• Ilias Perakis joined UAB in 2015 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) recognized “for contributions to the many-body theory of the coherent optical properties of semiconductors and metals.” He received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1997 and has been honored with a Faculty Research Participation Award at Oakridge National Laboratory.

    In 1995, Ilias joined the faculty of the Department of Physics at Vanderbilt University, where he still maintains an affiliate appointment. In 2000, he returned to his birthplace in the south of Greece to serve as Professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Crete. There, he also served as Chair of the Department of Materials Science & Technology and Associate Chair of the Department of Physics, where he directed Undergraduate Studies and coordinated the undergraduate student Internship and High-school Apprentice Teaching programs. Dr. Perakis has held numerous professional and academic positions, including Visiting Professorships at Oakridge National Laboratory, the Louis Pasteur University and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Strasbourg France, and the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser at the Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) in Crete. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Department of Energy-Basic Energy Sciences, and the European Union. He now leads UAB-Physics as it becomes an internationally recognized center of excellence, where novel lasers, extreme pressure and magnetic field conditions, and advanced computation are used to answer the grand challenges of advanced quantum and nanoscale materials.


    B.S., National Technical University of Athens, Greece, Electrical Engineering
    M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Physics
    Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Physics
    Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University, Department of Physics
    Postdoctoral Member of AT&T Bell Laboratories Theory Division

    Research Interests

    What happens when quantum materials are excited far from equilibrium by intense and ultra-short laser pulses? How can complex non-equilibrium phenomena and metastable quantum phases emerge from simple ingredients in this case? How can we harness quantum mechanical coherence in Light and Matter? How will quantum information technology, materials genome initiative, and photonics revolutions be extended going forward? Dr. Perakis’ research addresses these big questions, recognized as national initiatives of critical importance, which present transformative opportunities that will shape our future. He advances theory and computation for Ultrafast Quantum Manipulation of Advanced Quantum and Complex Materials for fundamental Physics and next-generation-device applications. Ilias and his students use non-equilibrium quantum theory and density matrix equations of motion to design and interpret experiments that take advantage of state-of-the-art ultrafast spectroscopy tools allowing an unprecedented temporal, spectral, and spatial resolution into quantum materials. His most recent work searches for transient phases accessed far from equilibrium following femtosecond quantum quench of the fundamental energy gap of superconductors by terahertz laser pulses. Fascinating non-equilibrium phenomena emerge in such complex systems from the collective behavior of electronic charge and spin and its interplay with the underlying crystal and non-adiabatic light-matter coupling. Lightwave Electronics, Switching applications at the fundamental speed limit, and quantum engineering of multifunctional devices can emerge from this work, with quantum information and other applications. At the same time, advanced computing is at the core of these research activities.

