Skip to main content

Nitin Samarth

Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics & Professor of Materials Science/Engineering
Nitin Samarth photo


  • M.S. (5yr Integrated) IIT Bombay (1980)
  • Ph.D. Purdue University (1986)

Honors and Awards

  • David Adler Lectureship Award, American Physical Society (2024)
  • Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics, Penn State University (2023 - present).
  • Vice-chair, APS March Meeting, American Physical Society (2023)
  • George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head of Physics, Penn State (2011-2023).
  • Past-Chair, Division of Materials Physics, American Physical Society (2020)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (2019)
  • Chair, Division of Materials Physics, American Physical Society (2019)
  • Chair-elect, Division of Materials Physics, American Physical Society (2018)
  • Vice-chair, Division of Materials Physics, American Physical Society (2017)
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013).
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award, Physics Dept., Purdue University (2008).
  • Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences, Penn State (2008).
  • George W. Atherton Award for Teaching Excellence, Penn State (2007).
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2003).
  • Society of Physics Students Annual Award for Excellence in Physics Teaching, Penn State (1993).

Research Interests

Research Interests

Synthesis of magnetic, semiconductor, superconductor and topological insulator nanostructures.

Quantum spintronics and coherent spin dynamics in mesoscopic and nanoscale geometries.

Searching for exotic broken symmetry surface states.

Solid state platforms for quantum information processing.

Collective spin phenomena in artificial frustrated magnets.


Current projects

  • National Science Foundation: "MRSEC: Center for Nanoscale Science." 
  • National Science Foundation: "MIP: 2D Crystal Consortium." 
  • Department of Energy/University of Chicago/Argonne National Lab: "Next Generation Quantum Science & Engineering: Q-NEXT" 

Research group


Rainbow Science Network logo








The Samarth Group is committed to providing a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all our students and scientists. 

Research Professors: Anthony Richardella, Yongxi Ou

Postdoctoral research associates: Saurav Islam

Graduate Students: Jyotirmay Dwivedi, Arthur Enriquez, K. A. Nivedith, Sandra Santosh, Emma Steinebronn, Max Stanley.

Undergraduate students: Nikita Kiselov, Aaron McDonnell, William Morrissette, Lucas Schrauf


Graduate students:  Ioulia Smorchkova, Ph.D. '97 [Northrup Grumman, Los Angeles]; Frank Flack, Ph.D. '98 [Univ. Wisconsin, Madison]; Oindrilla Ray, Ph.D. '00 [VueFolio, San Jose]; Robert Knobel, Ph.D. '00 [Queens University, Canada]; Joseph Berry, Ph.D. '01 [NREL, Golden, CO]; Keh-chiang Ku, Ph.D. '04 [Marvell Semiconductor]; Weihua Wang, Ph.D.'05 [Academica Sinica, Taiwan]; Gang Xiang, Ph.D. '06 [Schichuan Univ., China]; Xia Li, Ph.D. '07 [Apple, Cupertino]; Meng Zhu, Ph.D. '08 [Global Foundries, Albany]; William Fadgen, Ph.D. '08 [Thermo Fisher Scientific]; Benjamin Cooley, Ph.D. '10 [Univ. Georgia]; Andrew Balk, Ph.D. '11 [SciTon, Palo Alto CA]; Jing Liang, Ph.D. '12; Duming Zhang, Ph.D. '12 [Meta, Sunnyvale CA]; David Rench, Ph.D. '13 [EY Parthenon]; Joon Sue Lee, Ph.D. '14 [Univ. Tenessee]; Abhinav Kandala, Ph.D. '15 [IBM Yorktown Heights]; Robert Fraleigh, Ph.D. '16 [Applied Research Lab, Penn State]; Yu Pan, Ph.D. '17 [Lam Research]; James Kally Ph.D. '17 [Intel], Eric Kamp, Ph.D '18 [Cree Inc.], Susan Kempinger Ph.D. '19 [North Central College], Di Xiao Ph.D. '19 [HiSilicon, Shanghai, China], Timothy Pillsbury, Ph.D.'21 [Northrup Grumman], Run Xiao, Ph.D. '22 [KLA], Yanan Li, Ph.D. '23 [Weizmann Institute], Jeff Rable, Ph.D. '23, Fan Zhang, Ph.D. '23 [CGG], Wilson Yanez, Ph.D. '23 [Univ. California-Santa Barbara] , Yu-Sheng Huang, Ph.D. '23 [TSMC, Taiwan]

