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.

  • Investigation of carrier dynamics in 2D heterojunctions
  • Measuring spin dynamics by attosecond magnetic diffraction
  • Extreme photonics and nonlinear optics
  • Attosecond pulse generation and spectroscopy

    Latest news:

    Welcome Nadia, Finn, Sophia, William & Douglas
    Apr 23 2021

    We are so excited to welcome several new group members starting April and May 2021! Nadia Berndt joins us as an undergraduate researcher working on time-resolved spectroscopy on encapsulated monolayer TMDC nano discs. Finn Kohrell (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany) is a visiting student researcher funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)  conducting research for his Master thesis on non-equilibrium dynamics in the superconducting state of 2D TMDCs at low temperatures for the next year. Sophia Fang (MIT) joins us for the summer as NSF-REU student and will work on attosecond pulse generation and dynamics. William Alexander is a freshman in Chemistry and Entrepreneurship and joins us as undergraduate researcher exploring new ways for applying virtual reality in lab instruction and laser lab operation. Last but not least, Douglas Heine (Michigan State University) joins us this summer as NSF-REU student working on simulating strong-field excitations in two-dimensional semiconductors.

    Pre-print: Polarization-Resolved Extreme Ultraviolet Second Harmonic Generation from LiNbO3
    Apr 6 2021

    We are happy to see Can’s first first-author manuscript submitted on polarization-resolved second harmonic spectroscopy enabling element-resolved angular anisotropy investigations. In LiNbO3 we directly resolve the Li ion displacement and its correlated action on the Nb-O bonds. This study constitutes the first observation of polarization-resolved SHG in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) and we show that dipole-based SHG models used regularly in the optical regime allow predicting the SHG polarization in the in the XUV regime.
    This work as performed at the SACLA free-electron laser at Sping8/RIKEN in primary collaboration with UC San Diego, Argonne National Lab, LBNL and U Tokyo.
    Link to Arxiv manuscript:

    Michael appointed to editorial board at Nanoscale Research Letters
    Apr 5 2021

    Michael got appointed to the editorial board at Nanoscale Research Letters (NRL) at SpringerOpen which is part of Springer-Nature. NRL is a peer-reviewed open access journal focusing on nanoscale research in physics, materials science, biology, chemistry, and engineering.

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