    Ilias was one of the first theorists to point out the important role of non-adiabatic time-dependent correlations in ultrafast coherent nonlinear optical spectroscopy studies of many-electron quantum materials. Starting in the mid 1990’s, he pointed out the role of laser-induced non-equilibrium quantum dynamics in two-dimensional electron gases under high magnetic fields and in small metal nanoparticles. He also published the first papers on control of femtosecond spin-orbit-torques, spin-torques, and quantum magnetism by laser pulses. Ilias' other passion is communicating STEM to the general public and his students through innovation. He has designed an innovative active-learning environment where his students try to figure out who is Bobo. He has also designed a Scientist Citizen Initiative.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Ultrafast manipulation of topologically enhanced surface transport driven by mid-infrared and terahertz pulses in Bi 2 Se 3Nature Communications.  10. 2019
    2019 Ultrafast nonthermal terahertz electrodynamics and possible quantum energy transfer in the Nb3Sn superconductorPhysical Review B.  99. 2019
    2018 Nonequilibrium Pair Breaking in Ba (Fe1-xCox)2As2 Superconductors: Evidence for Formation of a Photoinduced Excitonic StatePhysical Review Letters.  121. 2018
    2018 Biexcitons in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides tuned by magnetic fieldsNature Communications.  9. 2018
    2018 Terahertz-light quantum tuning of a metastable emergent phase hidden by superconductivityNature Materials.  17:586-591. 2018
    2018 Theory of ultrafast spin-charge quantum dynamics in strongly correlated systems controlled by femtosecond photoexcitation: An application to insulating antiferromagnetic manganitesProceedings of SPIE.  10638. 2018
    2017 Correlating quasiparticle excitations with quantum femtosecond magnetism in photoexcited nonequilibrium states of insulating antiferromagnetic manganitesPhysical Review B.  95. 2017
    2017 Coulomb-interaction induced coupling of Landau levels in intrinsic and modulation-doped quantum wellsPhysical Review B.  95. 2017
    2017 Ultrafast terahertz snapshots of excitonic Rydberg states and electronic coherence in an organometal halide perovskiteNature Communications.  8. 2017
    2017 Critical speeding up of nonequilibrium electronic relaxation near nematic phase transition in unstrained Ba(Fe1-x Cox) 2 As2Physical Review B.  95. 2017
    2015 Manipulating femtosecond spin-orbit torques with laser pulse sequences to control magnetic memory states and ringingPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  91. 2015
    2015 Ultrafast probes of nonequilibrium hole spin relaxation in the ferromagnetic semiconductor GaMnAsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  91. 2015
    2014 Ultrafast observation of critical nematic fluctuations and giant magnetoelastic coupling in iron pnictidesNature Communications.  5. 2014
    2014 Non-thermal separation of electronic and structural orders in a persisting charge density waveNature Materials.  13:857-861. 2014
    2013 Femtosecond switching of magnetism via strongly correlated spin-charge quantum excitationsNature.  496:69-73. 2013
    2012 Femtosecond all-optical modulation of collective spin in the (Ga,Mn)As ferromagnetJournal of the Optical Society of America B.  29. 2012
    2011 Ultrafast polariton population build-up mediated by molecular phonons in organic microcavitiesApplied Physics Letters.  99. 2011
    2011 All-optical four-state magnetization reversal in (Ga,Mn)As ferromagnetic semiconductorsApplied Physics Letters.  99. 2011
    2011 Strong electronic correlation effects in coherent multidimensional nonlinear optical spectroscopyJournal of Physical Chemistry B.  115:5634-5647. 2011
    2010 Transient three-pulse four-wave mixing spectra of magnetoexcitons coupled with an incompressible quantum liquidPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  82. 2010
    2009 Femtosecond coherent control of spins in (Ga,Mn)as ferromagnetic semiconductors using lightPhysical Review Letters.  103. 2009
    2009 Ultrafast laser-induced coherent spin dynamics in ferromagnetic Ga1-x Mnx As/GaAs structuresPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  79. 2009
    2009 Memory effects in photoinduced femtosecond magnetization rotation in ferromagnetic GaMnAsApplied Physics Letters.  94. 2009
    2008 Magnetization relaxation and collective spin excitations in correlated double-exchange ferromagnetsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  78. 2008
    2008 Spin dynamics in (III,Mn)V ferromagnetic semiconductors: The role of correlationsPhysical Review Letters.  101. 2008