Postdocs: Seung-hyun Cheung [Sejong University, Korea]; Oleg Maksimov [ACHS]; Khalid Eid [Miami University, Ohio]; Joon Sue Lee [University of Tennessee]; Arpita Mitra [Brookhaven National Lab]; Partha Mitra [IISER Kolkatta, India]; Kriti Kohli [Global Foundries]; Gang Xiang [Schizuan University, China]; Hailong Wang [Georgia Tech, Georgia]. 

Undergraduate students: Baird Bankovic [BS'24, Cornell Univ.],  John Morris [BS '22, Univ. Nebraska], Marquis McMillan [BS '21, Univ. Chicago], Ben Piazza [BS '20, Northeastern Univ.], Grant Smith [BS '17, Univ, Chicago]Jacob Wisser [BS/MS '16, Ph.D. Stanford], Derek Sincavage [BS '16, Minnesota], Jacob Repicky [BS '15, Ph.D. Ohio State], David Hopper [BS '14, Ph. D. UPenn], Terence Bretz-Sullivan [BS'10, Ph.D. Minnesota], Jeremy Cardellino [BS'10, Ph.D. Ohio State], Tina Lin [BS '07, Ph.D. Harvard], David Lehr [BS '05],  David Issadore [BS'04, Ph.D. Harvard], Martin Olson [BS '99], Theodore Kisner [BS '98, Ph.D. UCSB], Lara Mangravite [BS '97, Ph.D. UCSF], Eylon Geva [BS '96],  Heather Hennessey [BS '95], Allen Hunt [BS '95, Ph.D. MIT]


