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Kin Fai Mak

Associate Professor

Kin Fai Mak

521 Clark Hall

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, 2018-2019. Associate Professor, Physics and Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2019-present. Michelson Post-doctoral Prize, 2012. IUPAP Young Scientist Prize, 2013. DOE Early Career Award, 2015. AFOSR Young Investigator Award, 2016. Packard Foundation Fellow, 2016. Macronix Prize, 2016. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 2017. ONR Young Investigator Award, 2018. PECASE, 2019.



Spectroscopy; two-dimensional quantum materials and their heterostructures; Berry curvature effects in solids; two-dimensional superconductivity and exciton condensation; magnetism; strong correlation physics.


  • 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.


Jie Gu, Kihong Lee, Wenjin Zhao, Liguo Ma, Kelly Luo, Yihang Zeng, Chirag Vaswani

Graduate Students

Raymond Zhu, Kaifei Kang, Lizhong Li, Zui Tao, Phuong Nguyen, Bowen Shen


Strongly correlated excitonic insulator in atomic double layers, L. Ma, P.X. Nguyen, Z. Wang, Y. Zeng, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, A.H. MacDonald, K.F. Mak, & J. Shan, arXiv:2104.05066.

Continuous Mott transition in semiconductor moiré superlattices, T. Lis, S. Jiang, L. Li, Y. Zhang, K. Kang, J. Zhu, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, D. Chowdhury, L. Fu, J. Shan, & K.F. Mak, arXiv:2103.09779.

Stripe phases in WSe2/WS2 moiré superlattices, C. Jin, Z. Tao, T. Li, Y. Xu, Y. Tang, J. Zhu, S. Liu, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, J. C. Hone, L. Fu, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature Materials (2021).

Correlated insulating states at fractional fillings of WSe2/WS2 moiré superlattices, Y. Xu, S. Liu, D. A. Rhodes, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, J. C. Hone, V. Elser, K. F. Mak, & J. Shan, Nature 587, 214-218 (2020).

Exchange magnetostriction in two-dimensional antiferromagnets, S. Jiang, H. Xie, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature Materials 19, 1295-1299 (2020).

Imaging and control of critical fluctuations in two-dimensional magnets, C. Jin, Z. Tao, K. Kang, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, K. F. Mak, & J. Shan, Nature Materials 19, 1290-1294 (2020).

Simulation of Hubbard model physics in WSe2/WS2 moiré superlattices, Y. Tang, L. Li, T. Li, Y. Xu, S. Liu, K. Barmak, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, A. H. MacDonald, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature 579, 353-358 (2020).

Evidence of high-temperature exciton condensation in 2D atomic double layers, Z. Wang, D. A. Rhodes, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, J. C. Hone, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature 574, 76-80 (2019).

Nonlinear anomalous Hall effect in few-layer WTe2. K. Kang, T. Li, E. Sohn, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature Materials 18, 324-328 (2019).

An unusual continuous paramagnetic-limited superconducting phase transition in 2D NbSe2. E. Sohn, X. Xi, W. He, S. Jiang, Z. Wang, K. Kang, J.-H. Park, H. Berger, L. Forró, K. T. Law, J. Shan, & K. F. Mak, Nature Materials 17, 504-508 (2018).