Rutgers Center for Emergent Materials


The Rutgers Center for Emergent Materials supports inter-institutional collaborative research programs on scientifically important and technologically relavent materials among Rutgers University, NJIT and industrial laboratories throughout New Jersey. RCEM also fosters interdisciplinary education for postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students as well as high school students.

Latest news



  • 1June

    With support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Rutgers University, Center for Quantum Materials Synthesis (cQMS) has been founded and will explore transformative "active wafer" projects by synergistically combining the expertise of single crystal growths of novel materials and those of advanced thin film growths via PLD and MBE techniques.

    cQMS will accommodate visitors through a visitor program to work on the active wafer projects or ones closely related to the active wafer projects. Proposals are welcome. For more information:

  • 2016


    • 3September

      Symposium on Quantum Materials Synthesis (QMS) 2016, Group picture
      • 29July

        • 24May

          Symposium on Quantum Materials Synthesis 2016: Grand Challenges and Opportunities
          August 30th - September 1st, 2016
        • It is our pleasure to announce the Symposium on Quantum Materials Synthesis (QMS) (, which will take place on August 30-September 1, 2016 in the World Trade Center, Manhattan, New York, USA.

          The QMS symposium is primarily sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and will be focused on transformative questions framed around cutting edge challenges for quantum materials synthesis and fabrication. We plan to discuss new synthesis techniques for bulk materials, thin films and heterostructures and application of advanced characterization probes. One of the prime goals for the symposium is to establish innovative and strongly collaborative network between premier research institutions including CIFAR (Canada), EPiQS (USA), IBS (Korea), IOP CAS (China), MPI (Germany), Topo-Q (Japan), and the universities around the world, involved in materials synthesis.

          The plenary talk will be given by Prof. Shuji Nakamura (Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014) – one of discoverers of blue LED. The QMS symposium will feature 37 invited speakers and a poster session, with anticipated 50 -70 additional registered participants. The participation of early career researchers and Ph.D. students is highly encouraged.

          Among unique aspects of QMS'16 is its strong emphasis on promoting discussions and free exchange of ideas among all of the participants, so we will have three extensive discussion sessions on the topics of: "Materials for room-temperature dissipationless conductors", "Charged Interfaces: the mechanism of charge compensation" and "Topological and other cleavable quantum materials: Bottlenecks and Prospects".

          We very much hope that you will join us for the exciting gathering by registering for the symposium at

          On behalf of the QMS Symposium Organizing Committee:
          Sang-W. Cheong, Seongshik Oh, and Jak Chakhalian

          For more information:




          • 12Dec

            Nature Physics Cover Article:
          • "Topological defects as relics of emergent continuous symmetry and Higgs condensation of disorder in ferroelectrics"
          • It is often said that an open mind can see a universe in a drop of water. In science, a poetic phrase sometimes becomes reality. In our work, we were able to study the laws governing such disparate phenomena as evolution of the early Universe, superfluidity, and exotic superconductivity in a piece of a solid material called manganite. Our samples are ferroelectric, i.e. they exhibit spontaneous electric polarization that might vary from place to place, breaking the samples into domains. The domains can organize into topological entities called vortices (similar to a vortex in a liquid). Such topological entities form in cosmological structures, in particle physics, and in solids. They are governed by a similar "universal" law, and a study of a ferroelectric, for example, can elucidate the characteristics of the early Universe.

            Topological vortices are often elusive and difficult to study (think the early Universe). We have discovered an ingenious and effective way of freezing and subsequently imaging the topological vortices in ferroelectric manganites, and studied the dynamics associated with their formation. We found that it is in close agreement with the well-known Kibble-Zurek mechanism, which was developed to describe topological defects such as monopoles or cosmic strings that influence the evolution of the early Universe.

            Even if a single phenomenon is chosen from the proverbial drop of water, it can be seen differently by different people. A flock of flying geese can be also viewed as a school of fish in an M. C. Escher's artwork. Such "duality" has fascinated people for centuries. In our studies, we constructed such a dual vision of the vortices in our ferroelectric sample, and tested it in experiments. We described the same phenomena using the language of emergence of the ferroelectric order at low temperatures (one description), and also in the language of condensation of the disorder associated with vortices taking over the sample, spanning their entire length, and destroying the order (the dual description). Thus, one event was seen from two entirely different sides - the order and the disorder sides - as also often found in the works of art. Not surprisingly, such a broadened view allows seeing more: the vortices in our samples, exotic superfluids, and even the recently discovered Higgs boson (an elementary particle) can be described in a similar language. Studying one therefore means understanding another. Quite a feat for an unassuming little chunk of solid matter called manganite!

                                                                                                                          --Sang-Wook Cheong and Valery Kiryukhin, Rutgers

          • For more reading: Ferroelectrics in a twist

            • 12Aug

              Professor Sang-Wook Cheong among "The Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014"
            • Sang Wook-Cheong is listed by Thomson-Reuters as among "The Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014." This list, which is comprised of 21 field of science and is available at, notes: "Highly Cited Researchers 2014 represents some of world's leading scientific minds ... researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers - ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact."
            • Sang-Wook notes that his former PhD student, Yew San Hor, currently an assistant professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is also on the list.