Nadya Mason



Nadya Mason

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
2010 Materials Research Lab

For more information


Professor Nadya Mason received her bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University in 1995 and received her doctorate in physics in 2001 from Stanford University, working in the group of Aharon Kapitulnik. Her thesis research was on phase transitions in two-dimensional superconductors.

Prior to joining the physics faculty at Illinois, Professor Mason was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, where she collaborated with Professors Charles Marcus and Michael Tinkham on projects related to both carbon nanotubes and nanostructured superconductors.

Research Statement

SEM images of Nb quantum dots and contacted carbon nanotubes

Professor Mason's research at Illinois focuses on how electrons behave in low-dimensional, correlated materials, where enhanced interactions are expected to give novel results. The research is relevant to a variety of technologies, including quantum communication, information storage, and qubit control in quantum computers.

Professor Mason's current research focuses on the electronic behavior of materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, topological insulators, nanostructured superconductors, and other novel 1D or 2D systems. Typical measurements are of electronic transport at low temperatures. Typical projects include: (i) Tunneling experiments in carbon nanotubes, to study unusual correlated states such as Luttinger liquids, (ii) Studying emergent transport behavior of hybrid systems, e.g., superconductor-graphene, superconductor-toplogical insulator, graphene-PZT, and (iii) Creating planar arrays of superconducting islands, to control and understand collective phenomena in them.

Research Honors

  • Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, 2012
  • Center for Advanced Study Fellow, 2011-2012
  • Denice Denton Emerging Leader Award, 2009
  • Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow 2008-2009
  • Diverse Magazine "Emerging Scholar" 2008
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2007-2012
  • Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows 2002-2005

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Spring 2015PHYS 598
Spring 2011PHYS 214

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • In the News

Physics Professor Nadya Mason has been selected for the 2018-19 Defense Science Study Group (DSSG). The DSSG is a program of education and study that introduces outstanding science and engineering professors to United States’ security challenges and encourages the scholars to apply their talents to these issues.
“It’s a great honor to have been selected for the 2018 DSSG class,” Mason shares. “I’m excited about the unique opportunity to learn more about our nation’s security issues and the technical challenges that face us…and the geek in me also looks forward to seeing some cool airplanes, ships and submarines!”

  • In the Media

Mason says, “there are so few of us, people get the impression that we are like unicorns – either non-existent or magical.” We are far from non-existent, but I find women of color to be quite magical. However, as Jesse Williams says, “Just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.”