Selected Publications

Nitin's Publications


  1. Yanan Li, Haiwen Liu, Haoran Ji, Chengcheng Ji, Shichao Qi, Xiaotong Jiao, Wenfeng Dong, Yi Sun, Wenhao Zhang, Zihan Cui, Minghu Pan, Nitin Samarth, Lili Wang, X. C. Xie, Qi-Kun Xue, Yi Liu, and Jian Wang, "High-Temperature Anomalous Metal States in Iron-Based Interface Superconductors," Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 226003 (2024).
  2. Hemian Yi, Yi-Fan Zhao, Ying-Ting Chan, Jiaqi Cai, Ruobing Mei, Xianxin Wu, Zi-Jie Yan, Ling-Jie Zhou, Ruoxi Zhang, Zihao Wang, Stephen Paolini, Run Xiao, Ke Wang, Anthony R Richardella, John Singleton, Laurel E Winter, Thomas Prokscha, Zaher Salman, Andreas Suter, Purnima P Balakrishnan, Alexander J Grutter, Moses HW Chan, Nitin Samarth, Xiaodong Xu, Weida Wu, Chao-Xing Liu, Cui-Zu Chang, "Interface-induced superconductivity in magnetic topological insulators," Science 383, 634 (2024).
  3. Rakshit Jain, Max Stanley, Arnab Bose, Anthony R Richardella, Xiyue S Zhang, Timothy Pillsbury, David A Muller, Nitin Samarth, Daniel C Ralph, Thermally generated spin current in the topological insulator Bi2Se3," Science Advances 9,eadi4540 (2023).
  4. M Stanley, Y Li, JC Palmstrom, JL Thompson, KD Halanayake, D Reifsnyder Hickey, RD McDonald, SA Crooker,"Temperature dependence and limiting mechanisms of the upper critical field of FeSe thin films" Phys. Rev. B 109, 094514 (2024).
  5. J. Rable, J. Dwivedi, N. Samarth, "Off-resonant detection of domain wall oscillations using deterministically placed nanodiamonds," npj Spintronics 1, 2 (2023).
  6. G. M. Ferguson, Run Xiao, Anthony R. Richardella, David Low, Nitin Samarth, Katja C. Nowack, "Direct visualization of electronic transport in a quantum anomalous Hall insulator," Nat. Mater. 22, 1100 (2023). 
  7. Arpita Mitra, Run Xiao, Wilson Yanez, Yongxi Ou, Juan Chamorro, Tyrel McQueen, Alexander J. Grutter, Julie A. Borchers, Michael R. Fitzsimmons, Timothy R. Charlton, and Nitin Samarth, "Constraints on proximity-induced ferromagnetism in a Dirac semimetal (Cd3As2)/ferromagnetic semiconductor (Ga1−xMnxSb) heterostructure," Phys. Rev. Mater. 7, 094201 (2023).
  8. Run Xiao, Saurav Islam, Wilson Yanez,Yongxi Ou, Haiwen Liu, Xincheng Xie, Juan Chamorro, Tyrel M. McQueen, and Nitin Samarth, "Influence of Magnetic and Electric Fields on Universal Conductance Fluctuations in Thin Films of the Dirac Semimetal Cd3As2," Nano Letters 23, 5634 (2023).
  9. Wilson Yanez, Yongxi Ou, Run Xiao, Supriya Ghosh, Jyotirmay Dwivedi, Emma Steinebronn, Anthony Richardella, K. Andre Mkhoyan, and Nitin Samarth, "Giant Dampinglike-Torque Efficiency in Naturally Oxidized Polycrystalline TaAs Thin Films," Phys. Rev. Applied 18, 054004 (2022) [Editors’ Suggestion]
  10. Run Xiao, Junyi Zhang, Juan Chamorro, Jinwoong Kim, Tyrel M. McQueen, David Vanderbilt, Morteza Kayyalha, Yi Li, and Nitin Samarth, "Integer quantum Hall effect and enhanced g factor in quantum-confined Cd3As2 films,"  Phys. Rev. B 106, L201101 (2022) [Editors’ Suggestion]
  11. Lauren J. Riddiford, Alexander J. Grutter, Timothy Pillsbury, Max Stanley, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Peng Li, Nasim Alem, Nitin Samarth, and Yuri Suzuki, "Understanding Signatures of Emergent Magnetism in Topological Insulator/Ferrite Bilayers," Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 126802 (2022).
  12. Run Xiao, Jacob T. Held, Jeffrey Rable, Supriya Ghosh, Ke Wang, K. Andre Mkhoyan, and Nitin Samarth, "Challenges to magnetic doping of thin films of the Dirac semimetal Cd3As2," Phys. Rev. Materials 6, 024203 (2022)
