Milan E. Delor

Milan E. Delor

Research Interest


The efficient transport and interconversion of energy between photons, electrons, ions and heat underpins life on earth. In modern technologies ranging from solar panels to computers, batteries and health sensors, energy moves slowly, randomly and often inefficiently towards target conversion sites. We aim to direct energy flow in emerging materials in ways that are targeted and efficient, moving beyond random motion to unleash new paradigms for extracting more energy from solar panels, storing more energy in batteries, speeding up information transport and processing, and exploiting correlated electronic systems for new applications.

We use light as a powerful stimulus to initiate, image and control electronic behavior in emerging materials on extreme spatiotemporal scales. Questions we explore include:​

  • How do we image individual electrons moving and interacting with their surroundings in material lattices?

  • How do we control the direction and speed at which energy packets move towards functional targets?

  • How do we unlock exotic emergent phenomena and exploit them in modern devices?

The ongoing explosion of discoveries in quantum, meta- and nanomaterials provides the perfect platform for us to answer these questions now.

In the process of answering these questions, we invent new tools capable of non-invasively imaging events happening over femtoseconds to hours at the single-nanometer scale. These tools are often relevant to a broad range of scientific disciplines: think taking movies of self-assembling biological or material building blocks, of neurons emitting action potentials, and of non-dissipative electronic transport in superconductors.

In addition to gaining a deep fundamental understanding of light-matter interactions, students and postdocs in the group acquire experience in nonlinear optics, super-resolution microscopy, ultrafast visible, IR and terahertz spectroscopy, and materials design and characterization. We collaborate broadly with both theoretical and experimental research groups at Columbia and beyond.


See updated publication list on Delor Lab site here