Vidya Madhavan



Vidya Madhavan

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
1018 Seitz Materials Research Lab


Professor Madhavan received her bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering in 1991 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and a master of technology degree in solid state materials in 1993 from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. She held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, Berkeley from 1999 to 2002, before joining the physics faculty at Boston College in 2002. She joined the faculty at Illinois in 2014 as a full professor.

Research Interests

  • Word maps from a two papers on topological insulators and iridates, respectively
  • Examples of materials systems of interest: Cuprates, Iridates, Selinides, Tellurides, Pnictides
  • Quantum materials such as unconventional superconductors, topological superconductors, correlated oxides, topological crystalline insulators, transition metal dichalcogenides Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM), Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)

Research Statement

Professor Madhavan investigates fundamental problems in quantum materials where interactions between the spin, charge, and structural degrees of freedom lead to emergent phenomena. She uses the tools of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), spin-polarized STM (SP-STM) and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) to unravel the mysteries of complex systems at the atomic scale. Her group carries out challenging, high-risk experiments, wherein the possibility of discovering new phenomena is high. Her team's recent work has focused on STM studies of complex oxides and thin films of topological materials.


  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2015 (2015)
  • 2007 NSF CAREER Award, 2007 (2007)

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Ilija Zeljkovic, Daniel Walkup, Badih Assaf, Kane L Scipioni, R. Sankar, Fangcheng Chou, Vidya Madhavan, Strain engineering Dirac surface states in heteroepitaxial topological crystalline insulator thin films, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 849–853 (2015)
  • Ilija Zeljkovic, Kane L Scipioni, Daniel Walkup, Yoshinori Okada, Wenwen Zhou, R. Sankar, Guoqing Chang, Yung Jui Wang, Hsin Lin, Arun Bansil, Fangcheng Chou, Ziqiang Wang and Vidya Madhavan, Nanoscale Determination of the Mass Enhancement Factor in the Lightly-Doped Bulk Insulator Lead Selenide, Nature Communications 6, 6559 (2015)
  • Ilija Zeljkovic, Yoshinori Okada, Maksym Serbyn,R. Sankar, Daniel Walkup, Wenwen Zhou, Junwei Liu, G.Chang, Yung Jui Wang, M. Zahid Hasan, Fangcheng Chou, Hsin Lin, A. Bansil, Liang Fu and V. Madhavan, Dirac mass generation from crystal symmetry breaking on the surfaces of topological crystalline insulators, Nature Materials 14, 318–324 (2015)
  • Ilija Zeljkovic, Yoshinori Okada,Cheng-Yi Huang, R. Sankar, Daniel Walkup, Wenwen Zhou, Maksym Serbyn, Fangcheng Chou, Wei-Feng Tsai, Hsin Lin, A. Bansil, Liang Fu, M. Zahid Hasan and V. Madhavan, Mapping the unconventional orbital texture in topological crystalline insulators, Nature Physics 10, 572–577 (2014)
  • Chetan Dhital, Tom Hogan, Wenwen Zhou, Xiang Chen, Zhensong Ren, Mani Pokharel, Yoshinori Okada,M. Heine, Wei Tian, Z. Yamani, C. Opeil,J. S. Helton, J. W. Lynn, Ziqiang Wang, V. Madhavan, and Stephen D. Wilson, Doping a spin-orbit driven Mott phase in Sr3(Ir1-xRux)2O7 – Mott blocking, electronic inhomogeneity, localized and itinerant antiferromagnetism, Nature Communications 5, 3377 (2014) 
  • Yoshinori Okada, Daniel Walkup, Hsin Lin, Chetan Dhital, Tay-Rong Chang, Sovit Khadka, Wenwen Zhou, Horng-Tay Jeng, Arun Bansil, Ziqiang Wang, Stephen Wilson, V. Madhavan, Imaging the evolution of metallic states in a spin-orbit interaction driven correlated iridate, Nature Materials12, 707-713 (2013)
  • Yoshinori Okada, Maksym Serbyn, H. Lin, Daniel Walkup, W. Zhou, C. Dhital, Madhab Neupane, Suyang Xu, Yung Jui Wang, R. Sankar, F. Chou, Arun Bansil, M. Zahid Hasan, Stephen D. Wilson, Liang Fu and V. Madhavan, Observation of Dirac node formation and mass acquisition in a topological crystalline insulator, Science 341, 1496-1499 (2013)

Related news

  • 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.

  • Accolades

Three Physics Illinois faculty members—Professors Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, Vidya Madhavan, and Brian DeMarco—have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society. Election to Fellowship is a distinct honor that recognizes significant contributions to the field, including outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.