Research Staff

GCIS E237
(773) 702-5835
dudowicz@jfi.uchicago.edu

Dr. Jacek Dudowicz

Research Professor

Theoretical, statistical thermodynamical studies of liquid state polymers represent an important scientific tool in modern polymer physics. One of our interests lies in predicting the thermodynamic properties of multi-component polymer mixtures, such as phase behavior, miscibility, or neutron scattering intensity as a function of monomer structures, temperature, pressure, and blend composition. Another interest focuses on the equilibrium polymerization that is a paradigm for clustering transitions occurring in numerous systems, ranging from various nano-particle filled materials to proteins in living organisms. An illustrative example of this research is provided by our recent description of the equilibrium polymerization of actin.

Research Areas
  • Freed Group
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ACC 207
(773) 702-2064
eng@cars.uchicago.edu

Dr. Peter Eng

Research Professor











Research Areas
  • Advanced Radiation Sources
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GCIS E126
(773) 702-3102
agalda@uchicago.edu

Dr. Alexey Galda

Research Assistant Professor

Alexey received a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2012. He is a Research Assistant Professor at the James Franck Institute, with a joint appointment at Argonne’s Materials Science Division. The focus of Alexey’s research is in quantum driven dissipative systems and theory of out-of-equilibrium phase transitions. He is working on the non-Hermitian formulation of non-equilibrium dynamics in a wide range of condensed matter systems. Applications of Alexey's research in quantum information science include quantum computing with molecular spin systems and theory of manipulating quantum information by spin-polarized currents.

Research Areas
  • Littlewood Group
  • Argonne National Laboratory
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GCIS E022
(773) 702-7205
k-gibson@uchicago.edu

Dr. Kevin Drew Gibson

Research Professor

As a member of the Sibener group, my interests involve studying gas-surface interactions. The main tool for these studies is an ultra-high-vacuum chamber that allows us to expose the surface of interest to gases from three independent molecular beams. Reactions at the surface, and the energy, angular distribution, and identity of any scattered or desorbed atom or molecule can be determined. Recent experiments have examined the oxidation of benzene and the translational energy dependence of methane decomposition on Rh(111). We have also studied the surface reactions of atomic O, examining the partial oxidation of adsorbed organic compounds, and the modification of the transition metal surface. The latter allowed us to grow a novel, dense water overlayer. Currently, we are studying the scattering of gases from organic monolayers. Future work will measure the surface reactions of atomic O at high kinetic energies, a problem for objects in low-earth orbit.

Research Areas
  • Sibener Group
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GCIS ESB034
(773) 702-7811
q-guo@uchicago.edu

Dr. Qiti Guo

MPML Manager

Dr. Qiti Guo joined Professor Emeritus Ole Kleppa’s group in 1992, working on experimental thermochemistry. He has determined the standard enthalpies of formation for more than 150 intermetallic compounds of early transition metals with late transition metals and with noble metals. In 1998, he accepted a job offer from the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and has been in charge of the Materials Preparation & Measurement Laboratory (MPML) since then. His research interests include: (1) Applications of Scanning Probing Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy to materials research. (2) Application of electron beam lithography to materials research. (3) Thermochemistry of intermetallic compounds and mixed oxide systems, using high-temperature reaction calorimetry. (4) Theoretical analysis of topological structures of phase diagrams for systems of n+3 phases (n stands for the number of independent components of the systems), with emphasis on the interrelationship between phase chemography and phase diagram topology. (5) Topological relations in systems of more than n+3 phases. He is also responsible for training students and postdocs for operating SEM, AFM/STM and other MRSEC shared facilities in the MPML.

