Arthur F. Hebard

University of Florida

Primary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type: Member (elected 2017)


Arthur Hebard is a condensed matter experimental physicist recognized for his work on the fabrication and characterization of solid-state thin-film structures. This work is motivated by the recognition that unusual physical phenomena occur in restricted dimensions and at planar interfaces. Hebard was born in New York City and grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut. He graduated in 1962 from nearby Yale University with a BA degree in physics and then earned his PhD in 1971 at Stanford University searching for free quarks residing on magnetically suspended superconducting spheres. After a two-year postdoctoral assignment at Stanford, Hebard joined AT&T Bell Telephone Labs where he remained for 23 years working on a variety of thin-film projects before joining the faculty of the physics department at the University of Florida. Hebard is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and co-recipient of the APS Mcgroddy Prize (2008) for the “discovery of high temperature superconductivity in non-oxide systems” and the APS Oliver E, Buckley prize (2015) for the “discovery and pioneering investigations of the superconductor-insulator transition, a paradigm for quantum phase transitions.”

Research Interests

The underlying theme in Arthur Hebard’s research encompasses physical phenomena that emerge when solid-state thin films or thin-film interfaces become thin enough to be dominated by interactions unique to two dimensions (2D). At AT&T Bell Laboratories (1972-1996) Hebard’s collaborative work included the development of a two-coil technique to measure the magnetic penetration length of 2D superconductors, the study of the Kosterlitz-Thouless 2D vortex-unbinding transition, the characterization of a new magnetic field driven 2D superconductor-insulator quantum phase transition, and the discovery of superconductivity in alkali-metal-doped carbon sixty (C60), both in bulk and in 2D. Hebard’s work at the University of Florida (1996-present) addresses the effect of disorder on electrical transport in transition metal thin-film ferromagnets, ultimately revealing a well-defined critical disorder separating metallic from insulating states. Related projects include the study of magnetotransport and multiferroicity in thin-film complex oxides and, more recently, the use of transport and capacitance techniques to study interfaces between 2D materials with conventional semiconductors. The sensitivity of such interfaces to superconducting and charge density wave phase transitions promise new physical understanding along with possible technical applications.

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