singh Group/Quantum Materials and Devices
  •  

Renewable Energy Physics

Jeramy Zimmerman in labWorking Toward a Sustainable Energy Future Much of the research in the Department of Physics is motivated by the need to find alternatives to conventional fossil energy sources. Faculty are involved with a wide range of projects, from third generation photovoltaics to artificial photosynthesis. Many of these projects are organized through the Mines/NREL Nexus.

 
 
Research by faculty at Mines
  • Reuben T. Collins: Condensed matter physics of semiconductor devices; electronic and optical properties; photovoltaic materials; silicon nanostructures; organic solar cells Collins Photovoltaics
  • Charles Durfee: Novel laser designs; applications of ultrafast optical pulses; characterization of nanostructures and other materials Laser Optics
  • Thomas Furtak: Optical properties of solids, interfaces, and nanostructures; silicon nanostructures; organic solar cells; Raman and infrared spectroscopies; nonlinear optics Furtak Nanotechnology
  • Lakshmi Krishna: Electronic materials — synthesis and characterization; fundamental relationship between structure of materials and their optical and electronic properties
  • Mark Lusk: Electronic structure; emergent phenomena, quantum transport; photon-matter interactions, opto-electronics; quantum many-body theory, entanglement, topological disorder Lusk Light-Matter Interactions
  • Timothy R. Ohno: Surface physics; thin film epitaxial growth; interfacial properties; photovoltaic materials; catalysis Ohno Solid States Physics
  • Jeff Squier: Nonlinear optics; ultrafast laser phenomena; novel microscopy; biological imaging. Squier Applied Optics
  • Xerxes Steirer: photoelectron spectroscopy (PES)
  • Eric Toberer The current focus is on electron and phonon transport in thermoelectric materials. How the electron and phonon band structure and scattering sources control transport is investigated. Transport in the solid state has application to other energy systems such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, and batteries. Advanced Energy Materials
  • Jeramy Zimmerman: Condensed matter physics, photovoltaics, semiconductor interfaces, small molecule organic electronics. Zimmerman Material Physics Lab

Research by faculty at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Matthew Beard: Semiconductor nanocrystals, multiple exciton generation, ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy
  • David Ginley: Nanomaterials and nanotechnology; transition metal oxides including high temperature superconductors; Li ion battery materials; organic electronics; ferroelectric materials
  • Pauls Stradins: Nanostructured semiconductor materials for photovoltaics; thin film silicon photovoltaics; photoactivated phenomena in materials
  • Adele Tamboli: Semiconductor-light interaction for renewable energy and energy efficiency; novel inorganic photovoltaic materials and top cell materials for Si-based tandem cells

Subatomic Physics

Lawrence Wiencke labFrom the Nucleus to the Universe

One activity of the subatomic physics group aims at understanding the fundamentals behind the stability of nuclei. On the energy scale, these studies are located in the Mega electron volt (MeV) range. Fourteen orders of magnitude higher on this scale lies the other activity of the group, the study of the highest energy particles in nature, which are found in some cosmic rays. These particles have Joules of energy, a unit that is usually associated with macroscopic objects, such as pitched baseballs.

Faculty research

Subatomic Physics Group homepage

Condensed Matter Physics

Advanced materials, materials characterization and nanoscale physics  Craig Taylor lab

We focus on the basic physics of new materials. These include nanostructures and other artificial lattice materials, novel and disordered solids in one, two, and three dimensions, and soft condensed matter — polymers, bio-molecules, liquid crystals, and generalized complex matter. We overlap strongly with renewable energy and quantum physics.

Research by Mines faculty
  • Reuben T. Collins: Condensed matter physics semiconductor science; electronic and optical properties; photovoltaic materials and devices Collins Photovoltaics
  • Thomas E. Furtak: Optical properties of surfaces, interfaces, and thin-films; Raman scattering; ellipsometry; nonlinear optical methods; photovoltaic and electronic materials; liquid crystals and soft condensed matter Furtak Nanotechnology
  • Lakshmi Krishna: Electronic materials — synthesis and characterization, fundamental relationship between structure of materials and their optical and electronic properties
  • Timothy R. Ohno: Surface physics, thin film epitaxial growth, interfacial properties, photovoltaic materials, and catalysis Ohno Solid States Physics
  • John A. Scales: Application of optical and RF techniques to materials characterization; wave propagation in random media; laser ultrasonics; millimeter wave and ultrasonic spectroscopy; remote sensing, with applications to landmine detection; mesoscopic phenomena, including quantum chaos, amorphous materials and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics
  • Craig Taylor: Optical, electronic and structural properties of crystalline and amorphous semiconductors; localized electronic states in amorphous semiconductors; electronic instabilities in films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon and related alloys; electronic properties of III-V semiconducting nanostructures; ordering in ternary III-V alloys
  • Eric Toberer: Electronic, thermal, and optical properties of semiconductors; novel semiconductor materials; photovoltaic materials Advanced Energy Materials
  • Don Williamson: X-ray diffraction; small-angle X-ray scattering; Mossbauer spectroscopy
  • Jeramy Zimmerman: Condensed matter physics, photovoltaics, semiconductor interfaces, small molecule organic electronics. Zimmerman Material Physics Lab

The list of researchers in Condensed Matter Physics includes all researchers listed under Quantum Physics and Renewable Energy Physics.

