Nicholas P. Breznay

Assistant Professor
PhD Stanford
Condensed matter physics
Keck 1247
909-607-0587 (office)
909-621-8024 (department)
909-621-8887 (fax)

Early in our careers we learn that electrons are antisocial – they never want to be in the same place at the same time, and their mutual interactions can often be ignored, especially when considering just a few (or a few hundred). But as you crowd more and more into the same space, electrons begin to talk to one another; in solid materials, they sometimes decide to spontaneously organize, condense, and rearrange themselves—collectively assembling into patterns and phases that we never would have predicted from a “one-electron” picture.

Our lab studies the properties and applications of these quantum materials, where the tremendous number (1023) of electrons, and their collective interactions, leads to new and fascinating behavior. These electronic states of matter can have familiar classical analogs—noninteracting gas, strongly interacting “Fermi” liquid, or crystalline solid—but they can also be fundamentally quantum-mechanical states that have no classical analog. We investigate these exotic states of matter—superconductors, spin-liquid magnets, charge-ordered oxides, and amorphous Anderson insulators—using hands-on low-temperature experiments with thin film and bulk crystal samples. Since thermal energy can disrupt fragile quantum states, we cool the samples to temperatures below 1 kelvin, and examine how their electrons respond to intense electromagnetic fields.

Recent Publications

Mingu Kang, Jonathan Pelliciari, Alex Frano, Nicholas P. Breznay, Enrico Schierle, Eugen Weschke, Ronny Sutarto, Yuwei He, Padraic Shafer, Elke Arenholz, Mo Chen, Keto Zhang, Alejandro Ruiz, Zeyu Hao, Sylvia Lewin, James Analytis, Yoshiharu Krockenberger, Hideki Yamamoto, Kausik Das, and Riccardo Comin

Evolution of Charge Order Topology Across a Magnetic Phase Transition in Cuprate Superconductors

Nature Physics 15 (2019) 335–340.

Nicholas P. Breznay, Corey Hayes, Nityan L Nair, Toni Helm, James G Analytis, Ross D McDonald, Zengwei Zhu, Yoshiharu Krockenberger, Hiroshi Irie, Hideki Yamamoto, K A Modic, Alex Frano, Padraic Shafer, and Elke Arenholz

Interplay of Structure and Charge Order Revealed by Quantum Oscillations in Thin Films of \( \mathrm{Pr_2 Cu O_{4 \pm\delta}} \)

Physical Review B 100 (2019) 235111.
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Course Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Physics 51
Shan 2407

Physics 51
Shan B450

Physics 51
Shan 2407

Physics 51
Shan B450

Physics 181
Jacobs B121

Engineering 79