Experimental condensed matter physics focuses on probing the optical and electronic properties of materials through a variety of measurement techniques. Condensed matter experimental efforts can be closely intertwined with theoretical studies of condensed matter, with major advances typically stemming from symbiotic efforts between these two subfields.
Modern experimental condensed matter physics has a broad scope, with interests ranging from macroscopic three-dimensional crystals to nanostructured solids and low-dimensional materials such as ultrathin films of metals, insulators and semiconductors, atomically-thin layers of graphene or one-dimensional quantum wires. These materials exhibit a rich array of properties, including magnetism, superconductivity and topological phases. The UMN condensed matter experiment group uses a broad range of approaches to uncover the underlying physics of materials systems. These include nanofabrication and electronic transport down to milliKelvin temperatures, neutron scattering and high-pressure experiments, studies of individual mesoscale ferromagnets to answer questions in fundamental statistical physics, investigations of disorder on the optical and electrical properties of semiconductor thin films, and spin transport and dynamics in semiconductor/ferromagnet structures. More information can be found in the individual research group pages.
Centers and Facilities:
The condensed matter experiment group benefits from close collaborations with the NSF-sponsored Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the DOE-sponsored Center for Quantum Materials (CQM). Nanofabrication and sample characterization are made possible in large part by the state-of-the-art Minnesota Nano Center and the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility