Nadya Mason

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow Professor in Physics


Nadya Mason

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
2010 Superconductivity Center

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

Fall 2020PHYS 496
Fall 2019PHYS 496
Spring 2015PHYS 598
Spring 2011PHYS 214

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Nadya Mason (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), former chair of the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics, and Ed Bertschinger (MIT), co-chair of the AIP National Task Force to Elevate African American representation in Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy (TEAM-UP) moderated the session, which featured eight speakers in three sections. The first section focused on motivations, or reflections on why diversity is valuable, with remarks from Michelle Lollie (Louisiana State University), Brian Shuve (Harvey Mudd College), and Arlene Modeste Knowles (American Institute of Physics). Next, Brian Nord (Fermilab), Jessica Esquivel (Fermilab), and Risa Wechsler (Stanford University) discussed what actions individual physicists can—and should—take to effect change and confront barriers to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive physics community. Lance Cooper (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Gina Quan (San Jose State University) then described actions leadership in can take at an institutional level to improve DEI.

  • Outreach

Curious how stuff works? Do a hands-on experiment at home, says physicist Nadya Mason. She shows how you can demystify the world around you by tapping into your scientific curiosity—and performs a few onstage experiments of her own using magnets, dollar bills, dry ice and more.