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Kin Fai Mak

Assistant Professor

Clark Hall, Room 521

Educational Background

B.S., 2005, Physics and Mathematics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. PhD., 2010, Physics, Columbia University. Post-doctoral Fellow, Columbia University, 2010-2012. Post-doctoral Fellow, Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Cornell University, 2012-2014. Assistant Professor, Physics, Pennsylvania State University, 2014-2018. Assistant Professor, Physics and Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2018-present. Michelson Post-doctoral Prize, 2012. IUPAP Young Scientist Prize, 2013. DOE Early Career Award, 2015-2020. AFOSR Young Investigator Award, 2016-2019. Packard Foundation Fellow, 2016-2021. Macronix Prize, 2016. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 2017-2019.



Optical spectroscopy and microscopy; nano-electronics, -photonics and -mechanical devices; two-dimensional layered materials and their heterostructures; Berry curvature effects in solids; two-dimensional superconductivity and magnetism.


  • Physics

Graduate Fields

  • Physics
  • Applied and Engineering Physics


  • Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP)


Our research group explores new physical phenomena in atomically thin materials and their heterostructures. We study a wide range of materials with very different properties, which include semiconductors, superconductors and magnets etc. We stack them together to form heteostructures, and make electronics and opto-mechanical devices based on this material platform. To explore new phenomena, we also develop new measurement and imaging techniques suitable for specific problems on hand. Our ultimate goal is to push the limit on what can be seen and done in this two-dimensional world.



Valley magnetoelectricity in single-layer MoS2. Jieun Lee, Zefang Wang, Hongchao Xie, Kin Fai Mak, & Jie Shan, Nature Materials 16, 887-891 (2017).

Valley- and spin-polarized Landau levels in monolayer WSe2. Zefang Wang, Jie Shan, & Kin Fai Mak, Nature Nanotechnology 12, 144-149 (2017).

Electrical control of the valley Hall effect in bilayer MoS2 transistors. Jieun Lee, Kin Fai Mak, & J. Shan, Nature Nanotechnology 11, 421-425 (2016).

Ising pairing in superconducting NbSe2 atomic layers. Xiaoxiang Xi, Zefang Wang, Weiwei Zhao, Ju-Hyun Park, Kam Tuen Law, Helmuth Berger, Laszlo Forró, Jie Shan, & Kin Fai Mak, Nature Physics 12, 139-143 (2016).

Strongly enhanced charge-density-wave order in monolayer NbSe2. Xiaoxiang Xi, Liang Zhao, Zefang Wang, Helmuth Berger, Laszlo Forró, Jie Shan, & Kin Fai Mak, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 765-769 (2015).

Tightly bound excitons in monolayer WSe2. Keliang He, Nardeep Kumar, Liang Zhao, Zefang Wang, Kin Fai Mak, Hui Zhao, & Jie Shan, Physical Review Letters 113, 026803 (2014).

The valley Hall effect in MoS2 transistors. Kin Fai Mak, Kathryn L. McGill, Jiwoong Park, & Paul L. McEuen, Science 344, 1489-1492 (2014).

Tightly bound trions in monolayer MoS2. Kin Fai Mak, Keliang He, Changgu Lee, Gwan Hyoung Lee, James Hone, Tony F. Heinz, & Jie Shan, Nature Materials 12, 207-211 (2013).

Control of valley polarization in monolayer MoS2 by optical helicity. Kin Fai Mak, Keliang He, Jie Shan, & Tony F. Heinz, Nature Nanotechnology 7, 494-498 (2012).

Atomically thin MoS2: A new direct-gap semiconductor. Kin Fai Mak, Changgu Lee, James Hone, Jie Shan, & Tony F. Heinz, Physical Review Letters 105, 136805 (2010).