University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Quantum Matter and Device Laboratory
Department of Physics and Astronomy
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Birck Nanotechnology Center
Purdue Quantum Center, Purdue University
Dr. Chen's lab exploits quantum physics to manipulate electrons, atoms, spins and photons in various materials and artificial systems, with the aim to uncover novel quantum phenomena and new states of matter, and to explore applications in quantum devices (such as quantum information and quantum computation devices), nanotechnology (such as nanoelectronics and nanosensors) and energy.
Join us for a reception prior to the talk at 3:30pm in QNC 0101
Topological quantum matter (TQM) has become one of the largest and most active fields in condensed matter physics, with implications in many other areas of physics ranging from high energy to atomic physics. TQMs feature novel quantum correlations and physical properties insensitive to microscopic details, promising such applications as “topologically protected” quantum computing. Many of the TQMs arise from strong coupling of the spin and motion of particles (so called “spin-orbit coupling”, underlying potential applications in spintronics), and possess unusual energy-momentum dispersions (“band structures”, often with novel spin textures and topological structures) and exotic quasiparticle excitations (ranging from Dirac/Weyl/Majorana particles originated in relativistic quantum physics to the elusive “non-Abelian anyons”). Developing appropriate and new TQMs to unambiguously measure their unique topological properties and excitations, and to manipulate and harness them to realize the promised topological quantum technologies, remain major tasks and challenges.
This talk will describe representative examples from recent research in my lab along these lines. We have demonstrated some of the highest-quality electronic 3D topological insulators, with truly insulating interior bulk and with conduction only through 2D topological surface state spin-helical Dirac/Weyl electrons. We also created atomic Bose-Einstein condensates with “synthetic” spin-obit couplings by optical and RF “dressing” of neutral atoms in different spin states. Both systems can be used as powerful platforms to engineer many new kinds of fermionic and bosonic TQMs. We have performed various spin-sensitive quantum transport and 2-pathway quantum interference measurements in these systems. Along the way we have discovered several unexpected surprises, suggesting potential new quantum technologies for information/energy storage and chemistry. The talk will conclude with a discussion of future prospects on how we may build upon the work and tools developed to create new types of engineered quantum systems and “quantum measurements” in condensed matter, to unleash the full potential utilizing such quantum matters in future scalable quantum technologies.