  13. Wilson Yanez, Yongxi Ou, Run Xiao, Jahyun Koo, Jacob T. Held, Supriya Ghosh, Jeffrey Rable, Timothy Pillsbury, Enrique González Delgado, Kezhou Yang, Juan Chamorro, Alexander J. Grutter, Patrick Quarterman, Anthony Richardella, Abhronil Sengupta, Tyrel McQueen, Julie A. Borchers, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Binghai Yan, and Nitin Samarth, "Spin and Charge Interconversion in Dirac-Semimetal Thin Films,Phys. Rev. Applied 16, 054031 (2021). [Editor's Suggestion]
  14. Yongxi Ou, Wilson Yanez, Run Xiao, Max Stanley, Supriya Ghosh, Boyang Zheng, Wei Jiang, Yu-Sheng Huang, Timothy Pillsbury, Anthony Richardella, Chaoxing Liu, Tony Low, Vincent H. Crespi, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Nitin Samarth, "ZrTe2/CrTe2: an epitaxial van der Waals platform for spintronics,"  Nat Commun 13, 2972 (2022).
  15. Nathalie P de Leon, Kohei M Itoh, Dohun Kim, Karan K Mehta, Tracy E Northup, Hanhee Paik, B. S. Palmer, N. Samarth, Sorawis Sangtawesin, D. W.  Steuerman, "Materials challenges and opportunities for quantum computing hardware," Science 372, 6539 (2021).
  16. Susan Kempinger, Yu-Sheng Huang, Paul Lammert, Michael Vogel, Axel Hoffmann, Vincent H. Crespi, Peter Schiffer, and Nitin Samarth, "Field-Tunable Interactions and Frustration in Underlayer-Mediated Artificial Spin Ice," Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 117203 (2021).
  17. Run Xiao, Di Xiao, Jue Jiang, Jae-Ho Shin, Fei Wang, Yi-Fan Zhao, Ruo-Xi Zhang, Anthony Richardella, Ke Wang, Morteza Kayyalha, Moses H. W. Chan, Chao-Xing Liu, Cui-Zu Chang, and Nitin Samarth, "Mapping the phase diagram of the quantum anomalous Hall and topological Hall effects in a dual-gated magnetic topological insulator heterostructure,"  Phys. Rev. Research 3, L032004 (2021). [Editor's Suggestion]
  18. Peng Li, Jinjun Ding, Steven S.-L. Zhang, James Kally, Timothy Pillsbury, Olle G. Heinonen, Gaurab Rimal, Chong Bi, August DeMann, Stuart B. Field, Weigang Wang, Jinke Tang, Jidong Samuel Jiang, Axel Hoffmann, Nitin Samarth, Mingzhong Wu, “Topological Hall Effect in a Topological Insulator Interfaced with a Magnetic Insulator,” Nano Letters 21, 84-90 (2021).
  19. Yanan Li, Ziqiao Wang, Run Xiao, Qi Li, Ke Wang, Anthony Richardella, Jian Wang, and Nitin Samarth, "Capping layer influence and isotropic in-plane upper critical field of the superconductivity at the FeSe/SrTiO3 interface," Phys. Rev. Materials 5, 034802 (2021).
  20. Yi-Fan Zhao, Ruoxi Zhang, Ruobing Mei, Ling-Jie Zhou, Hemian Yi, Ya-Qi Zhang, Jiabin Yu, Run Xiao, Ke Wang, Nitin Samarth, Moses HW Chan, Chao-Xing Liu, Cui-Zu Chang. "Tuning the Chern number in quantum anomalous Hall insulators," Nature 588, 419–423 (2020).
  21. Jue Jiang, Di Xiao, Fei Wang, Jae-Ho Shin, Domenico Andreoli, Jianxiao Zhang, Run Xiao, Yi-Fan Zhao, Morteza Kayyalha, Ling Zhang, Ke Wang, Jiadong Zang, Chaoxing Liu, Nitin Samarth, Moses HW Chan, Cui-Zu Chang, "Concurrence of quantum anomalous Hall and topological Hall effects in magnetic topological insulator sandwich heterostructures," Nature Materials 19, 732–737 (2020).
  22. Morteza Kayyalha, Di Xiao, R Zhang, J Shin, J Jiang, F Wang, Yi-Fan Zhao, Run Xiao, Ling Zhang, Kajetan M. Fijalkowski, Pankaj Mandal, Martin Winnerlein, Charles Gould, Qi Li, Laurens W Molenkamp, Moses HW Chan, Nitin Samarth, Cui-Zu Chang,"Absence of evidence for chiral Majorana modes in quantum anomalous Hall-superconductor devices," Science 367, 64-67 (2020).
