Peter Abbamonte

Professor

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Peter Abbamonte

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
104 Materials Research Lab

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Biography

Professor Abbamonte received his Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999, having done his research with the then thriving Materials Physics Department at Bell Laboratories. He then went to the University of Groningen in The Netherlands on an IRFAP fellowship from the National Science Foundation. In 2001, he returned to the U.S. as a postdoc in biophysics at Cornell University, where he studied photosynthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides, and joined the scientific staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2003. He was recruited to the Department of Physics in August of 2005.

Professor Abbamonte is one of the originators of the technique of resonant soft x-ray scattering, which he has used, among other things, to discover a Wigner crystal in doped spin ladders, and to show that stripes in copper-oxide superconductors are charged. This technique is now in use at every major synchrotron facility in the world. He is also known for his solution to the phase problem for inelastic x-ray scattering, permitting real-time imaging of electron motion in condensed matter with attosecond time resolution. He has recently used this approach, for example, to image the formation of excitons in insulators, and to measure the effective fine structure constant of graphene.

Abbamonte is the founder of Inprentus, a premium optics manufacturer based at the University of Illinois Research Park.

Research Interests

  • electron self-organization in condensed matter, stripe phases, topological order; edge and interface effects in oxide devices; quantum phase transitions; collective excitations in interacting electron systems.

Research Statement

See group-maintained web page

Honors

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2014
  • Moore Foundation EPiQS Investigator, 2014-2019
  • University Scholar, 2014
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research, 2010
  • Arnold O. Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study 2008-2009
  • NSF Intl. Research Fellowship, 2000-2001

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

SemesterCourseOutstanding
Fall 2018PHYS 402
Spring 2017PHYS 402
Spring 2016PHYS 402
Spring 2012PHYS 435
Spring 2011PHYS 435
Fall 2010PHYS 487
Spring 2010PHYS 486
Spring 2009PHYS 486
Spring 2007PHYS 101

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • Research
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Condensed Matter Experiment
  • Condensed Matter Theory

One of the greatest mysteries in condensed matter physics is the exact relationship between charge order and superconductivity in cuprate superconductors. In superconductors, electrons move freely through the material—there is zero resistance when it’s cooled below its critical temperature. However, the cuprates simultaneously exhibit superconductivity and charge order in patterns of alternating stripes. This is paradoxical in that charge order describes areas of confined electrons. How can superconductivity and charge order coexist?  

Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, collaborating with scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have shed new light on how these disparate states can exist adjacent to one another. Illinois Physics post-doctoral researcher Matteo Mitrano, Professor Peter Abbamonte, and their team applied a new x-ray scattering technique, time-resolved resonant soft x-ray scattering, taking advantage of the state-of-the-art equipment at SLAC. This method enabled the scientists to probe the striped charge order phase with an unprecedented energy resolution. This is the first time this has been done at an energy scale relevant to superconductivity.

  • Research
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Since the discovery two decades ago of the unconventional topological superconductor Sr2RuO4, scientists have extensively investigated its properties at temperatures below its 1 K critical temperature (Tc), at which a phase transition from a metal to a superconducting state occurs. Now experiments done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Madhavan and Abbamonte laboratories, in collaboration with researchers at six institutions in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and Japan, have shed new light on the electronic properties of this material at temperatures 4 K above Tc. The team’s findings may elucidate yet-unresolved questions about Sr2RuO4’s emergent properties in the superconducting state.

  • Research
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Researchers working to create next-generation electronic systems and to understand the fundamental properties of magnetism and electronics to tackle grand challenges such as quantum computing have a new cutting-edge tool in their arsenal. The Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at Argonne National Laboratory, recently unveiled a new capability: the Intermediate Energy X-ray (IEX) beamline at sector 29.

Using relatively low-energy X-rays, the IEX beamline at the APS will help illuminate electronic ordering and emergent phenomena in ordered materials to better understand the origins of distinct electronic properties. Another important feature for users is a greater ability to adjust X-ray parameters to meet experimental needs.

Currently in commissioning phase, the IEX beamline begins its first user runs in January 2016. With its state-of-the-art electromagnetic insertion device, highly adaptive X-ray optics, and compatible endstation techniques for X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scattering, it opens a new era for X-ray research in sciences ranging from condensed matter physics and materials science to molecular chemistry.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-intermediate-energy-x-ray-beamline.html#jCp

  • Accolades
  • Condensed Matter Physics

On Sundays, News-Gazette staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week: University of Illinois physics professor Peter Abbamonte, who founded Inprentus Precision Optics in 2012 in the UI Research Park. It's the only company in the world making nanotech optics that work with X-ray and extreme ultraviolet light.