I am an experimental condensed matter physicist at the NIST Center for Neutron Research and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland Physics Department's Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials.  My research focuses on novel electron interactions in materials, including those exhibiting superconductivity, magnetism, and heavy fermion behavior, as well as quantum phase transitions, non-Fermi liquid behavior, and nontrivial topological states. Basically, I investigate the weird ways in which electrons organize themselves in complicated materials.

Materials of interest range from rare earth and actinide intermetallics, to copper oxide superconductors, to the iron pnictides and chalcogenides. To form a complete experimental picture, we approach the problems using numerous cutting edge tools. In addition to improving our fundamental understanding of the complex and fascinating ways in which electrons interact with each other in different materials, this research helps identify useful electronic behavior and in the long term to tailor materials for new or improved applications purposes.

Apply for NRC Postdoctoral Research Opportunities
Motivated young researchers looking to work at the forefront of materials synthesis, electronic property characterization, and spectroscopy are invited to apply for a prestigious NRC postdocdoral fellowship.  (Feb/Aug applications - open to US citizens only) The postdoctoral positions are research-only positions that allow the successful candidate to pursue a self-driven research program making use of research facilities and opportunities to collaborate at both NIST and UMD. Please contact me if you are interested to discuss the application process.

Recent Highlights

Congratulations Paul
Paul Neves

Paul Neves received two awards this year. At the APS March Meeting in Los Angeles, he was recognized as an honorable mention for the Division of Materials Physics' Ovshinsky travel award. In April, he was named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar. "The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields."

Four UMD Students Named 2018 Goldwater Scholars (April 5, 2018).

Congratulations I-Lin
I-Lin Liu

I-Lin Liu was awarded a Dean's Fellowship by the UMD Chemical Physics Graduate Program in recognition of her accomplishments and great scientific promise.

January 2018.

Perspective on quantum materials
MRS Bulletin

Philip Ball writes a news and analysis piece on quantum materials for MRS Bulletin. Along with an interesting and accessible description of what quantum materials are, our work on electron doped cuprates gets a nod. It also contains a nice discussion of what the term 'quantum materials' really implies.

Philip Ball, MRS Bulletin October 10, 2017 Quantum materials: Where many paths meet.

Nick Butch

After the 2017 PECASE announcement, I was asked to write a blog entry for our NIST "Taking Measure" blog. I wrote about magnetism and superconductivity, following my award citation. This is accessible to a general audience.

N. P. Butch, "The Magnetic Allure of Superconductivity," The Magnetic Allure of Superconductivity (March 31, 2017).

First FQM school
FQM logo

The first Fundamentals of Quantum Materials school and workshop were held in January 2017 at the University of Maryland. Students picked up tips from invited lecturers and participated in sample synthesis practicals. Thank you to all participants for a successful week!

FQM2017 Web Page.

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