Dr. Mao received his B.S. in Physics from Nanjing Normal University in China, and his Ph. D degree in Physics from University of Science and Technology of China in 1992. After his postdoc training at Kyoto University in Japan and Pennsylvania State University, he was recruited as an assistant professor in 2002 to Tulane University, where he rose to the rank of full professor in physics in 2009 and held an endowed professorship from 2011-2018. He served as the chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics from 2011-2014. He joined Pennsylvania State University as a full professor in July 2018.
He has been awarded the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award in 2017, the NSF Career Award in 2007, the Cottrell Scholar Award in 2005, and the Tulane President Early Career Development Award in 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2015. Currently he is the bulk growth lead of the 2D Crystal Consortium (2DCC)-Materials Innovation Platform funded by the NSF. Dr. Mao has published 380 peer-reviewed papers, including 57 papers in high impact journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Physical Review X, Physical Review Letters, etc. His published papers have been widely cited, with the citation h-index of 58.
This faculty member is associated with the Penn State Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) in Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) where a multitude of perspectives and cross-disciplinary collaboration within research is highly valued. Graduate students in the IGDP in MatSE may work with faculty members from across Penn State.
Dr. Mao’s research interests lie in synthesis and study of quantum materials, including topological materials, low-dimensional materials, nonlinear optical materials, unconventional superconductors, and strongly correlated oxides. His group not only grows bulk single crystals of various quantum materials, but also performs various measurements to study the physics of quantum materials. For crystal growth, his group primarily uses the optical floating-zone, flux, chemical vapor transport and Bridgman methods. Besides material synthesis, his group also performs electronic transport, magnetization and specific heat measurements to characterize and understand electronic, magnetic and thermodynamic properties of quantum materials. His group also performs high-field measurements at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to seek new quantum phenomena under high magnetic fields. Furthermore, Mao has also established extensive collaborations with research at other institutions and National Laboratories to study quantum materials using other techniques such as neutron scattering and photoemission spectroscopy.
His recent research activities are more focused on topological materials, including topological insulators, Dirac and Weyl semimetals. These new classes of quantum materials all feature relativistic fermions with linear energy dispersion that can be described by Dirac or Weyl equation. The unique topological properties of the electronic band structures of topological materials not only result in distinct transport properties such as high carrier mobility and large magnetoresistance, but also provide access to fascinating exotic quantum states of technological relevance such as the quantum anomalous Hall insulator which can support dissipationless current. As such, topological materials hold great promise for applications in information technology. The objective of Dr. Mao’s research in this area is to discover novel topological materials and understand their exotic quantum phenomena through bulk single crystal growth, magnetotransport and quantum oscillation measurements.
His representative work in this area includes demonstrations of a long-sought ideal time reversal symmetry breaking type-II Weyl semimetal (Physical Review X 2021), spin-valley locking and three-dimensional quantum Hall effect in a non-centrosymmetric Dirac semimetal BaMnSb2 (Nature Communications 2021), a ferromagnetic Weyl semimetal Co2MnAl (Nature Communications, 2020), noncollinear spin structure-induced intrinsic anomalous Hall effect in antiferromagnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4 [Phys. Rev. Research 1, 012011(R) (2019)], unusual interlayer quantum transport behavior caused by the zeroth Landau level in a Weyl semimetal YbMnBi2 [Nature Communications 8, 646 (2017)], topological nodal-line fermions in ZrSiSe and ZrSiTe [Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 016602 (2016)], as well as discovery of a magnetic topological semimetal Sr1-yMn1-zSb2 [Nature Materials 16, 905 (2017)].
In addition to topological materials, Dr. Mao is also developing several other research directions which aim to discover novel nonlinear optical materials, novel superconductors, 2D magnetic materials with non-centrosymmetric/chiral structures, catalytical and high-entropy materials through collaborations with other professors in Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry Departments.
Total publications in peer-reviewed journals: 380. The total citation count exceeds 15,320 with H-index = 58 (Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=gf-h3EUAAAAJ&hl=en ); 32 in PRLs, 1 in PRX, 4 in Nature, 5 in Nature Materials, 3 in Nature Physics, 1 in Nature Nanotechnology, 10 in Nature Communications, 1 in Science)
Selected publications (*corresponding authors):
- Transport evidence for a magnetic-field induced Weyl state in antiferromagnetic topological insulator
Seng Huat Lee, Yanglin Zhu, Hemian Yi, David Graf, Rabindra Basnet, Arash Fereidouni, Aaron Wegner, Yi-Fan Zhao, Lujin Min, Katrina Verlinde, Jingyang He, Ronald Redwing, Hugh OH Churchill, Nitin Samarth, Cui-Zu Chang, Jin Hu, and Z.Q. Mao*
Phys. Rev. X, 2021 (accepted), arXiv:2002.10683
- Spin-valley locking and bulk quantum Hall effect in a noncentrosymmetric Dirac semimetal BaMnSb2
J.Y. Liu, J. Yu, J.L. Ning, H.M. Yi, L. Miao, L.J. Min, Y.F. Zhao, W. Ning, K.A. Lopez, Y.L. Zhu, T. Pillsbury, Y. B. Zhang, Y. Wang, J. Hu, H.B. Cao, B. C. Chakoumakos, F. Balakirev, F. Weickert, M. Jaime, Y. Lai, Kun Yang, J.W. Sun, N. Alem, V. Gopalan, C.Z. Chang, N. Samarth, C.X. Liu*, R.D. McDonald*, Z.Q. Mao*
Nature Communications, 2021 (accepted).