Research Areas
  • MRSEC
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GCIS ESB09
(773) 834-3864
jureller@uchicago.edu

Dr. Justin Jureller

MPML Manager











Research Areas
  • MRSEC
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GCIS ESB06B
(773) 702-9942
b-lin@uchicago.edu

Dr. Binhua Lin

Research Professor

Dr. Lin obtained her Ph. D in Physics at Northwestern University in 1990 and joined Professor Stuart Rice's group as a postdoc the same year. In 1994, she became a beamline scientist at Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources (CARS), University of Chicago. She is in charge of liquid surface/interfacial scattering experimental station in ChemMatCARS at the Advanced Photon Sources, Argonne National Laboratories (CheMatCARS is a national synchrotron x-ray facility for chemistry and material sciences). Her research interests in CARS are on surface/interfacial structural and dynamic properties of soft materials, and systems of interests include Langmuir monolayers, polymer/metal nano-particle composites, and liquid metals. Dr. Lin also conducts research in James Franck Institute on the behaviors of colloidal suspensions confined in one-dimensional narrow channels. Digital video microscopy is used for the experimental measurements, and synchrotron x-ray static/dynamic scattering techniques are to be used in the future measurements. She is studying the effects of the confinement on the diffusion and ordering of the colloidal spheres in the channels.

Research Areas
  • Lin / Rice Group
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GCIS ESB01B; Acc F-36
(773) 702-7576
lmazzenga@uchicago.edu

Luigi Mazzenga

Student Machine Shop Manager











Research Areas
  • Student Machine Shop
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Kent 208
(773) 702-7065
m-zhao@uchicago.edu

Dr. Meishan Zhao

Research Professor









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Postdoctoral Scholars

GCIS
(773) 702-
hhboltz@uchicago.edu

Dr. Horst-Holger Boltz

Postdoc

Horst-Holger Boltz is a postdoctoral scholar within the "Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem". He is studying the evolution of glassy energy landscape under quasistatic driving under the advisory of Prof. Sidney Nagel (JFI), Prof. Jorge Kurchan (CNRS Paris) and Prof. Andrea Liu (UPenn). He earned his PhD from the TU Dortmund (Germany) in Prof. Jan Kierfelds group where he mainly worked on semiflexible polymers in disorder and deformable elastic capsules in flow.



Research Areas
  • Nagel Group
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GCIS E110
(773) 702-3102
gauravc@uchicago.edu

Dr. Gaurav Chaudhary

Postdoc

I joined JFI as a postdoctoral researcher in Fall 2019, where I am working with Kathy Levin. Before that I did my PhD at University of Texas at Austin working with Allan MacDonald. I am a theorist interested in many areas of condensed matter and cold atom systems. In my PhD, I worked on problems related to topological superconductivity, twisted bilayer graphene, and fractional quantum Hall effect. While I am still interested in these topics and actively looking for new problems to work on in this area, at JFI my focus is more towards engineered cold atom systems and searching for topological properties in these bosonic systems.

Research Areas
  • Kathryn Levin Group
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GCIS E247A
(773) 834-4149
hccho@uchicago.edu

Dr. Himchan Cho

Postdoc

Himchan Cho joined Prof. Talapin’s group as a postdoctoral scholar at the James Franck Institute, the University of Chicago in 2018. Before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Tae-Woo Lee’s group at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea from September 2016. He received his B.S. (2012) and Ph.D. (2016) in Materials Science and Engineering from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Republic of Korea. His Ph.D. research focused on metal halide perovskite light-emitting diodes. He is currently working on quantum dot optoelectronic devices.

Research Areas
  • Talapin Group
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GCIS E001A
(773) 702-4969
dereka@uchicago.edu

Dr. Bogdan Dereka

Postdoc

Bogdan is a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tokmakoff group. His research is dedicated to obtaining the comprehensive picture of hydration dynamics of various ionic and molecular solutes in bulk water. Bogdan obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) where he studied symmetry-breaking charge transfer and ensuing photochemistry in organic multipolar molecules using an array of ultrafast broadband spectroscopies, including time-resolved infrared.

Research Areas
  • Tokmakoff Group
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GCIS E001B
(773) 702-7207
rgf33@uchicago.edu

Dr. Rachael Farber

Postdoc

Rachael Farber joined JFI in May 2018 as a Kadanoff-Rice Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Steven Sibener's group. She earned her PhD from Loyola University Chicago in Prof. Dan Killelea's group where she studied the structural and chemical consequences of high oxygen incorporation on Ag(111), Pt(553), and Rh(111). In Dr. Sibener's group, Rachael is investigating materials, such as Nb3Sn, to improve the performance of superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities for use in accelerator technologies.

