Our group's 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, we investigate the weird ways in which electrons organize themselves in complicated materials. This site will introduce you to our research projects and our people.
A frequent starting point in our research is single crystal synthesis. The above banner showcases some examples: spin-triplet superconductor UTe2 on the left and magnetic skyrmion host Cu2OSeO3 on the right. 

Help Wanted! Apply for NRC Postdoc
Motivated 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


The discovery of UTe2, a collaboration with the Paglione and Furukawa groups, was published in Science. The announcement was picked up by several science news outlets. Among them: IEEE Spectrum, science alert, phys.org, Inside Quantum Technology, Science Hook, Innovation Toronto, fudzilla. The NIST whimsical press release reveals what this has to do with vikings.

NIST Press Release August 2019. (credit: N. Hanacek)

Spinning superconductivity

We discovered superconductivity below 1.6 K in the actinide compound UTe2 in 2018. This superconducting state is definitely unusual, having very large and anisotropic upper critical fields, as high as 35 T along the crystallographic b-axis. In addition, there is no change in the NMR Knight shift through the superconducting transition, implying that the Cooper pairs are spin triplet, or have parallel spins. Another exciting and weird feature is that about half of the normal state heat capacity survives in the superconducting state. Perhaps most unusual is the presence of a reentrant superconducting phase at extremely high magnetic fields, between 40 T and 65 T! Ongoing research is directed toward better understanding these unusual properties and establishing whether UTe2 is a topological superconductor.

See the Publications page for more info (2019).

I-Lin Liu, PhD
I-Lin Liu

I-Lin Liu successfully defended her chemical physics PhD thesis, titled "Pressure Tuning the Topology of Quantum Materials." Great job and congratulations!

Summer 2019.

Looking for Older Highlights? (Archived)