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Lian Li

Robert L. Carroll Professor of Physics


304-293-4270 White Hall, Room 233

Categorized As

Role: Faculty,
Research Area: Condensed Matter Physics,

Condensed Matter Physics


Prof. Li’s research unveils structure and property relationships of condensed matter at the atomic scale. Current interests are the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of Dirac materials (e.g., graphene, topological insulators, and Wey semimetals), Fe-based superconductors, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, and application of in situ low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to gain new insights into these quantum phases of matter from the interplay of strain, proximity, correlations, and spin-orbit interactions. The research is currently supported by grants from NSF and DOE. 


Prof. Li received his BSc in Physics from Yunnan University, China in 1983, and MSc in the same field from Tongji University, China in 1987, and PhD in Solid State Physics from Arizona State University in 1995. He received a Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to conduct research at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Japan from 1995 to 1996, and held a staff research associate position at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1996 to 1999. He joined the Physics department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as an Assistant Professor in 1999, and was promoted to full Professor in 2007. He joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University as Robert L. Carroll Professor of Physics in 2016. Prof. Li received the E. W. Müller Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the International Field Emission Society (1996) and NSF CAREER Award (2001). 

Selected Recent Publications

·       “Light induced nonvolatile switching of superconductivity in single layer FeSe on SrTiO3 substrate” M. Yang, C. Yan, Y. Ma, L. Li, and C. Cen, Nature Communications 10, (2019), article 85. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08024-w

·       “Direct comparison of current-induced spin polarization in topological insulator Bi2Se3 and InAs Rashba states,” C.H. Li, O.M.J. van ‘t Erve, S. Rajput, L. Li, and B. T. Jonker, Nature Communications 7, (2016), article 13518. DOI:10.1038/ncomms13518.

·       “Tuning Dirac states by strain in the topological insulator Bi2Se3” (cover article), Y. Liu, Y. Y. Li, S. Rajput, D. Gilks, L. Lari, P. L. Galindo, M. Weinert, V. K. Lazarov, and L. Li, Nature Physics 10, (2014), 294–299. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2898.

·       “Direct experimental determination of onset of electron-electron interactions in gap opening of zigzag graphene nanoribbons,” Y. Y. Li, M. X. Chen, M. Weinert, and L. Li, Nature Communications 5, (2014), article 4311. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5311.

·       “Electrical detection of charge-current-induced spin polarization due to spin-momentum locking in Bi2Se3,” C. H. Li, O. M. J. van ‘t Erve, J. T. Robinson, Y. Liu, L. Li, and B. T. Jonker, Nature Nanotechnology 9, (2014), 218–224. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.16.

·       “Spatial fluctuations in barrier height at the graphene-silicon carbide Schottky junction,” S. Rajput, M. Chen, Y. Liu, Y. Y. Li, M. Weinert, and L. Li, Nature Communications 4, (2013), article 2752. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3752.

·       “Charging Dirac states at antiphase domain boundaries in the three-dimensional topological insulator Bi2Se3” (cover article), Y. Liu, Y. Y. Li, D. Gilks, V. K. Lazarov, M. Weinert, and L. Li, Physical Review Letters 110, (2013), 186804. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.186804.

·       “Spiral growth without dislocations: Molecular beam epitaxy of the topological insulator Bi2Se3 on epitaxial graphene/SiC(0001),” Y. Liu, M. Weinert, and L. Li, Physical Review Letters 108, (2012), 115501. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.115501.

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