Research Areas
  • Sibener Group
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GCIS
(773) 702-

Dr. Michel Fruchart

Postdoc











Research Areas
  • Vitelli Group
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GCIS E110
(773) 702-3102
vickeyrobert@uchicago.edu

Dr. Han Fu

Postdoc

I am a JFI postdoc working with Prof. Kathy Levin. I received my PhD from University of Minnesota in 2017 advised by Prof. Boris Shklovskii. My main research interest was in disordered semiconductor systems, in particular, the electron transport in SrTiO3 and nanocrystal films. Currently, I am moving into the field of cold atom physics.

Research Areas
  • Kathryn Levin Group
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GCIS E001B
(773) 702-7207
jdgraham@uchicago.edu

Dr. Jacob Graham

Postdoc

Jacob Graham joined JFI as a postdoctoral scholar in Prof. Steven Sibener's group. He earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Prof. Kit Bowen's group where he studied negatively charged nanoparticles and clusters. In Dr. Sibener's group, Jacob is currently exploring surface phonons through inelastic helium atom scattering.




Research Areas
  • Sibener Group
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GCIS E038
(480) 570-5827
vardahagh@uchicago.edu

Dr. Varda Faghir Hagh

Postdoc

Varda joined the James Frank Institute in September 2018 as a postdoctoral scholar within the Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem. She is working jointly with Prof. Sidney Nagel (University of Chicago), Prof. Lisa Manning (Syracuse University), and Prof. Eric Corwin (University of Oregon) on the effect of marginality gap on memory formation in jammed systems. Varda received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University under the supervision of Prof. Michael Thorpe, where she studied the rigidity transition in various disordered systems including jammed and auxetic networks.

Research Areas
  • Nagel group
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GCIS E038
(773) 702-7204
danielhe2@uchicago.edu

Dr. Daniel Hexner

Postdoc










Research Areas
  • Nagel Group
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GCIS
(646) 727-0522
kabirh@uchicago.edu

Dr. Kabir Husain

Postdoc

Kabir joined Arvind Murugan's group at the JFI in 2018. As a qualitative biologist, he is interested in the relationship between structure, function, and dynamics in information transfer in biology. Prior to this, Kabir earned his PhD with Madan Rao and Jitu Mayor at the NCBS, Bangalore, where he worked on active mechanics and patterns in the cell cortex, kinetic proofreading in analogy with stochastic resetting, and the role of spatial organisation in immune discrimination by T-cells.




Research Areas
  • Murugan Group
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GCIS E035
(773) 702-6075
graysonjackson@uchicago.edu

Dr. Grayson Jackson

Postdoc

Gray is a postdoctoral scholar studying the properties of self-assembled nanoparticle membranes. He joined the Jaeger lab in 2018 after earning his Ph. D. in Materials Chemistry in Prof. Mahesh Mahanthappa’s research group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (now at University of Minnesota). During his graduate work, Gray used surfactant-based liquid crystals as a platform to study confined water.



Research Areas
  • Jaeger Group
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GCIS
(773) 702-8928
mattjaffe@uchicago.edu

Dr. Matt Jaffe

Postdoc

Matt Jaffe joined the JFI in Dec 2019 as a postdoc in Prof. Jon Simon’s lab. Matt earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in Prof. Holger Mueller’s group, where he helped develop the first atom interferometer in an optical cavity, and used it to probe tiny forces on atoms. As a postdoc in the Simon lab, Matt is working to create quantum many-body states of light using Rydberg polaritons in an optical cavity.



Research Areas
  • Simon Group
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GCIS
(773) 702-
pjoshi@uchicago.edu

Dr. Prakriti Joshi

Postdoc










Research Areas
  • King Group
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GCIS ESB06F
(773) 702-8928
ashkumar@uchicago.edu

Dr. Aishwarya Kumar

Postdoc

Ash Kumar joined JFI in January 2020 as postdoc in the labs of Prof. Jon Simon and Prof. Dave Schuster. He earned his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Prof. David Weiss' group, where he worked on a 3D optical lattice based neutral atom quantum computing platform. He helped demonstrate high-fidelity single qubit gates, atom sorting and lossless state detection in this system. At Chicago, his work is focused on interfacing mm-wave and optical photons using Rydberg atoms in cavities.

