The Korea Herald


First Physicist of Chinese Nationality Honored with 2024 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize


Published : Oct. 26, 2023 - 15:11

    • Link copied

Professor Qikun Xue from Tsinghua University and Professor Ashvin Vishwanath from Harvard University won the prize for their innovative breakthroughs in the research in topological quantum materials.

BEIJING, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Professor Qikun Xue, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, professor at Tsinghua University, and president of Southern University of Science and Technology, has been awarded the 2024 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize, the first physicist of Chinese nationality to win this honor. Together with Professor Ashvin Vishwanath from Harvard University, they were recognized "for groundbreaking theoretical and experimental studies on the collective electronic properties of materials that reflect topological aspects of their band structure."

Professor Xue commented, "This achievement is the fruition of China's steady growth in scientific and technological strength and the long-term accumulation of basic scientific research since China's reform and opening up began four decades ago. This honor belongs to every researcher of the team, and to all Chinese scientists."

Professor Qikun Xue is China’s first scientist to win this award in the field of condensed matter physics.
Professor Qikun Xue is China’s first scientist to win this award in the field of condensed matter physics.

Since 2009, Professor Xue has led a collaborative research effort with research groups from Tsinghua University, Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Stanford University to tackle the formidable challenge of experimentally realizing the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect. Overcoming numerous hurdles and setbacks, at the end of 2012, they achieved a significant scientific milestone by becoming the first in the world to experimentally observe the QAH effect in magnetic topological insulators.

Professor Xue's groundbreaking discoveries have significantly advanced the field of physics, pioneering new pathways for global condensed matter research. The practical implications are equally promising, as the QAH effect and its dissipationless edge states hold potential to revolutionize low-energy electronic devices in the future.

In addition to topological quantum materials, Professor Xue is also promoting scientific research and development in the fields of superconductivity and high-temperature superconductivity, which have also received continuous attention from generations of physicists for more than a hundred years.

In 2012, Professor Xue, leading a research team from the Department of Physics at Tsinghua University, discovered high temperature superconductivity in a single unit-cell FeSe film grown on SrTiO3 substrate. This discovery, published in a paper released in 2012, challenged the common understanding on high temperature superconductivity and proposed a unique and innovative perspective, manifesting the exploratory spirit of Chinese scientists.