Matteo Mitrano selected for 2019 LCLS Young Investigator Award

Siv Schwink for Illinois Physics

Illinois Physics Postdoctoral Researcher Matteo Mitrano
Illinois Physics Postdoctoral Researcher Matteo Mitrano
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign physics postdoctoral researcher Matteo Mitrano has received the 2019 Young Investigator Award of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University for his pioneering new techniques to probe high-temperature superconductivity.

The early-career award was presented to Mitrano on September 26 at the 2019 SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting in Menlo Park, CA. The awardee is selected by the LCLS Users Executive Committee based on nominations from across the user community. 

Mitrano, who has been a member of Illinois Physics Professor Peter Abbamonte’s research group since March 2016, has developed new and innovative techniques in ultrafast X-ray scattering, which he applied in experiments performed at the LCLS X-ray free-electron laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

By using advanced scattering and time-resolved spectroscopy techniques, Mitrano and colleagues have demonstrated how ultrafast laser pulses can control electronic properties, leading to novel functionalities far from equilibrium; and in this way can interrogate ground state properties in new ways. This work led to the observation of light-induced, high-temperature superconductivity in K3C60 following the excitation of intramolecular vibrations (Nature, 2016) and of low-energy diffusive dynamics in charge-ordered cuprates (Science Advances, 2019).

Read more about that research in the Illinois Physics news story.

Read more about Mitrano’s work at LCLS in the SLAC news story.

Matteo Mitrano (right) and the Abbamonte team at SLAC
Matteo Mitrano (right) and the Abbamonte team at SLAC
Mitrano received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics, cum laude, at the Sapienza University of Rome in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He obtained his doctoral degree. summa cum laude (“mit Auszeichnung”) from the University of Hamburg in 2015, having performed doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter.

Mitrano is a recipient of the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2017-2019). In 2019, he became affiliated with Harvard University, where he will become assistant professor of physics in June 2020.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is funded by the US Department of Energy.


Recent News

  • Accolades
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This honor is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early career researchers. 

This year’s Illinois recipients are physics professor Barry Bradlyn and electrical and computer engineering professor Zhizhen Zhao.

  • Accolades
  • Biological Physics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Physics Professor Paul Selvin has been awarded the 2020 Gregorio Weber Award for Excellence in Fluorescence Theory and Applications of the Biological Fluorescence Subgroup of the Biophysical Society. The award is endowed by the ISS (Instrumenzione Scientificia Sperimentale). ISS, located in Champaign, IL, designs and manufactures highly sensitive fluorescence and biomedical instrumentation for research, clinical, and industrial applications.

Named for Illinois Biochemistry Professor Gregorio Weber, a pioneer in the development of both the theory and the application of fluorescence techniques in biology and biochemistry, this award recognizes distinguished individuals who have made original and significant contributions to the field of fluorescence.

Selvin has developed ground-breaking fluorescence instrumentation and techniques at the intersection of physics and biochemistry, shedding new light on the properties and behaviors of biomolecules in living cells. Early in his career, he devised the lanthanide resonance energy transfer (LRET) technique to investigate the chemical properties and structural dynamics of DNA systems. The LRET technique, which offered a 100-fold improvement in signal-to-background resolution over conventional techniques, is now widely used by the pharmaceutical industry for drug discovery.

  • Research
  • Condensed Matter Physics

An international team of scientists has discovered an exotic new form of topological state in a large class of 3D semi-metallic crystals called Dirac semimetals. The researchers developed extensive mathematical machinery to bridge the gap between theoretical models with forms of “higher-order” topology (topology that manifests only at the boundary of a boundary) and the physical behavior of electrons in real materials.