Ali Yazdani

Princeton University

Primary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type: Member (elected 2019)


Ali Yazdani is the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He studies correlated and topological quantum phenomena in materials, in particular focusing on direct visualization of such quantum phenomena using atomic scale tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. He was born in Tehran, Iran and lived there before emigrating to California in the early '80s. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1989 with a bachelor?s degree in physics and received a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University in 1995. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Yazdani started his career as a faculty member at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. In 2005, he  joined the faculty in Princeton University's Department of Physics. Yazdani also serves as the director of the Princeton Center for Complex Materials. He is a fellow of American Physical Society, American Association for Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Yazdani's research interest focuses on emergent quantum phenomena, primarily those that arise because of the interaction between electrons or the topological properties of their wavefunctions in materials. Such phenomena are at frontiers of expanding our understanding of quantum materials. His laboratory specializes in the development and application of atomic scale microscopy and spectroscopy to visualize and characterize the nature of such correlated and topological quantum states with high spatial and energy resolution. By applying this research approach, he has had breakthroughs in understanding correlated electronic states in high-Tc cuprate superconductors, heavy fermion systems, disordered semiconductors, and various topological semimetals and insulators. His recent work has focused on creating novel one-dimensional structures in which topological superconducting phases can form, utilizing atomic scale measurement techniques to directly detect signatures of localized Majorana quasiparticles at the ends of such systems. His lab also develops new microscopy and spectroscopy tools with which quantum phenomena in materials can be examined with high spatial and energy resolution.

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