Probing Quantum Materials with Scanning Probe Microscopy

Jan 26, 2022

Next-Gen Quantum Investigators Colloquium

Dr. Yonglong Xie kicks off this 7-week series with "Probing Quantum Materials with Scanning Probe Microscopy."  45 minutes followed by discussion with attendees.

Register ahead of time for Zoom link HERE.


Electrons inside matter can behave as complex particles that do not exist in the Standard Model. These seemingly impossible effects are examples of emergent phenomena — unexpected collective behaviors of electrons in quantum materials. The discovery and characterization of new emergent phenomena in quantum materials not only expands the boundaries of our knowledge, but also provides unique opportunities for future quantum technologies. However, because these effects often manifest in subtle ways, detecting them requires developing new, more sophisticated measurement tools.

In this talk, I will demonstrate how a class of experimental techniques in scanning probe microscopy can be used as a general tool for unlocking new phenomena in quantum materials. To illustrate the power of this approach, I will focus on our recent experimental observation of novel topological quantum states in magic-angle graphene — enabled by scanning single-electrontransistor microscopy. I will then highlight examples in which scanning probe microscopy permits the discovery of novel phases in other quantum materials. I will conclude by outlining how pushing the boundaries of existing scanning probe microscopy will enable the future discovery and characterization of other new emergent phenomena and functionalities in quantum materials, devices, and circuits.

Speaker Bio

Yonglong Xie is currently a HQI postdoctoral fellow working in Prof. Amir Yacoby’s group in strong collaboration with Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero’s group at MIT. He is interested in exploring novel emergent phenomena in quantum materials using a scanning single electron transistor and quantum transport measurements. Yonglong obtained his B.S and M.S in Physics from Ecole Normale Supérieure in Pairs, and his Ph.D in Physics from Princeton University where he investigated the fabrication and detection of Majorana zero modes as well as magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene devices using a scanning tunneling microscope in the group of Prof. Ali Yazdani.


Harvard Quantum Initiative


Carol Lynn Alpert