Condensed Matter Physics in Amsterdam

The condensed matter theory group is part of the Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam, and works on topics ranging from strongly correlated and out-of-equilibrium matter to applications of quantum information theory and the development of numerical many-body techniques.

The experimental Quantum Materials cluster in Amsterdam works on topics ranging from emergent electronic properties to optical properties of functionalized materials such as assembled nanocrystals and 2D van der Waals materials. The cluster features a crystal growth facility, quantum transport lab and various advanced spectroscopic tools (ARPES, far- and near-field optics and correlative microscopy/spectroscopy).

The Condensed Matter Theory group

Prof. Dr. Jean-Sébastien Caux   Highlight Picture

The research focus of my group is the physics of strongly-interacting many-body quantum systems including cold atomic gases, quantum spin systems, quantum dots and quantum wires. Focusing on one-dimensional quantum models, the overall goal is to develop new nonperturbative theoreticals methods for the calculation of experimentally relevant quantities, in equilibrium as well as out-of-equilibrium situations. In equilibrium, our main business is to compute physically observable dynamical correlation functions (by combining analytical work, the ABACUS algorithm and numerical renormalization) and to use these results for describing experiments on spin chains (inelastic neutron scattering) and cold atomic gases (Bragg spectroscopy). For out-of-equilibrium settings, we build on the Quench Action method to reconstruct the full post-quench time evolution of interacting models subjected to a quantum quench, thereby revealing fundamental insights into many-body relaxation, equilibration and (lack of) thermalization. Our long-term goal is to extend the reach of our methods to continuously-driven situations, in particular to Floquet-driven systems.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Vladimir Gritsev
Current research in my group is related to three main directions: 1) non-ergodic states of matter and ergodic to non-ergodic transitions; 2) non-equilibrium dynamics in isolated and driven-dissipative quantum many-body systems with particular focus on nonequilibrium phase transitions; 3) application of ideas of quantum geometry to equilibrium and non-equilibrium phases and phase transitions. We use a broad spectrum of theoretical tools, including random matrix theory, integrable models, field theory, algebraic methods and numerics.

Dr. Arghavan Safavi Naini   Highlight Picture

The research in my group is centered around applications of experimentally realizable quantum many-body systems, in particular their out-of-equilibrium dynamics, to quantum simulation, quantum computation and quantum enhanced metrology. I am interested in utilizing various quantum simulation platforms, including trapped-ions, Rydberg atoms, and polar molecules, to study the interplay between interactions, dimensionality, and disorder with regards to transport, thermalization, and propagation of quantum information. To this end my group utilizes extensive numerical simulations and analytic approaches to fully characterize the quantum simulation platforms. On the more applied front, we use engineered interactions in trapped-ion quantum simulators and cavity QED systems, to generate highly entangled states with application to quantum enhanced metrology. My research is closely related to the topics pursued at QuSoft, as well as the experimental efforts at UvA.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Philippe Corboz
The research in my group is centered around the development and application of computational methods for the study of quantum many-body problems, with a particular focus on 2D tensor network methods applied to frustrated spin and strongly correlated electron systems. On the methods side we work on the further development of tensor network algorithms for ground state calculations, as well as their generalization to finite temperature, excitations, 3D, and systems with topological order. Examples on the application side include effective spin models relevant for frustrated materials (e.g. SrCu2(BO3)2) under pressure and in a magnetic field), one-band and multi-band 2D Hubbard models in the context of the cuprate high Tc superconductors, and SU(N) models relevant for experiments on ultra-cold alkaline-earth atoms in optical lattices.

Prof. Dr. Kareljan Schoutens   Highlight Picture

My research has a broad focus on quantum many-body theory and, increasingly, quantum computation, quantum simulation and quantum control of multi-qubit quantum registers. The latter topics are pursued together with QuSoft, the research center of Quantum Software. A long term interest are topological phases of matter as realised in fractional quantum Hall systems and cold atomic matter, non-Abelian braid statistics and topological quantum computation. We continue to explore and exploit the role of symmetries in the analysis of quantum many body system, with supersymmetry in lattice models (introduced at ITFA in 2003) as a prime example.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Jasper van Wezel
The research in my group revolves around emergence in condensed matter theory, organised along three central themes. The first is the emergence of novel phases of matter, particularly novel types of charge and orbital order in correlated low-dimensional materials. Recently, this has resulted for example in the identification of an excitonic insulator phase in TiSe2 and combined orbital-charge order in elemental chalcogens as well as various transition-metal dichalcogenides. We also study the influence of symmetries and conservation laws on topological phases of matter in both quantum materials and classical mechanical metamaterials. Here, we recently classified topological phases in the presence of lattice symmetries, and are currently exploring possible topologies of non-Hermitian setups. Finally, we investigate the dynamics of classical physics arising from quantum mechanics, based on ideas of spontaneous symmetry breaking and emergence in quantum matter.

