Zuerch Lab
Zuerch Lab


Welcome to the Zuerch Lab

The Zuerch Lab at the University of California at Berkeley experimentally explores structural, carrier and spin dynamics in novel quantum materials, heterostructures and on surfaces and at 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 Retreat 2021
  • Giauque Hall Ultrafast Materials Laboratory
  • Linear and Nonlinear Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy
  • Attosecond pulse generation and spectroscopy

    Latest news:

    Congrats to Sheng-Chih!
    Mar 22 2023

    Hearthy congratulations to Sheng-Chih for passing his qualification exam!

    Welcome to new undergraduate researchers
    Mar 1 2023

    We are excited to welcome new undergraduate researchers to our group. Welcome to Ann (Chem), Shaneil (DOE SULI Fellow) and Andy (EECS/Physics)!

    New paper out: Emerging ultrafast techniques for studying quantum materials
    Feb 15 2023

    We are excited to share that a detailed review of our primary work area, namely the study of non-equilibrium phenomena in quantum matter using novel ultrafast spectroscopies, has been published in Nature Reviews Materials.

    The field of quantum materials and emerging phenomena has developed with an ever-accelerating pace. Most of the research in this broad field uses traditional control knobs such as temperature, pressure, chemical substitution, and static electric or magnetic fields to tweak materials to explore the phase space offering access to potentially new phenomena. In the past decade, ultrafast techniques down to the femtosecond timescale — such as photoemission, scattering, and optical spectroscopies — have added the time-coordinate as a new dimension for understanding and engineering properties of quantum materials out of equilibrium. Despite significant progress, there remain a host of open questions that will require detailed understanding of the nonequilibrium response of quantum materials to enable future applications in areas such as clean energy production, energy storage, and quantum computation and communication.

    Our review focuses on novel ultrafast spectroscopies that have only been recently developed for investigating condensed matter systems (attosecond transient absorption spectroscopy (ATAS), solid-state high harmonic generation (sHHG), and extreme ultraviolet-second harmonic generation (XUV-SHG)). We discuss their potential applications to study emerging phenomena in quantum materials and focus on the standpoint of open questions in quantum materials as well as the unique observables and capabilities these methods can offer to address them.

    The bulk of the literature search, review and writing has been done during a writing retreat in summer 2022 and I am particularly excited that all co-authors are group members who all contributed significantly to this work.

    Our paper was published in Nature Reviews Materials:

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