Pengcheng Dai
Research Areas

Research Description

Prof. Dai is an experimental physicist working in the field of condensed matter. His work focuses on using neutron as a probe to study strongly correlated electron materials. He also operates a materials laboratory at Rice, focusing on growing some of the most interesting correlated electron materials. His group’s current focus is on understanding the microscopic origin of unconventional superconductivity, including copper oxide, iron pnictides, and heavy Fermion superconductors. Since neutron scattering is an important probe to study magnetism in these materials, the Dai group studies the interplay between magnetism and superconductivity, with the ultimate goal of determining if magnetism and magnetic excitations can be the driving force for unconventional superconductivity.

In addition to studying superconductors, Prof. Dai is also interested in study magnetic properties of various other strongly correlated electron materials. By having a cutting edge materials synthesis program on campus, one hopes to carry out many interesting experiment and determine exotic properties of strongly correlated electron materials.


Born in China, Dai obtained his B.S. from Zhengzhou University in 1984 and a Ph.D. in experimental physics at University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993. He finished a postdoc at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1996, worked as a scientific staff member from 1996 till 2001. He moved to The University of Tennessee in 2001 as an associate professor, became a full professor in 2006, a joint institute of advanced material chair of excellence in 2008, he moved to Rice University as a full professor in 2013.

Selected Publications

1. X. Lu, J. T. Park, R. Zhang, H. Luo, A. H. Nevidomskyy, Q. Si, and Pengcheng Dai, "Ising-nematic phase in the tetragonal state of uniaxial-strained BaFe2−xNixAs2", Science 345, 657-660 (2014).

2. Chenglin Zhang, Leland W. Harriger, Zhiping Yin, Weicheng Lv, Miaoyin Wang, Guotai Tan, Yu Song, D. L. Abernathy, Wei Tian, Takeshi Egami, Kristjan Haule, Gabriel Kotliar, and Pengcheng Dai, “Effect of pnictogen height on spin waves in iron pnictides”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 217202 (2014).

3. Meng Wang, Chenglin Zhang, Xingye Lu, Guotai Tan, Huiqian Luo, Yu Song, Miaoyin Wang, Xiaotian Zhang, E.A. Goremychkin, T.G. Perring, T.A. Maier, Zhiping Yin, Kristjan Haule, Gabriel Kotliar & Pengcheng Dai. “Doping dependence of spin excitations and its correlations with high-temperature superconductivity in iron pnictides”, Nature Communications 4, 2874 (2013).

4. Chenglin Zhang, Rong Yu, Yixi Su, Yu Song, Miaoyin Wang, Guotai Tan, Takeshi Egami, J. A. Fernandez-Baca, Enrico Faulhaber, Qimiao Si, and Pengcheng Dai. “Measurement of a Double Neutron-Spin Resonance and an Anisotropic Energy Gap for Underdoped Superconducting NaFe0.985Co0.015As Using Inelastic Neutron Scattering”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 207002 (2013).

5. Pengcheng Dai, Jiangping Hu& Elbio Dagotto "Magnetism and its microscopic origin in iron-based high-temperature superconductors”, Nature Physics 8, 709-718 (2012).

Recent Publications