Research Areas
  • Simon Group
  • Schuster Group
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GCIS E247
(773) 834-4149
xinzhlan@uchicago.edu

Dr. Xinzheng Lan

Postdoc

Xinzheng Lan joined Prof. Talapin’s group as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Chemistry at the James Franck Institute, University of Chicago, in 2016. Before that, he worked in Prof. Sargent group at University of Toronto as a postdoctoral fellow for 2 years, working on development of high-performance solution-processed colloidal quantum dot solar cells. His work has led to the first-certified CQDs solar cells beyond 10%. He received his PhD degree in materials physics and chemistry from Hefei University of Technology. Currently, he is working on quantum dot-based optoelectronic devices.

Research Areas
  • Talapin Group
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GCIS E002
(773) 702-7210
kl692@uchicago.edu

Dr. Kan-Heng Lee

Postdoc

Kan-Heng joined the JFI in Feb, 2020, as a postdoctoral scholar working in the group of Prof. David Schuster. His research interests include the growth and application of new quantum materials for superconducting quantum circuits. Previously, Kan-Heng earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University, advised by Prof. Jiwoong Park. His Ph.D. work developed the methods to assemble two-dimensional material heterostructures with sub-nanometer precision on the wafer-scale for building quantum circuits, including the first demonstration of MoS2 transmon qubits.

Research Areas
  • Schuster Group
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GCIS E126
(773) 702-7232
zhiyuelu@uchicago.edu

Dr. Zhiyue Lu

Postdoc

In 2016, Zhiyue joined JFI as a postdoc in Aaron Dinners group in 2016. Before that, Zhiyue graduated from Christopher Jarzynski's group in University of Maryland with a PhD degree in Chemical Physics. Zhiyue's research covers various topics in non-equilibrium statistical physics. Currently, Zhiyue focuses on designing models and developing numerical tools to help one better understand and analysis non-equilibrium processes in chemical reaction networks, information processing, biological processes and many other interesting phenomena. Some of the tools involved in his research are stochastic thermodynamics, fluctuation theorems, non-equilibrium umbrella sampling (NEUS), diffusion Monte Carlo (DMC) and so on.

Research Areas
  • Dinner Group
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Jones 007
(773) 795-0409
mannix@uchicago.edu

Dr. Andrew Mannix

Postdoc

Andrew joined the JFI in September 2017 as a Kadanoff-Rice Postdoctoral Fellow working in the group of Prof. Jiwoong Park. His research interests include the growth and assembly of complex heterostructures that combine atomically thin and conventional materials. Previously, Andrew earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University (jointly advised by Prof. Mark Hersam and Dr. Nathan Guisinger of Argonne National Laboratory). His Ph.D. work explored the growth and atomic-scale characterization of synthetic elemental 2D materials, including the first demonstration of 2D boron (i.e., borophene).

Research Areas
  • Park Group
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GCIS ESB09
(773) 702-
mickeymcd@uchicago.edu

Dr. Mickey McDonald

Postdoc

Mickey McDonald joined the JFI as a Postdoctoral Scholar in September of 2016, shortly after obtaining his PhD at Columbia University in New York. During his PhD he worked with Tanya Zelevinsky on research involving precision measurements and manipulation of ultracold 88Sr2 molecules, including quantum state-resolved photodissociation (laser-induced “molecular explosions”) and the effects of applied magnetic fields on molecular structure. He is currently working with Cheng Chin to develop a platform for quantum simulation via precise positioning and imaging of large arrays of individually addressable atoms.

Research Areas
  • Chin Group
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GCIS SB25
(773) 702-
feipei87@gmail.com

Dr. Fei Pei

Postdoc

Fei Pei received his BSc and MSc in applied physics from University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received his PhD in experimental quantum physics from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. During his PhD, he worked on quantum dot and qubit experiments in carbon nanotubes and quantum transport measurement in InSb nanowires. In 2019, he joined the Tian lab as a postdoc at the James Franck Institute, at the University of Chicago. He is working on semiconductor materials to study biointerfaces.

