Two-dimensional van der Waals crystals hold great promise for future devices due to their atomically thin nature and the consequent unique emergent physics. Furthermore, their pristine crystal lattices should make them extraordinarily robust to external stresses such as strain. My research focuses on developing new ways to apply strain to 2D materials to drive phase transitions which can be harnessed for future device applications. For example, applying strain to atomically thin magnets to drive magnetic phase transitions. This research could enable energy-efficient, ultrathin memory bits which can be written purely by an applied voltage to the strain cell.
Advisor: Xiaodong Xu – Physics