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Yong P. Chen

NOTE: E-mail addresses end with

Yong Chen
57,61,B76A (Lab)
BRK 1087B
(765) 494-0947
(765) 496-3059

(on sabbatical 2021) (also Villum Investigator and Professor at Aarhus Univ.)

Purdue Research Group Website


B.Sc. Xi´an Jiaotong University (1996)
M.Sc MIT (1999)
Ph.D. Princeton (2005)

Research Areas:

  • condensed matter physics (experimental)
  • atomic, molecular and optical physics (experimental)
  • nanoscience and nanotechnology
Research Interests:

My lab exploits quantum physics to manipulate electrons, atoms, spins and photons in various materials and artificial systems, with the aim to uncover novel quantum phenomena and new states of matter, and to explore applications in quantum devices (such as quantum information and quantum computation devices), nanotechnology (such as nanoelectronics and nanosensors) and energy.

Research interests include:

  • graphene and 2D materials
  • topological insulators, topological superconductivity and other topological materials/quantum states
  • spintronics and magnetism
  • nano and quantum photonics
  • atomic Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC), with synthetic gauge fields and spin-orbit coupling
  • laser manipulation of atoms and molecules, cold atoms, molecules and spectroscopy

Selected Awards

  • Karl Lark-Horovitz Professorship, Purdue University (2019)
  • Villum Investigator, Velux Foundation (2019)
  • Fellow of American Physical Society (APS) (2016)
  • Masao Horiba Award Honorable Mention in Nanoparticle Measurement (2015)
  • University Faculty Scholar (2013)
  • IBM Faculty Award (2009)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2009-2014)
  • DTRA Young Investigator Award (2009-2011)
  • Miller Family Endowed Assistant Professorship in Nanoscience, Purdue University (2007-2012)
  • J. Evan Attwell-Welch Fellowship in Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University (2005-2007)
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Author Best Paper Award in Semiconductor Physics (2004)
  • Sir Gordon Wu Fellowship in Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University (1999-2003)
  • Applied Mathematics Fellowship and Y. T. Li Fellowship, MIT (1997-1998)

Professional Experiences:

  • Karl Lark-Horovitz Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University (2019-)
  • Villum Investigator and part-time Professor, Aarhus University (2020-)
  • Principal Investigator, WPI-Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (2017-)
  • Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University (2016-)
  • Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University (2012-2016)
  • Miller Family Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University (2007-2012)
  • Assistant Professor Courtesy and Graduate Faculty, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University (2007-2012)
  • J. Evans Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University (2005-2007)
  • National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, FL (2002-2005)
  • Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Grenoble, France (summer 2000)
  • IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Switzerland (summer 1998, summer 1999)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)

Selected Professional and Scholarly Activities:

  • Governance Advisory Board, Quantum Science Center, a DOE Quantum Informational Science Center under National Quantum Initiative 
  • Associate Editor, AVS Quantum Science (AQS), American Institute of Physics
  • Editorial Board, Science Bulletin, Elsevier
  • Commissioner C-8, IUPAP (International Union for Pure and Applied Physics)

Selected Recent Publications (first authored by students or postdocs)

Condensed matter/nano physics (topological insulators, graphene):

  1. Morteza Kayyalha [former PhD student, now Assistant Professor of EE in PSU] et al., "Anomalous low-temperature enhancement of supercurrent in topological-insulator nanoribbon Josephson junctions: evidence for low-energy Andreev bound states", Physical Review Letters 122, 047003 (2019)
  2. Biddut Sarker [former postdoc, now at Inficon] et al., "Position dependent and millimeter-range photodetection in phototransistors with micron-scale graphene on SiC", Nature Nanotechnology 12, 668 (2017)
  3. Jifa Tian [former postdoc, now Assistant Professor of Physics in Univ. Wyoming] et al., "Observation of current-induced, long-lived persistent spin polarization in a topological insulator: a rechargeable spin battery", Science Advances 3, e1602531 (2017)
  4. Luis Jauregui [former PhD student, now Assistant Professor of Physics at UC-Irvine] et al., "Magnetic field induced helical mode and topological transitions in a quasi-ballistic topological insulator nanoribbon with circumferentially quantized surface state sub-bands", Nature Nanotechnology 11, 345 (2016)
  5. Ting-Fung Chung [former PhD student, now postdoc at UC Berkeley] et al., "Optical Phonons in Twisted Bilayer Graphene with Gate-Induced Asymmetric Doping", Nano Letters 15, 1203 (2015)
  6. Yang Xu [former PhD student, now postdoc at Cornell] et al., "Observation of topological surface state quantum Hall effect in an intrinsic three-dimensional topological insulator", Nature Physics 10, 956 (2014)

Cold Atom Physics (Spin-orbit-coupled BEC; Photoassociation Quantum Chemistry):

  1. Chuan-Hsun Li [former PhD student, now postdoc] et al., "Spin Current Generation and Relaxation in a Quenched Spin-Orbit Coupled Bose-Einstein Condensate", Nature Communications 10, 375 (2019)
  2. David B. Blasing [former PhD student, now at IPG Photonics] et al., "Observation of Quantum Interference and Coherent Control in a Photo-Chemical Reaction", Physical Review Letters 121, 073202 (2018)
  3. Abraham Olson [former PhD student, now at Beckman Coulter] et al., "Tunable Landau-Zener transitions in a spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensate", Physical Review A 90, 013616 (2014)
  4. Sourav Dutta [former PhD student, now Assistant Professor of Physics in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research] et al., "Photoassociation of ultracold LiRb* molecules: observation of high efficiency and unitarity-limited rate saturation", Physical Review A, Rapid Communications, 89, 020702(R) (2014)

Google Scholar Publications List
List of All Publications

Positions Open:

[New!] Postdoc Openings in Quantum Sciences!: Currently targeting the following background and expertise :

  1. Experimental quantum devices, quantum computing or quantum sensing (esp. superconducting quantum devices and qubits, NV centers,  etc.);
  2. Experimental cold atom physics or quantum optics. 
  3. Experimental nuclear/particle physics with expertise on radiation-matter interaction.


Email CV with list of publications and names of 3 references to


Highly motivated students/postdocs are welcome to contact me about research opportunities in our Quantum Matter and Devices Lab. 

Current Purdue graduate or undergraduate students: Email me and make an appointment.

Prospective graduate students:

Physics Admissions or ECE Admissions Guide.

Summer research internship for undergraduate students:

Physics REU (US citizens/permanent residents only), or SURF (open to all students, including internationals).

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2024 12:28 AM

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