Zuerch Lab
Zuerch Lab


Welcome to the

The Zuerch Lab at the University of California at Berkeley experimentally explores structural, carrier and spin dynamics in novel quantum materials, heterostructures and at material interfaces to answer current questions in materials science and physical chemistry. For this we pursue a multidisciplinary research program that combines the exquisite possibilities that ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy and nanoimaging offers and closely interface with material synthesis and theory groups. We employ state-of-the-art methods and develop novel nonlinear X-ray spectroscopies in our lab and at large-scale facilities. Specifically, we are interested in experimentally studying and controlling material properties on time scales down to the sub-femtosecond regime and on nanometer length scales to tackle challenging problems in quantum electronics, information storage and solar energy conversion.

Learn more about our research.

  • Zuerch Lab
  • Giauque Hall Ultrafast Materials Laboratory
  • Linear and Nonlinear Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy
  • Attosecond pulse generation and spectroscopy

    Latest news:

    New pre-print: A solid-state high harmonic generation spectrometer with cryogenic cooling
    Sep 7 2023

    Solid-state high harmonic generation spectroscopy (sHHG) has emerged as a pivotal technique for delving into electronic structure, symmetry, and dynamics in condensed matter systems. In our latest manuscript, we introduce an advanced cryogenic sHHG spectrometer, uniquely designed with a vacuum chamber and a closed-cycle helium cryostat. With the aid of an in situ temperature probe, we’ve ascertained that the sample interaction region maintains cryogenic temperatures even during the application of high-intensity femtosecond laser pulses, which are responsible for generating high harmonics. Our approach paves the way for temperature-dependent sHHG measurements down to a few Kelvin. Such advancements in sHHG spectroscopy present a novel tool for investigating phases of matter that manifest at low temperatures, an area of particular intrigue for highly correlated materials.

    Pre-print is available here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2309.01049

    Welcome Prof. Dean Smith
    Aug 28 2023

    Our group welcomes Prof. Dean Smith from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dean is a frequent collaborator of our group on applications of high pressure science probed with nonlinear spectroscopies and will be visiting our group for the next year.

    Michael receives DOE Early Career Award
    Aug 4 2023

    We are excited to share that Michael was among this year’s awardees of the prestigious DOE Early Career Research Program Award. In this 5-year award on the topic “Ultrafast mechanisms of chirality control in electronic materials” we will use new capabilities of our attosecond instrument in combination with facilities at SLAC to study control mechanisms of chiral order in quantum materials.

    College of Chemistry press release:

    Press release from the Department of Energy can be found here:

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