Graduate Research

Graduates of the Department of Physics’ Ph.D. program have participated in high-level research that often dramatically impacts the course of their careers. Many even go on to make groundbreaking discoveries in the field.

For example, while at UAB, Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green worked with Prof. Sergey Mirov on using nanotechnology to target cancer cells. She would go on to become one of fewer than 100 Black women physicists in the U.S. and make discoveries that could forever change treatment for cancer patients.

Research Areas

As a graduate student in the Department of Physics, you will have the opportunity to choose between three main research areas and perform your Ph.D. work on research topics that may include the following:

Computational and Theoretical Physics

  • Algorithms Applicable to Massively Parallel Computers
  • How to Control Quantum and Non-Thermal Dynamics by Femtosecond and Terahertz Laser Pulses
  • Materials Modeling
  • Non-Equilibrium Processes and Phase Transitions in Condensed Matter Systems (quantum materials, superconductors, quantum magnets, nanostructures, and semiconductors)
  • Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics
  • Fundamental Principles of Quantum Thermodynamics
  • Open Quantum Systems
  • Laser-Induced Metastable Phases and Phase Transitions
  • Properties of Strongly Correlated Electrons
  • Quantum Many-Body Algorithms
  • Quantum Monte Carlo Numerical Simulations
  • Scientific Supercomputing
  • Theory of Non-Equilibrium Quantum Fluctuations
  • Theory of X-ray Spectroscopies
  • Theory-Experiment Synergies
  • Theoretical/Computational Biophysics

Experimental Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

  • Defects in Insulators and Semiconductors
  • Electrical and Optical Properties of Bulk Synthetic Diamond and Diamond Thin Films
  • Electron-Beam Lithography
  • EPR Studies of Bulk Crystals and Thin Films
  • Functional Nano-Photonics
  • High-Pressure Physics
  • Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites
  • Light-Harvesting Nano-Materials
  • Low-Dimensional Systems
  • Nanocomposite Biomaterials
  • Nanodiamonds
  • Nanoimprinting
  • Synthesis of Super-Hard Materials
  • Nanoscale Direct Writing and Patterning
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Nanowires
  • Phase-Change Materials
  • Photolithography
  • Plasmonics; Metamaterials
  • Radiational Defects in Crystals
  • Strongly Correlated Systems
  • Superconductivity
  • Synthesis and Characterization of Metallic, Semiconducting, and Magnetic Materials and Nanostructures
  • Two-Dimensional Layered Materials

Experimental Optical and Terahertz Spectroscopy and Laser Physics

  • Fiber, Laser, and Soft X-ray/UV optics
  • Fiber Optics
  • Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskite Solar Cells
  • In Situ Spectroscopy of Nanostructured Catalysts
  • Laser Physics and Spectroscopy
  • Laser Resonators
  • Nanomaterials for Light Harvesting
  • Nanophotonics
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Optical Coherence
  • Optical Imaging
  • Ultrafast Spectroscopy under High Magnetic Fields
  • Optical Sensors
  • Plasmonics; Metamaterials
  • Solid-State Laser Materials
  • Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting
  • Tomography
  • Tunable Lasers
  • Ultrafast Time-Resolved Spectroscopy
  • UV Holographic Projection Processing of Materials
  • Water-Splitting Photocatalysts for Solar-to-Fuel Conversion
  • Laser Cooling and Trapping, Optical Clocks, Ultracold Atomic Gases and Plasmas