Alpichshev Group

Condensed Matter and Ultrafast Optics

To understand a complex system, it is often useful to bring it out of equilibrium: the recovery dynamics will reveal a great deal about its inner workings. The Alpichshev group uses ultra-fast optical methods to understand the physical mechanisms underlying some of the extremely complicated phenomena in many-body physics.

One of the most important problems in modern physics is to understand the behavior of a large number of strongly interacting particles. Such systems often feature unique properties such as high-temperature superconductivity or colossal magnetoresistance. The exact origin of such behavior is still unclear, which hinders our ability to control and increase the effects of these phenomena. The main difficulty facing researchers in this area is that these “strongly correlated” properties invariably arise in the context of a large number of competing phases, which makes it difficult to determine the individual role of each factor. In the Alpichshev group, they circumvent this problem by using ultra-short laser pulses to selectively perturb and probe the individual degrees of freedom in a strongly correlated material and study the system in the resulting transient state. The resulting information can be used to reconstruct the microscopic mechanisms behind complex phenomena with genetic data to estimate population structure and fitness variation over multiple scales.

Group Leader

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Current Projects

Determining the role of rattling modes of organic cations on the transport of photo-carriers in hybrid lead halide perovskites | Exciton dynamics in frustrated Mott insulators | Ultrafast dissipative processes in correlated electron systems below Planckian level


Mahmood F, Alpichshev Z, Lee Y, Kong J, Gedik N. 2018. Observation of exciton-exciton interaction mediated valley Depolarization in Monolayer MoSe2. Nano Letters. 18(1), 223–228. View

Alpichshev Z, Sie E, Mahmood F, Cao G, Gedik N. 2017. Origin of the exciton mass in the frustrated Mott insulator Na2IrO3. Physical Review B. 96(23). View

Vishik I, Mahmood F, Alpichshev Z, Gedik N, Higgins J, Greene R. 2017. Ultrafast dynamics in the presence of antiferromagnetic correlations in electron doped cuprate La2 xCexCuO4±δ. Physical Review B. 95(11). View

Xu Y, Chiu J, Miao L, He H, Alpichshev Z, Kapitulnik A, Biswas R, Wray L. 2017. Disorder enabled band structure engineering of a topological insulator surface. Nature Communications. 8. View

Hinton J, Thewalt E, Alpichshev Z, Mahmood F, Koralek J, Chan M, Veit M, Dorow C, Barišić N, Kemper A, Bonn D, Hardy W, Liang R, Gedik N, Greven M, Lanzara A, Orenstein J. 2016. The rate of quasiparticle recombination probes the onset of coherence in cuprate superconductors. Scientific Reports. 6. View

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since 2018, Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2017 – 2018 Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg, Germany
2012 – 2017 Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
2012 PhD, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Selected Distinctions

2008 – 2010 Albion W. Hewlett Stanford Graduate Fellowship
2005 “Dynasty Foundation” Fellowship
2002 Landau Fellowship, Landau

Additional Information

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