Professor Li conducts research to unveil structure and property relationships of condensed matter at atomic scale. His current focus is on diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS). The research addresses two fundamental questions in condensed matter physics: 1) how are local magnetic moments created in semiconductors (e.g. graphene and GaN), and 2) how do these moments interact with each other to attain long range ferromagnetic ordering. The studies involve material growth using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), atomic-scale characterization using spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (SP-STM/STS), synchrotron-based x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), and first principles calculations. The research is currently supported by grants from NSF and DOE.
Lian Li received his BSc in Physics from Yunnan University, China in 1983, and MSc in the same field from Tongji University, China in 1987, and his PhD in Solid State Physics from Arizona State University in 1995. He then received a Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to conduct research at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Japan from 1995 to 1996. He held a staff research associate position at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1996 to 1999. He joined the UWM Physics department in 1999, where he currently holds the rank of Professor. In 2006, he was a visiting professor at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Japan.
Professor Li has received many awards including an E. W. Müller Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the International Field Emission Society (1996), a NSF CAREER Award (2001), and a UWM Research Foundation Research Award (2004).
Li, Y. Y., Chen, M. X., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. Direct experimental evidence for metallicity in oxygen-terminated graphene zigzag nanoribbons. .
Liu, Y., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Determining charge state of graphene vacancy by noncontact atomic force microscopy and first-principles calculations.” IOP Science.
Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M., Robinson, J. T., Liu, Y., Li, Lian, and Jonker, B. T. “Electrical detection of charge-current-induced spin polarization due to spin-momentum locking in Bi2Se3.” Nature Nanotechnology
9. (2014): 218-224.
Liu, Y., Li, Y. Y., Rajput, S., Gilks, D., Lari, L., Galindo, P. L., Weinert, M, Lazarov, V. K., and Li, Lian. “Tuning Dirac states by strain in the topological insulator Bi2Se3.” Nature Physics
10. (2014): 294-299.
Liu, Y., Li, Y. Y., Gilks, D., Lazarov, V. K., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Charging Dirac states at antiphase domain boundaries in the three-dimensional topological insulator Bi2Se3.” Physical Review Letters
Rajput, S., Chen, M., Liu, Y., Li, Y. Y., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Spatial fluctuations in barrier height at the graphene–silicon carbide Schottky junction.” Nature Communications
Liu, Y., Lazarov, V. K., Cheung, S. H., Keavney, D. J., Gai, Z., Gajdardziska-Josifovska, Marija, Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Structural and magnetic properties of MBE grown GeMnN2 thin films.” Physical Review B, APS Publishing
85.14 (2012): 144113.
Rhim, S. H., Qi, Y., Liu, Y., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Formation of nitrogen-vacancy complexes during plasma-assisted nitrogen doping of epitaxial graphene on SiC(0001).” Applied Physics Letters, AIP Publishing
100.23 (2012): 233119.
Rhim, S. H., Qi, Y., Sun, G. F., Liu, Y., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Role of functionalized transition-metal coated W tips in STM imaging: Application to epitaxial graphene on SiC(0001).” Physical Review B, APS Publishing
84.12 (2011): 125425.
Sun, G. F., Liu, Y., Rhim, S. H., Jia, J. F., Xue, Q. K., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “A novel Si diffusion path for pit-free graphene growth on SiC(0001).” Physical Review B, APS Publishing
84.19 (2011): 195455.
Sun, G. F., Liu, Y., Qi, Y., Jia, J. F., Xue, Q. K., Weinert, Michael T., and Li, Lian. “Electron standing waves on GaN(0001) pseudo (1×1): A FT-STM study at room temperature (Cover Article).” Nanotechnology
21. (2010): 435401.