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Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr. Laura Chaix

I joined the Shen group on January 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher. I received my Ph. D. degree from the University of Grenoble (Joseph Fourier University) in France. My research activities were performed in collaboration between the Institut Néel, CNRS France and the Institut Laue-Langevin. During my thesis, I worked on the dynamical magneto-electric coupling in multiferroic compounds using two complementary experimental techniques: unpolarized and polarized neutron scattering and THz spectroscopy. My current research interest is on the study of dynamical structural, magnetic, and electronic properties of strongly correlated systems using resonant x-ray diffraction (RXD) and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). I also focus on the time-­resolved RXD and RIXS capabilities at the x-ray free electron laser facility LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source).
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Dr. Yongtao Cui

I joined Shen Group as a postdoc fellow in September 2011. I received my Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Cornell University. My Ph.D. work was focused on the studies of magnetic dynamics in a nano-magnet excited by transfer of the spin angular momentum from itinerant electrons. I am now working on the Microwave Impedance Microscopy (MIM) technique - using it to probe materials' dielectric properties at the nano-scale, and expanding its capacity to study even richer physics.
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Dr. Simon Gerber

In November 2013 I joined Shen Group as a postdoctoral research fellow. I received my Ph.D. degree from ETH Zürich for research conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute. My thesis work was focused on the interplay of unconventional superconductivity and magnetism investigated by neutron scattering. Here, I am primarily utilizing the unique capabilities of the x-ray free electron laser LCLS at SLAC to study the formation of symmetry-breaking ground states in strongly correlated electron systems by means of ultrafast x-ray scattering.
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Dr. Dominik Leuenberger

I have been working in Shen Group since April 2013. I received my Ph.D. degree from the University of Zürich. We studied microscopic scattering processes in solids, at solid state surfaces and interfaces, which occur on very short time scales, by means of time-resolved ARPES. I'm particularly interested in investigating such processes in materials with strong spin-orbit interaction and strong electron-phonon coupling, motivated by gaining basic understanding but also regarding applications in terms of future devices.
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Dr. Wei Li

I joined the lab in autumn 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow. I received my B.S. degree and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Tsinghua University, China. During my Ph.D., I focused on the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth and in-situ low-temperature STM measurements of iron-based superconductor and topological insulator thin films. My current research interests lie in the observation of strongly-correlated electron materials in momentum space via high-resolution ARPES experiments. I am also very interested in the newly developed scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (MIM). With the capability of probing both the metals and insulators, it is a really powerful technique to explore the various properties of complex quantum materials.
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Dr. Jonathan Sobota

I received my B.S. from Cornell University in 2007 and my Ph.D. from the Shen group at Stanford University in 2014. I am now continuing as a postdoc with a joint affiliation at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. For my thesis I studied electron and lattice dynamics in topological insulators using ultrafast photoemission spectroscopy. However, these experiments were blind to the electron spin, which is a central property of these materials. For my postdoctoral work I will overcome this limitation by implementing a novel photoelectron spin detector. This will allow me to study spin structure and dynamics in topological insulators, as well as magnetic materials and strongly coupled electron systems.
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Dr. Hadas Soifer

I joined the Shen group as a postdoctoral researcher in November 2014. I received my Ph.D from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. My Ph.D. research was in the field of attosecond physics – I studied structure and extremely fast dynamics of electrons in atoms and molecules, through the strong-light matter interaction known as High Harmonics Generation. Here I work on time-resolved ARPES experiments on quantum materials. I am fascinated by the complex interactions between the different degrees of freedom in these materials, and by the potential to probe and control these interactions with light.
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Dr. Hao Yan

I am currently a joint postdoctoral fellow between Shen and Melosh labs. I received my Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard in 2010. From 2010 to 2011 I was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard under the advisory of Charles Lieber. My current research focuses on the material science of diamondoids - essentially molecular-scale diamond. Our unique capability to separate, chemically functionalize and assemble these molecules offers an ideal playground for materials scientists to study the properties of diamond and diamond-like structures at the nanometer scale. My current interest lies on the photoemission and electron-phonon interaction in diamondoids and their hybrid structures; in the long term I am also interested in understanding their thermal, mechanical and electronic properties, as well as their applications.
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Dr. Chaofan Zhang

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in Shen Group with the support from the Wallenberg Foundation in Sweden. I received my Ph.D. in cluster physics from Uppsala University and most works in that period were done at Swedish synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV laboratory. There I studied the gas-phased materials, mainly the atmospheric nano-particles, using the x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). My current research interest is to study at an atomic scale the strongly-correlated electron materials in momentum space via high resolution ARPES experiments. I would like to unveil the many-body interactions in the ultra thin film grown by the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) technique. By studying the phenomenology and understanding the underlying principles, I hope to discover the many potential applications of thin film physics.
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Dr. Yi Zhang

I joined the Shen group in September 2011. I received my B.S. degree from Peking University, China in 2006, and my Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. I am now mainly working at the HERS endstation of Beamline 10.0.1 in Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I have built an in-situ molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system at this beamline, and keep developing this MBE system with more capability. Using this synchrotron based ARPES-MBE combined system, my current research interest is focused on the MBE growth of the novel quantum materials, such as topological insulators, topological semimetals, and graphene-like 2D materials. I am interested in studying their exotic electronic properties in low-dimensional limit, and exploring their further application in spintronics, quantum information, and optoelectronic devices.
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