Welcome to Mao Quantum Material Group
Emergent phenomena in quantum materials not only hold the promise for advanced applications in information technologies, but also challenge current knowledge in physics. The Mao group’s research at Penn State aims to discover and synthesize novel quantum materials with emergent phenomena and investigate their underlying physics. His current research is focused on four sub-directions:
a) novel topological materials, including Dirac, Weyl and nodal-line semimetals and magnetic topological insulators;
b) novel low-dimensional (2D) materials with topological quantum states;
c) novel unconventional superconductors;
d) emergent quantum phenomena in strongly correlated oxides.
The Mao group not only grows single crystals of quantum materials, but also performs various measurements to study the physics of quantum materials. For crystal growth, his group primarily uses the optical floating-zone, flux, chemical vapor transport and Bridgman methods. His group is capable of growing high quality single crystals of a wide range of materials, including complex oxides, various binary, ternary and quaternary transition metal intermetallic compounds (see the “Crystals Library” page in his group website for the list of materials his group has grown). In addition to material synthesis efforts, his group also performs electronic transport, magnetization and specific heat measurements to characterize and understand electronic, magnetic and thermodynamic properties of quantum materials. His group also performs high-field measurements at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to seek new quantum phenomena under high magnetic fields. Furthermore, Mao has also established extensive collaborations with researches at other institutions and National Laboratories to study quantum materials using other techniques such as neutron scattering and photoemission spectroscopy.