- Giant room temperature anomalous Hall effect and tunable topology in a ferromagnetic topological semimetal Co2MnAl,
Peigang Li, Jahyun Koo, Wei Ning, Jinguo Li, Leixin Miao, Lujin Min, Yanglin Zhu, Yu Wang, Nasim Alem, Chao-Xing Liu, Z.Q. Mao*, Binghai Yan*,
Nature Communications 11, 3476 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17174-9
- Electronic correlations in nodal-line semimetals,
Yinming Shao, AN Rudenko, Jin Hu, Zhiyuan Sun, Yanglin Zhu, Seongphill Moon, AJ Millis, Shengjun Yuan, AI Lichtenstein, Dmitry Smirnov,
Z.Q. Mao, MI Katsnelson, DN Basov
Nature Physics 16, 636 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-020-0859-z
- Ultrasound evidence for a two-component superconducting order parameter in Sr2RuO4,
S. Benhabib, C. Lupien, I. Paul, L. Berges, M. Dion, M. Nardone, A Zitouni,
Z.Q. Mao, Y Maeno, A Georges, L Taillefer, C Proust,
Nature Physics 17, 194 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-020-1033-3
- Spin scattering and noncollinear spin structure-induced intrinsic anomalous Hall effect in antiferromagnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4
Seng Huat Lee, Yanglin Zhu, Yu Wang, Leixin Miao, Timothy Pillsbury, Hemian Yi,
Susan Kempinger, Jin Hu, Colin A. Heikes, P. Quarterman, William Ratcliff,
Julie A. Borchers, Heda Zhang, Xianglin Ke, David Graf, Nasim Alem, Cui-Zu Chang, Nitin Samarth, and Z.Q. Mao*
Phys. Rev. Research 1, 012011(R). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.1.012011
- Discovery of a magnetic topological semimetal Sr1-yMn1-zSb2 (y, z < 0.10),
J.Y. Liu, J. Hu, S.M.A. Radmanesh, D.J. Adams, Y.L. Zhu, G.F.
Chen, X. Liu, J. Wei, I. Chiorescu L. Spinu and Z.Q. Mao*,
Nature Materials 16, 905 (2017). https://www.nature.com/articles/nmat4953
- Unusual interlayer quantum transport behavior caused by the zeroth Landau level in YbMnBi2
J.Y. Liu, J. Hu*, D. Graf, T. Zou, M. Zhu, Y. Shi, S. Che, S.M.A.
Radmanesh, C.N. Lau, L. Spinu, H.B. Cao, X. Ke and Z.Q. Mao*
Nature Communications 8, 646 (2017). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00673-7
- Evidence of Topological Nodal-Line Fermions in ZrSiSe and ZrSiTe,
Jin Hu, Zhijie Tang, Jinyu Liu, Xue Liu, Yanglin Zhu, David Graf, Kevin Myhro, Son Tran, Chun Ning Lau, Jiang Wei, and Z.Q. Mao*
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 016602 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.016602
- Colossal Magnetoresistance in a Mott Insulator via magnetic field-driven insulator-metal transition,
M. Zhu, J. Peng, T. Zou, K. Prokes, S.D. Mahanti, T. Hong, Z.Q. Mao,
G.Q. Liu and X. Ke.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 216401 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.216401
- Drastic pressure effect on the extremely large magnetoresistance in WTe2,
P. L. Cai, J. Hu, L. P. He, J. Pan, X. C. Hong, Z. Zhang, J. Zhang, J. Wei, Z. Q. Mao, S. Y. Li,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 057202 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.057202
- Enhancing Electron Coherence via Quantum Phonon Confinement in Atomically Thin Nb3SiTe6,
J. Hu, X. Liu, C.L. Yue, J.Y. Liu, H.W. Zhu, J. B. He, J. Wei*,
Z.Q. Mao*, L.Yu. Antipina, Z.I. Popov, P.B. Sorokin, T.J. Liu, P.W.
Adams, S.M.A Radmanesh, L. Spinu, H. Ji and D. Natelson,
Nature Physics 11, 471 (2015). https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys3321
- From (pi, 0) magnetic order to superconductivity with (pi, pi) magnetic resonance in Fe1.02(Te1-xSex)
T.J. Liu, J. Hu, B. Qian, D. Fobes, Z.Q. Mao*, W. Bao*, M. Reehuis, S.A.J. Kimber, K. Prokes, S. Matas, D.N. Argyriou, A. Hiess, A. Rotaru, H. Pham, L. Spinu, Y. Qiu, V.Thampy, A.T. Savici, J. A. Rodriguez, and C. Broholm
Nature materials 9, 716 (2010). https://www.nature.com/articles/nmat2800
- Tunable (dp;dp)-type antiferromagnetic order in a-Fe(Te,Se) superconductor
W. Bao, Y. Qiu, Q. Huang, M.A. Green, P. Zajdel, M.R. Fitzsimmons,
M. Zhernenkov, M.H. fang, B. Qian, E.K. Vehstedt, J.H. Yang,
H,M. Pham, L. Spinu, and Z.Q. Mao
Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 247001 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.247001
- Phase separation in the itinerant metamagnetic transition of Sr4Ru3O10,
Z.Q. Mao*, M. Zhou, J. Hooper, V. Golub, and C. J. O'Connor,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 077205 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.077205
- · Tulane University School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award in 2017
- · Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2015
- ·Nicholas J. Altiero Professor in Physics, Tulane University, 2011-2018
- ·Changjiang Lectureship Chair Professor at Nanjing University, 2009-2012.
- ·NSF CAREER award, 2007
- ·Cottrell Scholar Award, Research Corporation, 2005.