Dr. Li is an outstanding young experimental condensed matter physicist who has made seminal contributions to quantum correlated physics in novel phases of materials. This work included studies of magnetically ordered and superconducting oxide interfaces, phase transitions between Dirac electron states in elemental Bismuth, and Nernst effect and high resolution magnetization studies of fluctuating vortex states in high temperature superconductors above their critical temperatures. Dr. Li developed innovative experimental tools, in particular new torque magnetometry techniques, with significant gains in sensitivity to explore crucial signatures of these novel phenomena in new materials at low temperatures and in high magnetic fields, which brought this science to fruition.
Dr. Li’s research lies in the bridge of two fruitful fields of interface engineering and quantum correlated materials. A well-known example of quantum-correlated materials is the high temperature superconductor, in which dominating strong interactions bring promise to the goal of electricity transfer without energy loss. Interface engineering is at the heart of current rapidly paced technology development, such as transistors in computer chips, solid-state lasers, and solar panels. Dr. Li’s major contribution is to develop and extend conventional magnetometry techniques to these unconventional materials. He made the technique working not only for single atomic layered interface, but in extreme conditions such as in temperatures colder than negative 459 Fahrenheit and in magnetic fields 1 million times more powerful than the Earth's magnetic field.
Dr. Li joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2011, following his graduate work with Professor Ong at Princeton University and his postdoctoral work as a Pappalardo Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professor Ashoori.
Dr. Li will be presented with the prize at the Oxford Instruments “Socialize with Science” event at the APS2013 March show in Baltimore, USA on the 19th of March.
Professor Bruce Gaulin from Mc Master University and Prize Committee Chairman commented, “ Dr. Li’s breakthroughs in sensitivity of magnetometry using torque techniques allowed him and his collaborators access to a wealth of exciting new science emanating from exotic quantum states of matter. He is a most deserving recipient of the 2013 Lee Osheroff Richardson Prize”.
Issued for and on behalf of Oxford the Lee Osheroff Richardson North American Science Prize, endorsed by the British Embassy Washington DC, is named after David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff and Robert C. Richardson who were joint winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996, for their discovery of superfluidity in 3He. The prize winner receives $8000, a unique trophy and certificate and the opportunity to present their work at a conference. Nominations are assessed by a committee of senior scientists from across North America.