Yanan Dai Wins 2020 OCPA Outstanding Dissertation Award

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 3 February 2021

Congratulations to a recent graduate from Hrvoje Petek's group, Dr. Yanan Dai, for winning the 2020 International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers (OCPA) Outstanding Dissertation Award! In addition to this award, his dissertation, “Imaging Light with Photoelectrons on the Nano-Femto Scale,” was also recognized and reprinted in Springer-Nature.

Dr. Dai’s dissertation includes his work on ultrafast microscopy techniques and recent applications. These projects included his development of an ultrafast photoemission microscope with sub-10 femtosecond and nanometer spatiotemporal resolution, which was subsequently utilized to probe for and ultimately discover topological quasiparticles. Using ultrafast optics, Dr. Dai was able to probe and observe topological meron and skyrmion-like plasmonic quasiparticles as well as their dynamics during a phase transition. 

Using these observations and technological developments, he offers an analytical theory of how these newly observed quasiparticles and the microscopy techniques used to address them could have further research applications. 

A reprint of his dissertation can be found in Sprinter-Nature.