New Faculty Profile: Assistant Professor John Harter

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The UCSB Materials Department welcomed Assistant Professor John Harter on July 1 to the Inorganic Materials area of research. Prof. Harter’s research interests are broadly focused on “quantum materials,” such as unconventional superconductors and strongly-correlated electron systems, where the consequences of quantum mechanics manifest in new and interesting ways. His research group aims to characterize and understand the properties of novel materials as well as control and engineer new properties out of existing materials. This “materials by design” paradigm is attractive because of the many roles that certain quantum effects are expected to play in future technologies—such as spintronics and quantum computing—if they can be realized robustly in real materials.

Currently, Prof. Harter is building a state-of-the-art laboratory to conduct cutting-edge quantum materials research using mainly optical techniques, including nonlinear optical spectroscopy, high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, magneto-optical microscopy, and ultrafast time-resolved optical reflectivity. The variety of experimental techniques that Prof. Harter will employ in his lab are powerful tools for studying complex materials, and he is looking for interested, driven, and ambitious graduate students to help build his lab.

The strongly collaborative and interdisciplinary culture of the UCSB Materials Department is a big draw for Prof. Harter. Since he works mainly on materials characterization techniques, he is looking forward to applying those tools to samples grown by the many synthesis groups in the Department. Also, coming primarily from a physics background, he is looking forward to collaborating with Materials colleagues with complementary backgrounds, like chemistry and electrical engineering, with different perspectives on materials research.

Prof. Harter came to UCSB from the California Institute of Technology, where he was a postdoctoral scholar in physics. He received his Ph.D. in experimental physics from Cornell University and his B.S. in physics and mathematics from the University of Florida.

Welcome, Prof. Harter!