    2008 Controlling the interactions between polaritons and molecular vibrations in strongly coupled organic semiconductor microcavitiesPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  78. 2008
    2008 Observation of an inter-Landau level quantum coherence in semiconductor quantum wellsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  78. 2008
    2008 Femtosecond control of the magnetization in ferromagnetic semiconductorsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  77. 2008
    2008 Linear and ultrafast optical spectroscopy in the regime of the quantum Hall effectphysica status solidi (b).  245:321-330. 2008
    2007 Coherent magnetization precession in GaMnAs induced by ultrafast optical excitationApplied Physics Letters.  91. 2007
    2007 Non-Heisenberg spin dynamics of double-exchange ferromagnets with Coulomb repulsionPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  75. 2007
    2006 Near-bandgap wavelength dependence of long-lived traveling coherent longitudinal acoustic phonons in GaSb-GaAs heterostructuresPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  74. 2006
    2006 Correlation effects in the ultrafast dynamics of the Quantum Hall system close to v = 1physica status solidi (b).  243:2397-2404. 2006
    2006 Ultrafast spectroscopy of the quantum Hall ferromagnetPhysica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures.  34:381-384. 2006
    2006 Three-body correlation effects on the spin dynamics of double-exchange ferromagnetsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  73. 2006
    2006 Dynamics of the collective excitations of the quantum Hall systemPhysica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures.  34:206-209. 2006
    2006 Nonlinear optical studies of the transient coherence in the Quantum Hall systemSolid State Communications.  140:72-82. 2006
    2006 Ultrafast dynamics of coherences in a quantum hall systemPhysical Review Letters.  97. 2006
    2006 Ultrafast light-induced magnetization dynamics of ferromagnetic semiconductorsPhysical Review Letters.  96. 2006
    2005 Theory of ultrafast exciton dynamics in the Quantum Hall systemChemical Physics.  318:118-136. 2005
    2003 Spin/carrier dynamics at semiconductor interfaces using intense, tunable, ultra-fast lasersphysica status solidi (b).  240:490-499. 2003
    2003 Ultrafast dephasing in strongly correlated systemsphysica status solidi (b).  238:502-508. 2003
    2003 Coherent ultrafast dynamics in the quantum Hall effect regimeSolid State Communications.  127:147-154. 2003
    2003 Pump-probe second harmonic generation study of ultrafast spin dynamics in semiconductor multilayersSurface and Interface Analysis.  35:146-150. 2003
    2003 Ultrafast nonlinear optical response of strongly correlated systems: Dynamics in the quantum Hall effect regimePhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  67. 2003
    2002 Ultrafast dynamics of interfacial electric fields in semiconductor heterostructures monitored by pump-probe second-harmonic generationApplied Physics Letters.  81:3717-3719. 2002
    2002 Ultrafast dephasing and collective effects in the quantum Hall effect regimephysica status solidi (b).  234:242-253. 2002
    2002 Dynamics of inter-Landau-level excitations of a two-dimensional electron gas in the quantum Hall regimePhysical Review Letters.  89:067401/1-067401/4. 2002
    2002 Ultrafast spin dynamics in GaAs/GaSb/InAs heterostructures probed by second harmonic generationApplied Physics Letters.  81:220-222. 2002
    2002 Role of As precipitates on ultrafast electron trapping in low-temperature-grown GaAs and AlGaAs alloysJournal of Applied Physics.  91:9863-9868. 2002
    2002 Condensed-matter physics: Exciton developmentsNature.  417:33-35. 2002
    2002 Coulomb correlations in a two-dimensional electron gas in large magnetic fieldsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  66:1-13. 2002
    2002 Femtosecond dynamics of inter-Landau level excitations of a two-dimensional electron gas in the quantum Hall regimePhysica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures.  12:550-553. 2002
    2002 Many-body luminescence from nanorings at high excitation levelPhysica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures.  14:172-176. 2002
    2001 Evidence for two coupled subsystems in the superconducting state of La 2 _ x Sr x CuO 4Physical Review B (Condensed Matter).  64:2145051-2145055. 2001
    2001 Many-body spin correlations in nonlinear optical spectroscopyJournal of Superconductivity.  14:211-215. 2001
    2001 Ultrafast electron trapping times in low-temperature-grown gallium arsenide: The effect of the arsenic precipitate spacing and sizeApplied Physics Letters.  79:2883-2885. 2001
