NEWS: During the spring 2020 semester, the Long Island Condensed Matter Social Distancing Journal Club will replace most seminars.

Journal Club events will be posted on this calendar and take place via Zoom. To join the mailing list and get the link, email Mengkun Liu (first

The CQM Distinguished Lecture series has been established  in the Fall of 2015 to bring to Stony Brook University the renown experts in the physics of quantum matter.

The lectures in this series will attract a broad audience of physicists from SBU and BNL,
and SBU graduate students.

September – December 2019

Reza Farhadifar (Flatiron Institute)
Sep 27 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

host: Jin Wang

Mechanistic Basis of Spindle Size Control and Scaling

The size and morphology of intracellular structures such as the nucleus, Golgi apparatus, and mitotic spindle dramatically vary between different cell types, yet the mechanisms that regulate the size of these structures are not understood. Interestingly, the size of most intracellular structures scales with cell size, i.e., larger cells tend to have a larger nucleus and spindle. So far, many models have been proposed to explain such scaling behavior, but rigorous testing of these models inside the cells is challenging, and often not feasible. To overcome this challenge, we combined the statistical framework of quantitative genetics, with cell biology and biophysics to develop a general methodology to quantitatively examine different models of spindle size control and scaling for the first mitotic spindle in C. elegans. We developed a high-throughput microscopy platform to measure the size and dynamics of the spindle for ~200 genotyped recombinant inbred lines, which are created by the random crossing of two genetically distinct C. elegans wild isolates. We observed quantitative variations for all attributes of spindle size and dynamics, as well as cell size, across these lines. We used these variations to discriminate between different models of spindle size regulation and scaling, and we proposed a new model based on the effect of cortical forces on spindle elongation. To further examine our model, we used laser ablation technique to selectively cut different populations of microtubules and compared the results with predictions of the model. The combination of quantitative genetics with cell biology and biophysics provides a systematic and unbiased method to study mechanisms that contribute to size regulation of intracellular structure and also will give us a deeper understanding of the evolution of these structures.

Sasha Abanov (Stony Brook)
Oct 4 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Odd fluids

Two-dimensional isotropic fluids can possess an anomalous part of the viscous stress tensor known as odd or Hall viscosity. This peculiar viscosity does not lead to any dissipation in the fluid. Examples of fluids with odd viscosity include rotating superfluids, plasmas in magnetic fields, quantum Hall fluids, and chiral active fluids. I will describe some manifestations of the odd viscosity. In particular, I will focus on surface waves propagating along the boundaries of such fluids. I will also present a variational principle and the corresponding Hamiltonian structure for fluid dynamics with odd viscosity.

Riley Hanus (Northwestern U and ORNL)
Oct 11 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

host: Phil

Title: Heat conduction in defective and complex crystals:  phonon scattering and beyond

Riley Hanus*

* Material Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA

* Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.

The flow of heat through materials is a topic of scientific interest and technological importance in fields of microelectronics, power generation, heat management, and thermoelectrics. For example, advancement in microelectronic technologies (e.g. microprocessors, and high-power electronics) demands ever more efficient removal of the heat generated in these devices. In contrast, technologies such as thermal barrier coatings and thermoelectric materials are designed to stop the flow of heat. In simple, defect-free crystals the thermal conductivity is generally well understood. However, in materials containing defects and/or in those with very complex crystal structures there is a lack of basic understanding which inhibits technological progress.

In this presentation, I will highlight several experimental and theoretical results which aim to establish a fundamental understanding of heat transport in defective materials. First, I will discuss several studies related to heat conduction across interfaces. Secondly, I will demonstrate in several material systems how defects can soften a materials lattice which reduces the phonon group velocity and thus decreases thermal conductivity. Lastly, the transition from crystalline-like to amorphous-like thermal conduction is investigated by studying the lattice dynamics of crystals with very complex crystal structures both computationally and experimentally. Through this analysis emerges a description of phonon transport which is divided between two channels. One is the standard phonon-gas transport mechanism and the other we term the diffuson-channel since it is mathematically the same mechanism in which ‘diffusons’ were defined.

