Joe Poon

Ph.D., 1978, California Institute of Technology
B.S., 1974, California Institute of Technology

William Barton Rogers Professor of Physics

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Research Interests

My research group currently focuses on three projects: (i) Experimental and computational study of thermoelectric properties of semiconductors and semimetals. The narrow-bandgap semiconductors studied are often in the proximity of topological semimetals that show unusual thermo-magnetic and electrical transport properties. (ii) Synthesis of thin films and computational study of ferrimagnetic and antiferromagnetic heterostructures that show skyrmionic state and anomalous Hall effect. The unique magnetic spin texture and fast dynamics are ideal for low-power and ultrafast spintronics. (iii) In our third project, we employ data science and experiment to study high-entropy alloys (HEAs) with specific properties in the complex high-dimensional composition space. The enormous flexibility of HEAs offers nearly unlimited possibilities for realizing superior physical and functional properties.

Graduate Students

Selected Publications

Recent publications:
 
Google scholar: 
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=cVHCVr8AAAAJ&hl=en
 

1. “Tuning Interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interactions in Thin Amorphous Ferrimagnetic Alloys”, Y. Quessab, J.-W. Xu, C. T. Ma,  W. Zhou, G. A. Riley, J. M. Shaw, H. T. Nembach, S. J. Poon, and A. D. Kent, Scientific Reports, 10:7447 (2020).

2.  “Amorphous Ferrimagnets: An Ideal Host for Ultra-Small Skyrmions”, S. Joseph Poon and Chung Ting Ma,  J. Supercond. Novel Magn. 33, 269 (2020).

3.  “Robust Formation of Ultrasmall Room-Temperature Neél Skyrmions in Amorphous Ferrimagnets from Atomistic Simulations",  Chung Ting Ma, Yunkun Xie, Howard Sheng, Avik W. Ghosh, and  S. Joseph Poon, Scientific Reports, 9:9964 (2019).

4.   “Half Heusler Compounds: Promising Materials for Mid-to-High Temperature Thermoelectric Conversion”, S Joseph Poon, J. Physics D: Appl. Phys. 52, 493001 (2019).

5.  “Enhanced Figure of Merit in Bismuth-Antimony Fine-Grained Alloys at Cryogenic Temperatures”, Sheng Gao, John Gaskins, Xixiao Hu, Kathleen Tomko, Patrick Hopkins, and S. Joseph Poon, Scientific Reports, 9:14892 (2019).

6.  "Critical Evaluation of P-Type Doping Effects in Bi-Sb Alloys”, Xixiao Hu, Sheng Gao, and S. Joseph Poon, AIP Advances 9, 075321 (2019); doi: 10.1063/1.5108956.

7. “High Entropy Alloys Mined from Phase Diagrams”, Jie Qi, Andrew M. Cheung, and S. Joseph Poon, Scientific Reports, 9:15501 (2019).

News Items

A new class of materials known as high entropy alloys (HEAs) has generated considerable excitement in the materials research community. The number of possible HEAs can easily exceed a ......More >
Joe Poon has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Jesse W. Beams Research Award which is given annually by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. The award will be ......More >
Brad Cox's work on the discovery of the Higgs boson and Joe Poon's work on amorphous "super steel" is celebrated in a UVAToday story on UVA's top twelve notable ......More >
From UVAToday: In a case of “smaller is better,” a team of University of Virginia researchers has received a $3.4 million grant from Defense Advanced ......More >
From UVaToday:"A panel of U.Va. faculty members and a Human Resources consultant experienced in faculty searches shared a range of recruiting strategies. Dr. Sim Galazka, professor of family ......More >
Researchers in the US, including U.Va., have unveiled a new high-temperature material that is 60% better at converting heat to electricity than comparable "thermoelectrics". The material, which is ......More >

Honors

Jesse W. Beams Award of SESAPS [2020]

"In recognition of his  keen physical  insights and significant contributions to a broad range of topics in experimental materials physics.  These include ground breaking work on the first aluminum-based and nonmagnetic iron-based metallic glasses, novel work on alloy quasicrystalline phases and nano-crystalline aluminum alloys, and work in thermo-electric materials." n recognition of his  keen physical  insights and significant contributions to a broad range of topics in experimental materials physics.  These include ground breaking work on the first aluminum-based and nonmagnetic iron-based metallic glasses, novel work on alloy quasicrystalline phases and nano-crystalline aluminum alloys, and work in thermo-electric materials."

APS Fellow [1994]

" For studies of amorphous metallic solids and discoveries of new classes of metallic and insulating quasicrystals."

Courses (Fall 2021)