  23. Susan Kempinger, Robert D. Fraleigh, Paul E. Lammert, Sheng Zhang, Vincent H. Crespi, Peter Schiffer, and Nitin Samarth, ""Imaging the stochastic microstructure and dynamic development of correlations in perpendicular artificial spin ice," Phys. Rev. Research 2, 012001(R) (2020). 
  24. P. Li, J. Kally, S. S.-L. Zhang, T. Pillsbury, J. Ding, G. Csaba, J. Ding, J. S. Jiang, Y. Liu, R. Sinclair, C. Bi, A. DeMann, G. Rimal, W. Zhang, S. B. Field, J. Tang, W. Wang, O. G. Heinonen, V. Novosad, A. Hoffmann, N. Samarth, M. Wu, "Magnetization switching utilizing topological surface states," Sci. Adv. 5, eaaw3415 (2019).
  25. Hailong Wang, James Kally, Cüneyt Şahin, Tao Liu, Wilson Yanez, Eric J. Kamp, Anthony Richardella, Mingzhong Wu, Michael E. Flatté, and Nitin Samarth, “Fermi level dependent spin pumping from a magnetic insulator into a topological insulator,” Phys. Rev. Research 1, 012014(R) (2019).
  26. Di Xiao, Chao-xing Liu, Nitin Samarth, L. H. Hu, "Anomalous Quantum Oscillations of Interacting Electron-Hole Gases in Inverted Type-II  Quantum Wells", Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 186802 (2019).
  27. Joon Sue Lee, Anthony Richardella, Robert D Fraleigh, Chao-xing Liu, Wei-wei Zhao, Nitin Samarth, "Engineering the breaking of time-reversal symmetry in gate-tunable hybrid ferromagnet/topological insulator heterostructures," npj Quantum Materials 3, 51 (2018).
  28. Di Xiao, Jue Jiang, Jae-Ho Shin, Wenbo Wang, Fei Wang, Yi-Fan Zhao, Chaoxing Liu, Weida Wu, Moses H. W. Chan, Nitin Samarth, and Cui-Zu Chang, “Realization of the Axion Insulator State in Quantum Anomalous Hall Sandwich Heterostructures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 056801 (2018).
  29. Yang Lv, James Kally, Delin Zhang, Joon Sue Lee, Mahdi Jamali, Nitin Samarth & Jian-Ping Wang, "Unidirectional spin-Hall and Rashba−Edelstein magnetoresistance in topological insulator- ferromagnet layer heterostructures," Nature Communications 9, 111 (2018).
  30. Nitin Samarth, "Quantum materials discovery from a synthesis perspective," Nature Materials 16, 1068-1076 (2017).
  31. Andrew L. Yeats, Peter J. Mintun, Yu Pan,d, Anthony Richardella, Bob B. Buckley, Nitin Samarth, and David D. Awschalom, "Local optical control of ferromagnetism and chemical potential in a topological insulator," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 10379-10383 (2017).
  32. Yu Pan, Qing-Ze Wang, Andrew L. Yeats, Timothy Pillsbury, Thomas C. Flanagan, Anthony Richardella, Haijun Zhang, David D. Awschalom, Chao-Xing Liu & Nitin Samarth, "Helicity dependent photocurrent in electrically gated (Bi1−xSbx)2Te3 thin films," Nature Communications 8, 1037 (2017).
  33. J. P. Heremans, R. J. Cava, and N. Samarth,  "Tetradymites as thermoelectrics and topological insulators,” Nature Reviews Materials vol. 2, art. no. 17049, 2017.
  34. Hailong Wang, James Kally, Joon Sue Lee, Tao Liu, Houchen Chang, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Mingzhong Wu, Anthony Richardella, and Nitin Samarth, "Surface-State-Dominated Spin-Charge Current Conversion in Topological-Insulator–Ferromagnetic-Insulator Heterostructures," Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 076601 (2016).
  35. Minhao Liu, Wudi Wang, Anthony Richardella, Abhinav Kandala, Jian Li, Ali Yazdani, Nitin Samarth, N. Phuan Ong, "Large discrete jumps observed in the transition between Chern states in a ferromagnetic topological insulator," Science Advances e1600167 (2016). 
