Our Team

Ilya Sochnikov, Assistant Professor

Ilya studies emergent phenomena in several condensed matter systems. The main tool for these experiments is the state of the art magnetic SQUID microscopy. In this context emergent phenomena includes quantum phase transitions. An emergence of a new phenomenon or a phase transition may occur when interactions in the materials are tuned via chemical, mechanical, or electromagnetic knobs. The material systems of an immediate interest include topological materials, superconductors, and frustrated magnets, and other exotic magnetic systems.

UConn Department of Physics

UConn Department of Material Sciences


Joshua Bedard, Graduate Student

Joshua is a 2nd year grad student. Joshua runs experiments on 2D magnets. He develops new cryogenic equipment, and a new type of  a fast scanning SQUID microscope.

Jacob Franklin, Graduate Student

Jacob runs our millikelvin SQUID microscopy measurements. Jacob's research interests lie mainly in superconductivity. Specifically, he studies how characteristics of superconductors such as critical temperature and penetration depth can be tuned by parameters such as strain and doping, and how these relationships can explain the mechanics of materials that demonstrate non-BCS superconducting behavior.

Bochao Xu, Graduate Student

Bochao's research is to use the scanning squid microscopes to study magnetic properties of magnetic Weyl semimetals and Kagome magnets. Bochao works  with the Montana and Bluefors cryostats. Before UConn, Bochao worked on Molecular Beam Epitaxy, Scanning tunneling microscope, angle-resolved photo-emission spectroscopy, UHV systems at Southern University of Science and Technology of China.

Ryan Laing, Graduate Student

Ryan works on developing new magnetic sensors and their applications to materials physics.


Donovan Davino, Undergraduate Student

The purpose of Donny's research was to use SQUID microscopy to characterize the behavior of superconducting materials near their Quantum Critical Points while adjusting parameters such as doping and mechanical strain. Tuning material properties near QCPs may then allow the scientific community to help engineer better superconductors as well understand this fundamental phenomenon. Donny have worked on designing and simulating components for the Bluefors experiment via Solidwoks.

Chloe Herrera, Graduate Student

Chloe garduated with M. Sc. She worked on strain-tuned strontium titanate and extremely overdoped cuprates.