Dr. Colin Heikes is a Guest Researcher from NIST and the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute. His research focus is applying neutron interferometry techniques to the study of condensed matter systems and materials for quantum information technologies. While perfect-crystal neutron interferometry has made great strides in quantum information science, testing fundamental quantum mechanics, materials science, and other fundamental particle physics; it has not been as widely applied to more complex condensed matter systems such as superconductivity or topological materials. This work looks to adapt modern sample environment capabilities to neutron interferometry to explore samples at relevant temperatures and magnetic fields inside the interferometer while maintaining interferometer performance.
Colin received a B.S in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University. He joined the NIST Center for Neutron Research after being awarded an NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2016. At the NCNR, Colin used a variety of neutron scattering techniques to explore phase transitions in diverse materials systems including magnetic skyrmion systems, topological quantum materials, multiferroics, and engineered thin film heterostructures.