This condensed matter theory research group is focused on finding and experimentally realizing novel topologically non-trivial phases of matter.
There are three directions by which we aim to make progress. First, we aim to introduce previously-unidentified topologically non-trivial phases of matter into the literature. A key example of this is our work introducing the topological skyrmion phases of matter in to the literature, of great significance as the first known counterexamples to the flat-band limit assumption used in the construction, for instance, of the ten-fold way classification scheme of topological phases of matter. Second, we aim to bring novel topological phases of matter to experimental realization. One example of this is past work on realization of the helical higher-order topological insulator phase in bismuth, which served to cement higher-order topology as a topic of great current interest in condensed matter physics. Third, we aim to develop greater understanding of various mechanisms by which experimental systems might realize topologically non-trivial phases of matter for realizing non-trivial topology but also for other purposes. An example of this is past work pioneering optimization of the shift current response of materials for photovoltaic applications, which has led to considerable recent work on the shift current response, in particular as a probe for studying topologically non-trivial phases of matter.
As a research group shared jointly between the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems and the Max Planck Institute for the Chemical Physics of Solids, we focus strongly on supporting experiments as part of our efforts to understand phenomena associated with non-trivial topology in condensed matter systems. Our work is distinctive in attempting to accelerate the transition from introduction of novel phases of matter into the literature to experimental realization, making use of a variety of techniques.
We naturally change research topics on a rapid basis, making use of a diverse research background to seek out and tackle highly unconventional problems of condensed matter physics. Researchers in this group will become pioneers well-prepared for future research careers.