Optical Physics

Chip Durfee laser labOptics, Quasi-Optics and Quantum Electronics

The Department of Physics at Mines features state-of-the-art, world-class optics laboratories. These facilities enable the generation and control of electromagnetic waves spanning the range from X-rays to millimeter-waves. Our sources are used to explore a broad range of fundamental phenomena, such as high intensity laser-matter interactions, molecular dynamics in biological systems and mesoscale phenomena, as well as applied technologies including femtosecond micromachining, nonlinear optical microscopy, and materials characterization.

Faculty research

Quantum Physics

We focus on quantum simulators, quantum computing, quantum sensing, and quantum materials. Specific focus areas include quantum decoherence in open quantum systems; quantum device simulation; quantum causality and speed limits; quantum information compression algorithms and machine learning.

Faculty research 

  • Lincoln Carr: Quantum many-body physics; ultracold atomic and molecular quantum gases: quantum phase transitions; strongly correlated states; macroscopic quantum tunneling and quantum transport; complexity; chaos and fractals; solitons, vortices, and nonlinear waves. Carr Complexity Science Group
  • Serena Eley: Effects of disorder on electronic and magnetic properties of quantum materials, applied superconductivity, magnetism, materials-issues for quantum devices, skyrmion dynamics, low temperature physics Eley Quantum Materials Lab
  • Zhexuan Gong: Quantum computing, quantum information theory, and quantum many-body physics. Ion-trap quantum computers and quantum simulators. Application of machine learning for understanding quantum many-body problems. Non-equilibrium dynamics and phase transitions in open and closed quantum systems. Long-range interacting quantum systems and fully-connected quantum computers.
  • Eliot Kapit: Quantum computing and simulation; passive quantum error correction; superconducting circuits; theoretical quantum hardware engineering; quantum simulation and chaos; analog quantum optimization; noise tolerant quantum algorithms; bath engineering; fractional quantum Hall physics; localization and entanglement Kapit Group
  • Meenakshi Singh: Charge, spin and thermal transport in low dimensional systems; superconductivity; magnetism; cryogenics; post-Moore computing (spintronics, quantum computing, neuromorphic computing); superconductor-semiconductor hybrids; quantum dots; quantum thermal effects. Singh Group/Quantum Materials and Devices
  •  
Renewable Energy Physics

Jeramy Zimmerman in labWorking Toward a Sustainable Energy Future

Much of the research in the Department of Physics is motivated by the need to find alternatives to conventional fossil energy sources. Faculty are involved with a wide range of projects, from third generation photovoltaics to artificial photosynthesis. Many of these projects are organized through the Mines/NREL Nexus.

Research by faculty at Mines
  • Reuben T. Collins: Condensed matter physics of semiconductor devices; electronic and optical properties; photovoltaic materials; silicon nanostructures; organic solar cells Collins Photovoltaics
  • Charles Durfee: Novel laser designs; applications of ultrafast optical pulses; characterization of nanostructures and other materials Laser Optics
  • Thomas Furtak: Optical properties of solids, interfaces, and nanostructures; silicon nanostructures; organic solar cells; Raman and infrared spectroscopies; nonlinear optics Furtak Nanotechnology
  • Lakshmi Krishna: Electronic materials — synthesis and characterization; fundamental relationship between structure of materials and their optical and electronic properties
  • Mark Lusk: Electronic structure; emergent phenomena, quantum transport; photon-matter interactions, opto-electronics; quantum many-body theory, entanglement, topological disorder Lusk Light-Matter Interactions
  • Timothy R. Ohno: Surface physics; thin film epitaxial growth; interfacial properties; photovoltaic materials; catalysis Ohno Solid States Physics
  • Jeff Squier: Nonlinear optics; ultrafast laser phenomena; novel microscopy; biological imaging. Squier Applied Optics
  • Xerxes Steirer: photoelectron spectroscopy (PES)
  • Eric Toberer The current focus is on electron and phonon transport in thermoelectric materials. How the electron and phonon band structure and scattering sources control transport is investigated. Transport in the solid state has application to other energy systems such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, and batteries. Advanced Energy Materials
  • Jeramy Zimmerman: Condensed matter physics, photovoltaics, semiconductor interfaces, small molecule organic electronics. Zimmerman Material Physics Lab

Research by faculty at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Matthew Beard: Semiconductor nanocrystals, multiple exciton generation, ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy
  • David Ginley: Nanomaterials and nanotechnology; transition metal oxides including high temperature superconductors; Li ion battery materials; organic electronics; ferroelectric materials
  • Pauls Stradins: Nanostructured semiconductor materials for photovoltaics; thin film silicon photovoltaics; photoactivated phenomena in materials
  • Adele Tamboli: Semiconductor-light interaction for renewable energy and energy efficiency; novel inorganic photovoltaic materials and top cell materials for Si-based tandem cells

 

Subatomic Physics

Lawrence Wiencke labFrom the Nucleus to the Universe

One activity of the subatomic physics group aims at understanding the fundamentals behind the stability of nuclei. On the energy scale, these studies are located in the Mega electron volt (MeV) range. Fourteen orders of magnitude higher on this scale lies the other activity of the group, the study of the highest energy particles in nature, which are found in some cosmic rays. These particles have Joules of energy, a unit that is usually associated with macroscopic objects, such as pitched baseballs.

Faculty research

Subatomic Physics Group homepage

Research Centers

Research Centers