Nowadays, almost everyone has multiple mobile devices to maintain personal connections and perform business work. The ongoing fourth industrial revolution aims to quickly expand such connections to boost life quality and productivity, including autonomous driving, virtual reality, brain-computer interfaces, and smart manufacturing. To realize these great visions, it demands a revolution of information capacity for sensing, computing, storage, and communication. We believe quantum materials and devices can be one highly promising solution.

Quantum materials, those manifesting quantum properties explicitly, are the primary workhorse in the emerging “second quantum revolution”. Their quantum correlations, entanglement, Berry curvature physics, and non-trivial topology can enable fascinating functional properties such as ultra-low energy consumption, enormous computation power, and ultrahigh sensitivity. Such tremendous progress in condensed matter physics calls for the pathway to translate these quantum notions to technical advantages.

Our group aims to develop the following research directions to fulfill such vision:

(1) Optical probing and ultrafast engineering of quantum materials

Discovering novel quantum phases and harvesting the in- and out-of-equilibrium properties for energy and information applications is an important research frontier. Despite tremendous progress achieved by chemical compound, dopant, and strain engineering, these methods simultaneously affect many eigenmodes governed by the delicate electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions, thus complicating the microscopic origins and limiting accessible phase spaces for functional innovations. On the other hand, ultrafast optical engineering is possible to perturb a single collective excitation mode substantially.

Our group strives to leverage ultrafast optical driving and electrical device engineering to construct on-demand quantum phases. Our high-field laser pulses can induce electronic transition/lattice distortion far from equilibrium. In particular, we will investigate fundamental physics in 2D quantum materials and develop functional devices relying on quantum-mechanical effects including non-equilibrium phase transitions, quantum collective excitations, electronic/lattice many-body interactions, and photocarrier dynamics in energy conversion.

(2) High-performance THz optoelectronic materials and on-chip devices

Terahertz technology is a fast-growing field with wide-ranging applications. Light-matter interactions in such a frequency regime are profound for quantum science and biosensing, because such a frequency regime resonates with many quantum information carriers (Copper pairs, magnons, phonons) and molecular hydrogen bonds/charge-transfer reactions in cells. On the other hand, terahertz-band communication is anticipated as the next-generation wireless communication technology (6G), which can enable more than 100 times faster data transfer than the current 5G counterpart.

Our group dedicates to explore and use topological quantum materials for high-performance THz communication and sensing devices such as emitters, sensors, modulators, and imaging detectors.

(3) Light-driven large-scale processing and manufacturing

Large-scale production and processing of emerging 2D layered materials are critical to harvest their excellent physical properties for various optoelectronic device applications. The group will develop both top-down and bottom-up light-driven approaches to enable high-throughput material/device manufacturing for applications ranging from integrated circuits, flexible electronics to efficient catalysts.