Name: Kevin P. Nuckolls
Title: Pappalardo Fellow in Physics, 2023-2026
Phone: (617) 324-1524
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 13-2073
Cambridge, MA 02139

Related Links:
Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics
Personal site

Area of Physics

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Research Interests

Kevin Nuckolls is an experimental physicist interested in the electronic and magnetic properties of quantum materials. His research interests broadly center around two major themes of quantum materials research: electronic correlation effects and topologically protected properties. Correlation effects result from interactions among an Avogadro number (~1023) of electrons, which produce complex collective phases of matter. Topological properties are immutable qualities of materials that are derived from geometric qualities of their electronic energy bands. Kevin’s research focuses on how these two effects can together give rise to new and unusual material properties, some of which may be useful for next-generation quantum technological applications.

For the first two years of his PhD, Kevin and his teammates designed and built a millikelvin-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy facility, capable of studying quantum materials with atomic-scale spatial resolution and unmatched energy resolution. He then used this facility to identify microscopic mechanisms for many exotic electronic phases in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene (MATBG), a tunable correlated electronic material that hosts unusual insulating, magnetic, and superconducting states. Most recently, his work has established key signatures of unconventional superconductivity in MATBG that are irreconcilable with conventional theories.

Biographical Sketch

Kevin grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. He received his BA in physics and applied mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017.

Later that year, he moved to Princeton University to pursue a PhD in experimental condensed matter physics, working with Prof. Ali Yazdani. Kevin completed his degree in May of 2023, and now works closely with Prof. Joe Checkelsky and his group at MIT

In his free time, Kevin enjoys biking, weight training, slacklining, and cooking recipes from NYT Cooking.

Selected Publications

  • Nuckolls, K. P.*, Lee, R. L.*, Oh, M.*, Wong, D.*, Soejima, T.* et al. Quantum textures of the many-body wavefunctions in magic-angle graphene. arXiv:2303.00024. Nature 620, 525-532 (2023).
  • Oh, M.*, Nuckolls, K. P.*, Wong, D.*, et al. Evidence for unconventional superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene. Nature 600, 240-245 (2021).
  • Nuckolls, K. P.*, Oh, M.*, Wong, D.*, et al. Strongly correlated Chern insulators in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene. Nature 588, 610-615 (2020).
  • Wong, D.*, Nuckolls, K. P.*, Oh, M.* et al. Cascade of electronic transitions in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene. Nature 582, 198-202 (2020).
  • Wong, D.*, Jeon, S.*, Nuckolls, K. P.*, Oh, M.* et al. A modular ultra-high vacuum millikelvin scanning tunneling microscope. Review of Scientific Instruments 91, 2, 023703 (2020).