James McIver

  • Scientist



Condensed Matter Department,
Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, CFEL

Bldg. 99, Rm. 02.061
Luruper Chaussee 149
22761 Hamburg, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)40-8998-6208
Email: james.mciver@mpsd.mpg.de

Short bio

James joined the MPSD as a postdoc in December 2014. He is interested in using coherent lightmatter interactions as a means of manipulating the topological order of materials. To this end, he is investigating how light can be used to drive topological phase transitions in various materials by coupling to the lattice and electronic degrees of freedom.

James received a PhD in physics from Harvard University in 2014 working in Nuh Gedik’s research group (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). There he studied the physics of topological insulators using nonlinear optical and optoelectronic techniques. The work he is most known for is the generation of surface electrical currents in a topological insulator by driving the system with circularly polarised light (link).

Research Interests

  • Topological order
  • Floquet physics
  • Topological insulators
  • Graphene
  • Monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides

Selected publications

Microscopic theory for the light-induced anomalous Hall effect in graphene
S.A. Sato, J.W. McIver, M. Nuske, P. Tang, G. Jotzu, B. Schulte, H. Hübener, U. De Giovannini, L. Mathey, M.A. Sentef, A. Cavalleri, and A. Rubio
Physical Review B 99, 214302 (2019)


Valley-selective optical Stark effect in monolayer WS2
E.J. Sie, J.W. McIver, Y.H. Lee, L. Fu, J. Kong and N. Gedik
Nature Materials (2014)
=> Featured in IEEE Spectrum
=> Featured in MIT News

Control over topological insulator photocurrents with light polarization
J.W. McIver*, D. Hsieh*, H. Steinberg, P. Jarillo-Herrero and N. Gedik
Nature Nanotechnology 7, 96-100 (2012)
=> News and Views, by Judy Cha and Yi Cui
=> Nature Photonics Research Highlight, by David Pile
=> Featured in MIT News

Theoretical and experimental study of second harmonic generation from the surface of the topological insulator Bi2Se3
J.W. McIver, D. Hsieh, S.G. Drapcho, D.H. Torchinsky, D.R. Gardner, Y.S. Lee and N. Gedik
Physical Review B 86, 035327 (2012)

Nonequilibrium quasiparticle relaxation dynamics in single crystals of hole and electron BaFe2As2
D.H. Torchinsky, J.W. McIver, D. Hsieh, G.F. Chen, J.L. Luo, N. L. Wang and N. Gedik
Physical Review B 84, 104518 (2011)

Nonlinear optical probe of tunable surface electrons on a topological insulator
D. Hsieh*, J.W. McIver*, D. H. Torchinsky, D. R. Gardner, Y. S. Lee, and N. Gedik,
Physical Review Letters 106, 057401 (2011)

Selective probing of photoinduced charge and spin dynamics in the bulk and surface of a
topological insulator
D. Hsieh, F. Mahmood, J.W. McIver, D. R. Gardner, Y. S. Lee, and N. Gedik
Physical Review Letters 107, 077401 (2011)

Band-dependent quasiparticle dynamics in the hole-doped Ba-122 iron pnictides
D.H. Torchinsky, J.W. McIver, D. Hsieh, G.F. Chen, J.L. Luo, N.L. Wang and N. Gedik,
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids 72, 519-522 (2011)

End-compensated magneto-static cavity for polarized 3He neutron spin filters
J.W. McIver, R. Erwin, W.C. Chen, and T.R. Gentile
Review of Scientific Instruments 80, 063905 (2009)

Wrinkling of a bilayer membrane
A. Concha, J.W. McIver, P. Mellado, D. Clarke, O. Tchernyshyov, and R. L. Leheny
Physical Review E 75, 016609 (2007)