Matthew Day receives Humboldt Fellowship

Matthew Day, a member of the research group Ultrafast Transport in Quantum Materials at the MPSD, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship.

Matthew specializes in non-linear multidimensional spectroscopy and applies these methods to chip-scale spectroscopic probes of quantum materials. In September 2021 he joined the Institute from the University of Michigan in the U.S.A, where he completed his PhD and worked on the ultrafast photocurrent spectroscopy of Weyl semimetals.

The MPSD’s excellence in the use of ultrafast transport techniques was a central factor in Matthew’s decision to come to the Institute and the McIver research group. The group investigates what happens when materials are exposed to strong laser light at terahertz frequencies for less than billionths of a second. “If the light pulses are strong enough, they can alter some features in these materials, for example their structure or their electronic states,” he explains. “That can allow us to control solids in new ways.”

Matthew’s work focuses on the structure of solids whose atoms are arranged in highly symmetric formations: “By generating strong light pulses that incorporate different discrete colors, we can change the symmetries of solids controllably and potentially reveal new properties. We can then tune them flexibly by using multi-color laser pulses.”

Apart from deepening the understanding of these processes, the ultrafast transport research field has important potential applications for future technologies, potentially providing the scientific basis for more efficient energy conversion technology, or more sensitive optical sensors and spectrometers.

The Humboldt Fellowship is awarded to young scientists intending to carry out long-term research in Germany. Matthew hopes that it will not only support his research but also enhance the experimental capabilities of the McIver group.

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