Condensed matter physics is concerned with the synthesis, manipulation, and properties (electronic, magnetic, and optical) of liquid, soft, and solid materials. The sub-field is highly interdisciplinary, overlapping with chemistry, materials science, and electrical engineering, and often drives technological advances through fundamental insights. It is the largest sub-field of physics, with one-third of American physicists identifying themselves condensed matter physicists. The large community translates to a great range of materials and structures studied, and much opportunity in the way of funding, research, and employment. Condensed matter physics is a constantly evolving field, often focused on emergent materials and materials phenomena. Some current materials of interest include graphene, 2D materials, colloids, quantum dots and wires, correlated chalcogenides and complex oxides. These allow us to study phenomena spanning across topology, spintronics, superconductors, plasmonics, qubits, magnetic skyrmions, and excitons.

Condensed matter faculty at the University of Iowa investigate a variety of quantum nanostructured media for unique optical and electronic properties. Plasmonics, phononics, metamaterials, and photonic crystals are used for manipulating optical dispersion in three dimensions to control the confinement, propagation, absorption, and emission of light in photonic materials. Semiconductor quantum dots, wells, superlattices, wires, and heterostructures are grown epitaxially, their electronic properties controlled, engineered, and calculated with novel approaches and techniques, and for applications in infrared optoelectronics and quantum information. 2D materials are stacked and twisted and examined for topological phase transitions and anisotropic material dispersion. Nitrogen vacancy centers and organic materials are studied for their spin and quantum coherence properties for applications in quantum computing. Electronic and spin transport is studied in these materials both theoretically and using ultrafast optical techniques. Materials are grown and fabricated in central user facilities such as a Molecular Beam Epitaxy Facility, the MATfab Facility, and individual labs in the interdisciplinary Iowa Advanced Technology Labs.

Advanced graduate courses are offered in quantum computing (PHYS:4905/PHYS:5905), quantum optics and nanophotonics (PHYS:6723), semiconductors (PHYS:7720), condensed matter (PHYS:7722), and micro/nano materials science and technology (PHYS:6725). We also offer introductory courses on solid state physics, and optics for those needing a primer. A solid state seminar is held bimonthly during the academic year.


Students with Ravi Uppu in lab

Uppu Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

Monday, March 11, 2024
The National Science Foundation has awarded Assistant Professor Ravi Uppu a $550,000 CAREER grant a prestigious five-year award given to early-career faculty for research and education. Uppu and his research team will explore the electronic and photonic properties of light-matter interactions at the single emitter level, enabling them to generate multiphoton entangled states of light necessary for practical quantum interconnects.
Magnon Image Illustration

In novel quantum computer design, qubits use magnets to selectively communicate

Monday, January 29, 2024
Profs. Michael Flatte and Denis Candido collaborated on research that uses magnets to entangle qubits, the building blocks of quantum computers; the simple technique could unlock complex capabilities.
Jeff Leiberton in front of blackboard

Leiberton Recognized For Presentation at APS Prairie Section Meeting

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Undergraduate physics student Jeff Leiberton was awarded a Student Presentation Prize for his poster presentation of "Towards Topological Magnons for Hybrid Magnonic Systems" at the 2023 Fall Meeting of the Prairie Section of the American Physical Society (APS) held Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 
Tom Folland in University of Iowa lab

Folland Received Five Grants in 2023

Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Assistant Professor Tom Folland has received five grants this year, including a major CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

Faculty Specializing in this Area


Denis R. Candido, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
John Goree

John A. Goree, Ph.D.

John Prineas

John P. Prineas, Ph.D.

Director of Research Operations
Craig Pryor

Craig E. Pryor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Ravitej Uppu 002

Ravitej Uppu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Markus Wohlgenannt

Markus Wohlgenannt, Ph.D.


Research Staff in this Area

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