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Affiliates – Yishu Wang

Prof. Yishu Wang
[email protected]

Assistant Professor of MSE and Physics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Research focus: quantum magnetism, strongly correlated electron systems, quantum devices, x-ray and neutron diffraction and spectroscopy, low-temperature electrical and magnetic transport, high-pressure techniques



Dr. Yishu Wang is an experimental physicist working on emergent phenomena in correlated electron systems, with a particular focus on quantum magnetism and its liaison with modern device technology. She joined UTK in August 2022 as an assistant professor in Department of Materials and Engineering, jointly appointed by Department of Physics and Astronomy. Before moving to Knoxville, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Institute for Quantum Matter in Johns Hopkins University, after she obtained Ph.D. in physics from Caltech (2018), M.S. in physics from University of Chicago (2014), and B.S. in Engineering Physics from Tsinghua University in China (2013). 

Research Description

The central theme of my research is to experimentally develop and verify macroscopic quantum phenomena in materials and explore their manifestation in modern device technology, with particular interests in quantum magnetism. We employ and develop a broad array of experimental techniques, such as time-resolved neutron scattering, inelastic neutron spectroscopy, x-ray magnetic diffraction and optical Raman spectroscopy under high pressure, audio-frequency electrical and magnetic transport down to mK-range, and spintronic devices tailored for one-dimensional spin-chain systems.

Recent research

T. Halloran, Yishu Wang, et al., Magnetic excitations and interactions in the Kitaev honeycomb Iridate β-Li2IrO3, Phys. Rev. B 106, 064423 (2022).

Yishu Wang, et al., Monopolar and dipolar relaxation in spin ice Ho2Ti2O7, Sci. Adv. 7, ea0908 (2021).

Y. Feng, Yishu Wang, et al., A continuous metal-insulator transition driven by spin correlations, Nat. Commun. 12, 2779 (2021).

Yishu Wang, et al., Approaching the quantum critical point in a highly-correlated all-in-all-out antiferromagnet, Phys. Rev. B 101, 220404(R) (2020) (Editors’ Suggestion).

Yishu Wang, et al., Antisymmetric linear magnetoresistance and the planar Hall effect, Nat. Commun. 11, 216 (2020).

Yishu Wang, et al., Strongly- coupled quantum critical point in an all-in-all-out antiferromagnet, Nat. Commun. 9, 2953 (2018).

Research Image

In order to bring the quantum nature of electron spins to an extended scale, we take advantage of geometrical lattices that support degenerate classical states (left and right panels) and/or employ pressure to destablize an ordered state (middle panel). Experimentally, these purposefully-incubated states are probed in terms of their static ordering, excited quasi-particles, dynamics, and transport by various techniques. For example, in the left panel, ferromagnetically-coupling spins on a network of tetrahedra form a liquid-like state that doesn’t break rotational symmetry, excitation out of which behave like magnetic charges (top). We probe this state along with the magnetic charges by diffuse and time-resolved neutron scattering (bottom). In the middle panel, a pair of diamond anvils are used to apply hydrostatic pressure to spin systems in the single-crystal form. As a result, quantum phase transitions across different correlated states are induced, where spin degrees of freedom may facilitate pairing up for superconductivity (orange circle), or entanglement of quantum bits (blue string), among other scenarios. The third panel exemplifies how electrical methods can be used to control and probe quantum magnetism, which is an essential step towards functional devices from quantum magnets. Specifically in this panel, we showed an archetypal quantum spin liquid known as antiferromagnetic spin chain (top) and its attachment to Pt electrodes (bottom) which facilitate conversion between spin and charge due to its heaviness of atoms.