X Lab

X-ray Laboratory for Research on Quantum Materials


Welcome to the Frano X Lab (a.k.a The X-ray Laboratory for Research on Quantum Materials). Based at the University of California, San Diego near the sunny beaches of La Jolla, CA, our group studies the fascinating properties of materials with strongly correlated electrons. We are interested in investigating long-range periodicities in the spin, charge, and orbital quantum states observed in transition-metal-oxide films, superlattices, heterostructures and single crystals. To explore these spatially periodic behaviors we operate in Fourier space by performing modern x-ray scattering experiments at synchrotrons around the world. Feel free to explore our website for more information.


Our group meetings and retreats are back after a year+ lockdown! (Palm Springs 2021)

In our latest paper in PNAS, we propose a way to utilize the emergent properties of strongly correlated materials, controlled by light ion implantation, to produce circuit networks that mimic the emergent properties of the animal brain. This was also featured in the news.

Alex receives a Cottrell Scholar Award (2021) to create artificial x-ray lattices and develop teaching tools that enhance the creative process.

The Process

how is it done?

Imagine It

  • Determine material components of heterostructure
  • Grow it using PLD
  • Characterize the sample here at UCSD using x rays and other in-house facilities

Synchrotron It

  • Apply for beam time
  • Bring sample to the synchrotron
  • Use synchrotron x rays to characterize material and discover new periodicities

Write It

  • Analyze the data
  • Python, Matlab, Mathematica
  • Write and share our discoveries



Publication highlights:


Alex Frano

Principal Investigator

Sarmistha Das

Postdoctoral Researcher

Brandon Gunn

Graduate Physicist

Rourav Basak

Graduate Student

Elliot Kisiel

Graduate Student

Biswajit Sahoo

Graduate Student

Mayia Vranas

Graduate Student

Dong Le

Graduate Student

Yiming Yang

Undergraduate Student

Brandon Momanyi

Undergraduate Student

Contact us

If you have any questions about our research, or about condensed matter physics, please email us: afrano physics [dot] ucsd [dot] edu


Website Design: Ashley Nicole Warner

Logo and Cartoon Designs: Mario Rojas

Text Proofreading/Editing: Rock Paper Editing