Mehdi Jadidi (Columbia)
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Title:  Optical Control of Chiral Charge Pumping in a Topological Weyl Semimetal

host: Dima Kharzeev

Abstract: Solids with topologically robust electronic states exhibit unusual electronic and optical transport properties that do not exist in other materials. A particularly interesting example is chiral charge pumping, the so-called chiral anomaly, in recently discovered topological Weyl semimetals, where simultaneous application of parallel DC electric and magnetic fields creates an imbalance in the number of carriers of opposite topological charge (chirality). Here, using time-resolved terahertz measurements on the Weyl semimetal TaAs in a magnetic field, we optically interrogate the chiral anomaly by dynamically pumping the chiral charges and monitoring their subsequent relaxation. Theory based on Boltzmann transport shows that the observed effects originate from an optical nonlinearity in the chiral charge pumping process. Our measurements reveal that the chiral population relaxation time is much greater than 1 ns. The observation of terahertz-controlled chiral carriers with long coherence times and topological protection suggests the application of Weyl semimetals for quantum optoelectronic technology.
Laszlo Forro (EPFL, Lausanne)
Oct 25 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

host: Laszlo Mihaly

title: Why are hybrid halide perovskites exciting materials?
László Forró
Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne
Recently, it has been shown that CH3NH3PbI3 is very promising material in photovoltaic devices1 reaching light conversion efficiency (η) up to 22%2. A strong research activity has been focused on the chemistry of the material to establish the most important parameters which could further improve η and to collect photons from a broad energy window. The major trend in this field is in photovoltaic device engineering although the fundamental aspects of the material are not yet understood.
In my lab we have devoted considerable effort to the growth of high quality single crystals at different length scales, ranging from large bulk crystals (up to 100 mm3) through nanowires3,4 down to quantum dots of tens of nanometers of linear dimensions. The structural tunability of the material allows to study a broad range of physical phenomena including electrical and thermal transport, magnetism, optical properties, band structure by photoemission etc. With a selected set of measurements I will demonstrate our enthusiasm for this material both in basic science and in device applications5,6.
Acknowledgement: The work has been performed in collaboration with Endre Horvath, Massimo Spina, Balint Nafradi, Peter Szirmai, Alla Araktcheva, Andrea Pisoni, Jacim Jacimovic, Andrzej Sienkiewicz, Claudio Grimaldi, Hugo Dil, Henrik Ronnow and many others.

1. Lee, M. M. et al.,Science 338, 643-647 (2012).
2. see reports of the Gaetzel and Hagfeldt groups
3. Horvath et al., Nano Letters 14, 6761, (2015)
4.Spina et al., (2016) Scientific Reports, 6, 1
5.Spina et al., (2015) Small, 11, 4823 ; Spina et al., Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 4888
6.Nafradi et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 25204

Vidvuds Ozolins (Yale)
Nov 1 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

host: Phil Allen

title: Carrier lifetime effects on thermoelectric efficiency


Recent developments in electronic structure algorithms based on the Wannier function interpolation of electronic wave functions have enabled accurate first-principles calculations of electron-phonon interactions and intrinsic carrier lifetimes in the relaxation time approximation. This has supplied the final missing piece of the puzzle for predicting the thermoelectric figure of merit zT=s S2 T/k, where the conductivity s, the Seebeck coefficient S, and the total thermal conductivity k now can all be obtained from the density-functional theory (DFT). This opens up exciting possibilities for theoretically understanding and reliably predicting new materials with high values of zT. We will review several examples from our recent work, including a Li-intercalated analogue of lead telluride (Li2TlBi), an intermetallic compound with unexpectedly high value of S (CoSi), and a theoretically predicted full Heusler compound with ultrahigh zT (Ba2BiAu). General factors for high thermoelectric power factors in these compounds include energy dependence of carrier lifetimes for high S, high degeneracy of carrier pockets at the Fermi level, weak electron-phonon scattering for high mobility, and concomitantly low Lorentz numbers for low electronic thermal conductivity.

