Sheng Ran

Sheng Ran

Assistant Professor of Physics
PhD, Iowa State University
BA, Fudan University
research interests:
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Quantum Materials

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1105-110-02
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Sheng Ran’s research aims to realize and understand exotic states of quantum materials, using combined techniques of bulk crystal synthesis, electric and thermal transport measurements under extreme temperature, pressure and magnetic field conditions, and neutron and high energy X-ray scattering. 

Discovering pathways to experimentally realize quantum phases of matter and exert control over their properties is one of the central goals of modern physics, which holds promise for a new generation of electronic devices with currently inaccessible and likely unimaginable functionalities. With the explosion in the field of quantum materials in the past decade, it is conceivable that a vast number of new materials with unprecedented quantum states and properties are yet to be discovered. This is exactly what Dr. Ran’s research lab is dedicated to: discovery, synthesis, characterization and control of novel quantum materials with emergent electronic and magnetic states.

Of particular interest are topological quantum materials showing the coexistence of topology and other quantum phases, e.g., superconductivity, magnetism, charge density wave and ferroelectricity. Interplay of topology and these quantum phases gives rise to a variety of exotic quantum states, including the quantum anomalous Hall effect, topological axion states, Majorana fermions, some of which have potential applications for quantum computing and spintronics. Even though topological revolution has been the central theme in condensed matter physics in the past decade, theoretical prediction and experimental realization of such composite topological quantum materials has just started, and extensive experimental efforts to discover and characterize new systems are desperately in need.

Professional History

2020-present: Assistant Professor, Washington University
2017-2020: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Maryland/NIST
2014-2017: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, San Diego


2020 The Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America

recent courses

Selected Topics in Physics I (Physics 589)

Quantum materials - from synthesis to characterization: Quantum materials host some of the most fascinating phenomena in condensed matter physics, including high temperature superconductivity and topologically protected surface states.Understanding emergent phenomena in quantum materials will push the boundaries of fundamental physics and also potentially have applications in the new generation of electronic devices. In this course, we will highlight how a variety of experimental techniques can be used to elucidate quantum materials of contemporary interest, ranging from crystal synthesis methods to novel spectroscopic tools.