The Quantum Materials cluster

Prof. Dr. Mark S. Golden   Highlight Picture

In my lab the focus is on electronic structure and properties of quantum materials displaying fundamentally interesting and potentially useful emergent properties. ARPES provides us a window on the band structure and interactions in many body systems, thus direct information of value to both cond-mat theory as well as towards transport and device approaches is the result. In the crosshairs currently are systems displaying non-trivial topology, unconventional superconductivity, strange metal behaviour, as well as the rich interfacial physics of complex perovskite oxide thin films. Our recently upgraded lab ARPES facility includes a modern laser excitation source, and new 2D imaging detector system, enabling detailed and very high-resolution studies. Outside Amsterdam, we are regular users of international ‘photon science’ facilities, where the special properties of synchrotron radiation (EUV/VUV, soft- and hard X-rays) enable photoemission, X-ray absorption, magnetic dichroism and X-ray lensless imaging experiments of quantum materials.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Anna Isaeva
My group conducts explorative synthesis and crystal growth of quantum materials. The materials scope ranges from bismuth and transition-metal chalcogenides to bismuth and rare-earth-metal halides. We develop and optimize synthetic techniques for promising magnetic van der Waals systems (MnBi2Te4, Fe3GeTe2), frustrated magnets (RuCl3, YbCl3), topological insulators (BixTeI) and semimetals (GdBiTe). New candidate materials with tailored magnetic and topological properties are designed with an aid of first-principles calculations (external cooperation) and then realized in the lab. We characterize structural (X-ray and electron diffraction), chemical (differential scanning calorimetry, EDX) and physical (bulk magnetometry, transport, surface spectroscopy – all in cooperation) properties of all materials. As a recent spin-off, we attempt electrochemical intercalation and/or exfoliation of bulk van der Waals crystals.

Dr. Erik van Heumen   Highlight Picture

My research aims to elucidate the electronic properties of materials where strong electron-electron interactions dominate. The tools I use for this are based on studying the dielectric function or optical conductivity of such materials using far-field reflectivity spectroscopy and near-field spectroscopy. In recent years my work has focused on the investigation of the strange metal phase, which is found around optimal doping in high Tc superconductors. The properties of this phase may perhaps be understood within the framework of AdS/CFT correspondences. A new research direction in my group is the investigation of correlated, topological phases using a combination of far- and near-field spectroscopies. This work focuses on studying the magnetic field response of single crystals (e.g. transition metal dichalcogenides) and the investigation of single atomic layer flakes with near-field spectroscopy and nanometer scale resolution.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Katerina Newell-Dohnalova
We research novel types of nanomaterials with properties interesting for use in optoelectronics, photonics, photovoltaics, sensors and bio-imaging. We design and simulate novel complex nanomaterials using density functional theory (DFT); We synthesise such nanomaterials by chemical and mechano-chemical methods; and we measure optical, electronic and structural properties of nanomaterials on the nanoscale and single-particle level by a correlative optical-atomic-force-microscopy setup with spectral and time-correlated detection. Our current focus is on non-toxic, yet functional nanomaterials composed of Earth-abundant elements for a more sustainable future.

Dr. Jorik van de Groep   Highlight Picture

The 2D Nanophotonics lab focuses on the understanding and control of resonant light-matter interactions in two-dimensional quantum materials. Our goal is to study the fundamental physics that governs the optical properties of these quantum materials, and leverage their highly tunable 2D nature to realize dynamic nanophotonic devices. By combining optically-resonant metallic and semiconductor nanostructures with exciton resonances in 2D semiconductors, we actively control light emission, scattering, and absorption in nanoscale devices and optical coatings. Our main experimental techniques include nanofabrication, light scattering experiments, confocal microscopy/spectroscopy (incl. Raman and photoluminescence measurements), photocurrent mapping spectroscopy, and low-temperature microscopy. Besides developing fundamental understanding, we demonstrate applications of novel physical concepts in optical sensors, tunable light sources, photovoltaics, optical coatings, and augmented/virtual reality.


Highlight Picture   Dr. Anne de Visser
My research field is Quantum Electron Matter, with a focus on strongly correlated electron phenomena, notably quantum criticality and unconventional superconductivity, and on topological insulators. The research has a strong fundamental component, with an experimental expertise in measuring the macroscopic magnetotransport, magnetic and thermal properties of bulk and 2D materials under extreme conditions, such as very low temperatures (10 mK), high pressures (3 GPa) and very strong magnetic fields (40 T). In addition, I use muon spin rotation/relaxation techniques at large scale facilities to investigate quantum matter on the microscopic scale. Typical model systems I investigate(d) are strongly correlated electron systems (Ce and U intermetallics), heavy-fermion superconductors (UPt3), ferromagnetic superconductors (UCoGe) and topological insulators/superconductors (Sr doped Bi2Se3).