IRG 2: Controlling Electrons, Phonons, and Spins in Superatomic Materials


IRG2 designs and synthesizes a new family of atomically precise, functional materials in which the fundamental units are preformed nanoscale building blocks, i.e., superatoms. This program is developing transformative and systematic methods to control the coupling between superatoms, enabling novel collective physical properties. Tuning the superatoms’ electronic, magnetic, vibrational, and symmetry characteristics through synthetic chemistry will allow the team to tackle three longstanding challenges in materials science: design of reconfigurable phase change materials; directional transport of energy, charge and spin; and emergent quantum phenomena.  These materials have applications in digital memory, as switches and switchable absorbers; and as materials with anisotropic phonon spectra, which are of interest for new photodetectors and field effect transistors.


Faculty Leads:  Xavier Roy, Xiaoyang Zhu

2020-2021 IRG Fellows: Eunice Bae, Daniel Chica

Participating Researchers: Dmitri Basov, Timothy Berkelbach, Theodore Betley, Cory Dean, Milan Delor, Kim Lewis, Lauren Marbella, Colin Nuckolls, David Reichman, Xavier Roy, Latha Venkataraman, Xiaoyang Zhu

Funded Postdocs: Eunice Bae (Zhu), Amymarie Bartholomew (Nuckolls), James Baxter (Delor), Daniel Chica (Roy), John Sous (Reichman/Millis), Boyuan Zhang (Venkataraman), Michael Ziebel (Dean)

Funded Graduate Students: Alexander Aydt (Roy), Raymond Dudley (Dean), Andrew Ells (Marbella), Jennifer Han (Nuckolls), Wendy He (Nuckolls), Taylor Hochuli (Nuckolls), Elena Meirzadeh (Roy/Nuckolls), Petra Shih (Berkelbach)