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, novel and disordered solids, and “soft” condensed matter — polymers, bio-molecules and liquid crystals. We overlap strongly with renewable energy; our condensed matter theory group is listed under theoretical and computational physics.

 

Research by Mines faculty
  • Reuben T. Collins: Condensed matter physics semiconductor science; electronic and optical properties; photovoltaic materials and devices Collins Photovoltaics
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Meenakshi Singh: Charge, spin and thermal transport in low dimensional systems; superconductivity; quantum transport; quantum computing; spintronics; neuromorphic computing. Singh Group/Quantum Materials and Devices
  • Adele Tamboli: Semiconductor-light interaction for renewable energy and energy efficiency; novel inorganic photovoltaic materials and top cell materials for Si-based tandem cells
  • 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

Research by faculty located at the 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
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

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 Theoretical Physics Group
  • Mark Coffey: Investigations of new application areas of quantum information science and the physical constraints and limits on computation. Investigations in mathematical physics including special function theory and inverse problems
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mark Lusk: Electronic structure; Emergent phenomena, quantum transport; photon-matter interactions, opto-electronics; quantum many-body theory, entanglement, topological disorder Lusk Light-Matter Interactions
  • Gavriil Shchedrin: Many-Body Quantum Chaos; Multi-component Bose-Einstein condensates; Open Quantum Systems; Fractional Schroedinger Equation and Designer Multiscale Materials
  • Meenakshi Singh: 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 under the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC).

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
  • Zhigang Wu: Computational materials science; nanoscale materials; energy conversion and storage
  • 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
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

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. Here are a few recent examples:

Mines Physics faculty 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.

The 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 and nuclear science and engineering.