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Yue Cao

Assistant Physicist


Dr. Yue Cao studies the emergent properties in a wide range of quantum materials using a handful of X-ray methods, including angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), (resonant) inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS/RIXS) and coherent X-ray diffraction (CXD). His research interest covers unconventional superconductors, strongly correlated transition metal oxides, topological materials, and materials with reduced dimensionality. Dr. Cao focuses on the intricate interplay between the lattice, charge, spin and orbital orders that give rise to the emergent properties, as well as possible approaches to control these properties using strain engineering, ultrafast optical lasers, amongst other means.

Professional Experience

  • 2018-                Assistant Physicist, Material Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory 
  • 2014-2018        Research Associate, X-ray Scattering Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory


  • 2007-2014        Ph.D in Physics, University of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • 2003-2007        B.S. in Physics/Math, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Selected Publications

  1. Y. Cao, D. G. Mazzone, D. Meyers, J. P. Hill, X. Liu, S. Wall, M. P. M. Dean. Ultrafast dynamics of spin and orbital correlations in quantum materials: an energy- and momentum-resolved perspective. arXiv: 1809.06288 (2018). Invited review for the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (2019).

  2. V. Thampy, X. M. Chen, Y. Cao et al. Static Charge-density-wave Order in the Superconducting State of La2xBaxCuO4. Phys. Rev. B 95, 241111 (2017).

  3. Yue Cao, Xuerong Liu, Wenhu Xu, et al. Giant Spin Gap and Magnon Localization in the Disordered Heisenberg Antiferromagnet Sr2Ir1-xRuxO4. Phys. Rev. B 95, 121103 (2017).

  4. M. P. M. Dean*, Y. Cao*, X. Liu et al. Ultrafast energy and momentum resolved dynamics of magnetic correlations in photo-doped Mott insulator Sr2IrO4. Nature Materials 15, 601-605 (2016).

  5. Y. Cao, Q. Wang, J. A. Waugh, et al. Hallmarks of the Mott-metal crossover in the hole-doped pseudospin-1/2 Mott insulator Sr2IrO4. Nature Communications 7:11367 (2016).

  6. Q. Wang, Y. Cao, J. A. Waugh, et al. Dimensionality-controlled Mott transition and correlation effects in single-layer and bilayer perovskite iridates. Phys. Rev. B 87, 245109 (2013).

  7. Y. Cao, J. A. Waugh, X.-W. Zhang, et al. Mapping the orbital wavefunction of the surface states in three-dimensional topological insulators. Nature Physics 9, 499-504 (2013).

  8. S. R. Park, Y. Cao, Q. Wang, et al. Broken relationship between superconducting pairing interaction and electronic dispersion kinks in La2−xSrxCuO4 measured by angle-resolved photoemission. Phys. Rev. B 88, 220503 (2013).