Anderson Janotti (University of Delaware)
Nov 8 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Title: Emergent Phenomena at the Interface of Complex Oxides

Host: Cyrus Dreyer

Progress in epitaxial growth of complex oxides have led to heterostructures with exquisite physical phenomena, such as the formation of a high-density two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at the interface between two normally insulating materials—e.g. SrTiO3/LaAlO3. Superconductivity and magnetic ordering have been demonstrated in these systems, sparking the interest in novel device applications. The formation of a 2DEG at the interface between SrTiO3 and Mott insulators, such as GdTiO3, has also been demonstrated, with electron densities that are over an order of magnitude higher than those realized with conventional semiconductors. Charge transport in these systems exhibit intriguing behavior, varying drastically from metal to insulator depending on the thickness of the building-block layers. Intensive research efforts in the last decade have raised questions regarding the origin of the excess charge, the mechanisms that determine the density of the 2DEG, and fundamental properties of the 2DEG. In this presentation, we will discuss how computer simulations can provide insights into the origin and nature of the 2DEG. Based on results of first-principles calculations we will discuss electron correlation effects and how the electronic structure of these heterostructures can be drastically altered, turning from metallic into insulating, through charge localization in ultrathin layers. Finally, we will address the interplay between orbital, charge, and spin in the manipulation of the magnetic ordering observed in some of these heterostructures.

Peter W. Stephens (SBU P&A)
Nov 15 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

title: Manganese Cyanide Tinkertoys

Immanuel Bloch (MPI – Quantum Optics)
Nov 20 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This is a special seminar (Wednesday instead of Friday) held in SCGP (Simons Center) room 102.  It is jointly hosted by AMO, Condensed Matter, and the SCGP.

speaker: Immanuel Bloch (Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching)

title: Quantum Matter under the Microscope

abstract: More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined his vision of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex calculations on physical problems. Today, his dream is a reality in laboratories around the world. This has become possible by using complex experimental setups of thousands of optical elements, which allow atoms to be cooled to nanokelvin temperatures, where they almost come to rest. Recent experiments with quantum gas microscopes allow for an unprecedented view and control of such artificial quantum matter in new parameter regimes and with new probes. In our fermionic quantum gas microscope, we can detect both charge and spin degrees of freedom simultaneously, thereby gaining maximum information on the intricate interplay between the two in the paradigmatic Hubbard model. In my talk, I will show how we can reveal hidden magnetic order, directly image individual magnetic polarons or probe the fractionalisation of spin and charge in dynamical experiments. For the first time we thereby have access to directly probe non-local ‘hidden’ correlation properties of quantum matter and to explore its real space resolved dynamical features also far from equilibrium. Furthermore, I will show how quantum gas microscopy can open new avenues for the field of quantum chemistry when probing and controlling the formation of huge Rydberg macrodimers in optical lattices.

Justin Wilson (Rutgers)
Dec 6 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Title: Incommensurate transitions and twist disorder in microscopic models of twisted bilayer graphene

Abstract: Recent experiments in twisted bilayer graphene have set off a flurry of work due to the observation of purportedly correlated phases at the so-called “magic-angle.” However, the current models in the literature for magic-angle graphene suffer from two flaws: they assume commensurate twist angles and have great difficulty modeling the exact experimental setup where patches of different twist angles appear (“twist disorder”). We introduce and study a family of microscopic models that begins to address these concerns. In these models, the twist angle enters as a free parameter in real space. We can use this to simulate both incommensurate effects and disorder effects. We find that incommensuration leads to an Anderson-like delocalization transition in momentum space. The result is a small metallic phase at the “magic-angle” (that we speculate is unstable to correlated phases). We further study twist-disorder effects and find that while the minibandwidth is renormalized substantially, the Fermi velocity is not significantly altered.

Host: Jen Cano