Physics Research Activities

Areas of Research

The Physics Department provides several opportunities for students to participate in both experimental and theoretical research:

  • AMO & Plasma Physics

    amo and plasma physicsAtomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics involves the study of structures of atoms and molecules and Plasma physics involves the study of interactions of charged particles created by ionization. At Binghamton, students study AMO and plasma physics via light matter interactions using high-intensity, femtosecond lasers.


    • Bonggu Shim: Laser filamentation; high-order harmonic generation; 4-D visualization of laser-matter interactions; laser micromachining

  • Biophysics

    biophysicsBiophysics is the study of physical processes in living things that seeks to explain what is special about life. Concepts from statistical mechanics, such as entropy, phase transitions, and the emergence of order in complex systems, play a key role in achieving this understanding. At Binghamton, students can explore the physics of individual DNA molecules inside nanofluidic structures that they build. 


    • Stephen L. Levy: Single-molecule investigations of DNA; applications of nanofluidic technology to biological analysis

  • Condensed Matter Physics

    condensed matter physicsCondensed matter physics is concerned with understanding and predicting physical phenomena that occur in materials with relatively large atomic density. The large density of atoms as well as electronic interactions in these materials leads to exciting and emerging many-body effects. At Binghamton, students have the opportunity to explore the physics of transport phenomena in nanostructured materials, exotic forms of magnetic materials, nucleation and growth phenomena in condensed matter systems, materials for energy harvesting, the physics of quantum phase transitions, topologically non-trivial states of matter, and the search for emerging phenomena at the nanoscale.

    Energy, Electronic Materials, and Nanomaterials


    • Eric J. Cotts: atomic transport in thin film metal and liquid systems; materials for electronics packaging

    • Jeffrey Mativetsky: organic electronics and solar cells; 1d and 2d nanomaterials; nanoscale electrical property mapping

    • Ana Laura Elias Ariaga: Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, Hetero bilayers and moiré engineering, Raman spectroscopy

    • Zhong Lin: Experimental condensed matter physics and materials physics, Quantum materials with layered structures
    • Bruce E. White: thermal conductivity of nanostructured materials; thermoelectric energy harvesting; novel memory devices and transistors

    • Alexey Kolmogorov: design of superconductors, catalysts, batteries; structure prediction with evolutionary algorithms; materials modeling with neural networks

    • Elena Roxana Margine: study and design of low-dimensional materials; development of advanced modeling tools; ultrafine mapping of Fermi surface topology

    • Manuel Smeu: multivalent ion batteries; molecular electronics; graphene adsorption and electromigration

    Topological and Strongly Correlated Systems


    • Pegor Aynajian: Emerging quantum states of matter, magnetic topological quantum materials, strongly correlated electron systems, scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy

    • Michael J. Lawler: origami magnetism; topology and correlation in frustrated magnets, superconductors, bad metals

    • Wei-Cheng Lee: quantum criticality; superconductivity; Hubbard-Mott physics

Featured Research