Research Areas
  • Tian Group
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GCIS
(773) 702-

Dr. Tanay Roy

Postdoc











Research Areas
  • Schuster Group
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GCIS E114
(773) 702-
safaei@uchicago.edu

Dr. Shiva Safaei

Postdoc











Research Areas
  • Mazziotti Group
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GCIS E038
(773) 702-7204
nschade@uchicago.edu

Dr. Nicholas Schade

Postdoc

Nicholas Schade joined Prof. Sidney Nagel's group as a Postdoctoral Scholar in October 2015. His research interests range from soft materials out of equilibrium to exotic electromagnetic phenomena. Nick earned his Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University in 2015 for experimental research with Prof. Vinothan Manoharan on colloidal self-assembly as a new fabrication route for optical metamaterials.





Research Areas
  • Nagel Group
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GCIS E110
(773) 702-3102
setiawan@uchicago.edu

Dr. F. Setiawan

Postdoc

I am a postdoctoral scholar in Kathy Levin's group at the University of Chicago. Broadly speaking, my research interests are in condensed matter physics, cold atomic systems and quantum information. More specifically, I have worked on the subjects of Majorana modes in solid state and cold atomic systems, transport in mesoscopic systems, Dirac and Weyl materials, spin-qubit quantum computation and quantum cryptography. I received my PhD from the University of Maryland working with Sankar Das Sarma and Jay D. Sau.

Research Areas
  • Kathryn Levin Group
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ERC RM351
(773) 702-
abhinendra@uchicago.edu

Dr. Abhinendra Singh

Postdoc

Abhi is a joint postdoctoral scholar between Prof. Heinrich Jaeger at the JFI and Prof. Juan de Pablo at the PME. His research efforts focus on simulating suspension dynamics. He develops numerical schemes for characterizing, visualizing and understanding the continuum behavior of particulate flows including dry/wet granular flows, dense suspensions, and emulsions. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Twente in The Netherlands, where he was co-advised by Prof. Stefan Luding and Dr. Vanessa Magnanimo investigating the flow behavior of the dense granular material. He moved to the Levich Institute in the City College of New York after finishing his PhD, where he developed the constitutive model for dense frictional suspensions as a part of post-doctoral research co-supervised by Profs. Jeff Morris and Morton Denn.

Research Areas
  • de Pablo Group
  • Jaeger Group
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GCIS E247G
(773) 834-4149
jbsouzajunior@uchicago.edu

Dr. Joao Batista Souza Junior

Postdoc

Joao B. Souza Junior joined the Talapin’s group as a postdoctoral research fellow at the James Franck Institute in 2020. He is also a postdoc affiliated at the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano), the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM). He received his B.S. (2010) and Ph.D. (2017) in Chemistry from the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil, He was also a visiting student at Talapin’s group in 2014-2015. His Ph.D. research focused on the synthesis of core/shell nanoparticles with magnetic (Co/Au) and optical properties (CdSe/ZnS and CdSe/CdS quantum dots). He is currently interested in synthesis and self-assembly of colloidal nanocrystals and nanoheterostructures (core/shell) nanoparticles with size and shape-controlled.



Research Areas
  • Talapin Group
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GCIS ESB
(773) 702-
xintang@uchicago.edu

Dr. Xin Tang

Postdoc

Xin Tang joined Prof. Philippe Guyot-Sionnest's group at the James Franck Institute, the University of Chicago in 2017. Xin Tang received his B.E. degree in Automotive Engineering from the Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China, in 2013, and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from the City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong in 2017. His current research interests include nanomaterials, plasmonics, device physics, and design, fabrication and optimization of quantum infrared photodetectors.

Research Areas
  • Guyot-Sionnest Group
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GCIS
(773) 834-
nitigna.u@gmail.com

Dr. Nitin Upadhyaya

Postdoc









Research Areas
  • Vitelli Group
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PRC 451 & GCIS E1102
(773) 834-
xywang@uchicago.edu

Dr. Xiaoyu Wang

Postdoc

Xiaoyu is a JFI postdoc working with Prof. Kathy Levin. He got his PhD from University of Minnesota in 2017. His main research interest is in strongly correlated electron systems, in particular those relevant to high temperature superconductivity. His expertise is in many body techniques as well as numerical Quantum Monte Carlo methods.




Research Areas
  • Kathryn Levin Group
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Dr. Kimberly Weirich

Postdoc









Research Areas
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GCIS 247G
(773) 834-
chenkunz@uchicago.edu

Dr. Chenkun Zhou

Postdoc









Research Areas
  • Talapin Group
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