  36. Ella O. Lachman, Andrea F. Young, Anthony Richardella, Jo Cuppens, H. R. Naren, Yonathan Anahory, Alexander Y. Meltzer, Abhinav Kandala, Susan Kempinger, Yuri Myasoedov, Martin E. Huber, Nitin Samarth, Eli Zeldov, "Visualization of superparamagnetic dynamics in magnetic topological insulators," Science Advances 1, e1500740 (2015).
  37. Andrew Yeats, Yu Pan, Anthony Richardella, Peter Mintun, Nitin Samarth, David D. Awschalom, "Persistent Optical Gating of a Topological Insulator," Science Advances 1, e1500640 (2015).
  38. Abhinav Kandala, Anthony Richardella, Susan Kempinger, Chao-xing Liu and Nitin Samarth, "Giant Anisotropic Magnetoresistance in a Quantum Anomalous Hall Insulator," Nature Communications 6, 7434 (2015).
  39. Su-Yang Xu, Nasser Alidoust, Ilya Belopolski, Anthony Richardella et al., "Momentum Space Imaging of Cooper Pairing in a Half-Dirac Gas," Nature Physics 10, 943-950 (2014).
  40. Qing-Ze Wang, Xin Liu, Hai-Jun Zhang, Nitin Samarth, Shou-Cheng Zhang, and Chao-Xing Liu, "Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect in Magnetically Doped InAs/GaSb Quantum Wells," Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 147201 (2014).
  41. A. R. Mellnik, J. S. Lee, A. Richardella, J. L. Grab, P. J. Mintun, M. H. Fischer, A. Vaezi, A. Manchon, E.-A. Kim, N. Samarth, D. C. Ralph, "Spin-transfer torque generated by a topological insulator," Nature 511, 449 (2014).
  42. M. Neupane, A. Richardella, et al., "Observation of Quantum-tunneling-modulated Spin Texture in Ultrathin Topological Insulator Bi2Se3 Thin Films," Nature Communications 5, 3841 (2014).
  43. A. Kandala, A. Richardella, D. M. Zhang, T. Flanagan and N. Samarth, “Surface Sensitive Two-dimensional Magneto-fingerprint in Mesoscopic Topological Insulator Channels,” Nano Letters 13, 2471 (2013). 
  44. S.-Y. Xu, M. Neupane, C. Liu, D. M. Zhang, A. Richardella, L. Wray, N. Alidoust, M. Leandersson, T. Balasubramanian, J. Sanchez-Barrig, O. Rader, G. Landolt, B. Slomski, J. Hugo Dil, J. Osterwalder, T. Chang, H. Jeng, H. Lin, A. Bansil, N. Samarth and M. Hasan, “Hedgehog spin texture and Berry's phase tuning in a magnetic topological insulator”Nature Phys. 8, 616–622 (2012). 
  45. A. L. Balk, M. E. Nowakowski, M. J.Wilson, D. W. Rench, P. Schiffer, D. D. Awschalom and N. Samarth, “Measurements of Nanoscale Domain Wall Flexing in a Ferromagnetic Thin Film,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 077205 (2011). 
  46. R. F. Wang, C. Nisoli, R. S. Freitas, J. Li, W. McConville, B. Cooley, M. S. Lund, N. Samarth, C. Leighton, V. H. Crespi and P. Schiffer, “Artificial ’spin ice’ in a geometrically frustrated lattice of nanoscale ferromagnetic islands,” Nature 439, 303–306 (2006).  
  47. S. Ghosh, W. H. Wang, F. M. Mendoza, R. C. Myers, X. Li, N. Samarth, A. C. Gossard, and D. D. Awschalom, “Enhancement of Spin Coherence using Q-factor Engineering in Semiconductors Microdiscs,” Nature Materials 5, 261-265 (2006).
  48. A. H. MacDonald, P. Schiffer and N. Samarth, “Ferromagnetic semiconductors: moving beyond (Ga,Mn)As,” Nature Materials 4, 195–202 (2005). 
  49. D. D. Awschalom, D. D., M. Flatte and N. Samarth, “Spintronics,” Scientific American (June 2002).
  50. I. Malajovich, J. J. Berry, N. Samarth, and D. D. Awschalom, “Persistent Sourcing of Coherent Spins For Multifunctional Spintronics,” Nature (London) 411, 770-772 (2001).
  51. J. A. Gupta, R. Knobel, N. Samarth, and D. D. Awschalom, “Ultrafast manipulation of electron spin coherence,” Science 292, 2458-2461 (2001). 
  52. J. M. Kikkawa, I. P. Smorchkova, N. Samarth and D. D. Awschalom, “Room- temperature Spin Memory in Two-dimensional Electron Gases,” Science 277, 1284-1287 (1997).