    2001 Observation of strongly damped GHz phonon-polariton oscillations in La 0.67 Ca 0.33 MnO 3Physical Review B (Condensed Matter).  64:1444011-1444015. 2001
    2001 Evidence for two coupled subsystems in the superconducting state of (formula presented)Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  64. 2001
    2001 Luminescence from highly excited nanorings: Luttinger liquid descriptionPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  64. 2001
    2001 Spin dynamics in nonlinear optical spectroscopy of fermi sea systemsProceedings of SPIE.  4280:174-180. 2001
    2000 Ultrafast coulomb-induced dynamics of quantum well magnetoexcitonsPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter).  62:15925-15941. 2000
    2000 Coherent ultrafast optical dynamics of the Fermi-edge singularityPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  61:2041-2058. 2000
    2000 Femtosecond Coherent Dynamics of the Fermi-Edge Singularity and Exciton HybridPhysical Review Letters.  84:2006-2009. 2000
    2000 Many-body correlation effects in the ultrafast non-linear optical response of confined Fermi seasSurface Science Reports.  40:1-74. 2000
    2000 Spin correlations in nonlinear optical response: light-induced kondo effectPhysical Review Letters.  84:5896-5899. 2000
    2000 Surface collective excitations in ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy of metal nanoparticlesChemical Physics.  251:37-49. 2000
    1999 Canonical transformation approach to the ultrafast nonlinear optical dynamics of semiconductorsInternational Journal of Modern Physics B.  13:869-893. 1999
    1999 Electron dynamics in silver nanoparticles: comparison between thin films and glass embedded nanoparticlesPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  60:11738-11746. 1999
    1999 Electronic dephasing in the quantum hall regimePhysical Review Letters.  83:4646-4649. 1999
    1999 Magnetoexciton escape from shallow quantum wells induced by in-plane electric fieldsPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  60:16027-16030. 1999
    1999 Size-dependent correlation effects in the ultrafast optical dynamics of metal nanoparticlesPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.  60:9090-9099. 1999
    1998 Size-dependent surface plasmon dynamics in metal nanoparticlesPhysical Review Letters.  81:3120-3123. 1998
    1996 Many-body effects in nonlinear spectroscopy: A time-dependent transformation approachChemical Physics.  210:259-277. 1996
    1996 Many-body effects in nonlinear spectroscopy: a time-dependent transformation approachChemical Physics.  210:259-277. 1996
    1996 Nonlinear optical study of the Fermi edge singularity: differences from atomic excitons in the virtual excitation regimeJournal of the Optical Society of America B.  13:1313-1313. 1996
    1996 Many-body and disorder effects in the optical spectra of extremely high density Be δ-doped GaAsSolid State Communications.  100:497-501. 1996
    1996 Measuring the ultrafast dynamics of Coulomb correlation effects: Dephasing in nonequilibrium Fermi seasJournal of the Optical Society of America B.  13:1284-1290. 1996
    1996 Observation of a magnetic-field-induced transition in the behavior of extremely shallow quantum well excitonsPhysical Review Letters.  76:106-109. 1996
    1996 Transition in the nature of magnetoexcitons in shallow quantum wellsSolid State Communications.  98:379-383. 1996
    1995 ULTRAFAST DYNAMICS OF COULOMB CORRELATION EFFECTS IN NON-EQUILIBRIUM FERMI SEASJournal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials.  04:497-510. 1995
    1994 Non-Fermi-liquid states of a magnetic ion in a metal: Particle-hole symmetric casePhysical Review B (Condensed Matter).  49:9041-9051. 1994
    1994 ac Stark effect of the Fermi edge singularity: Observation of ''excitonic polarons''?Physical Review Letters.  72:3202-3205. 1994
    1993 Non-Fermi-liquid states of a magnetic ion in a metalPhysical Review Letters.  70:3467-3470. 1993
    1993 Noncanonical-transformation approach to the problem of an itinerant particle interacting with a Fermi seaPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter).  47:6573-6584. 1993
    1991 Noncanonical-transformation approach to the x-ray-edge problemPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter).  44:5877-5880. 1991
    1991 Singularities in the optical spectra of a system involving a Fermi sea of electrons and a localized hole: A method for obtaining many-body wave functionsPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter).  43:12556-12563. 1991

    Research Overview

  • 1. Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, with emphasis on emergent non-equilibrium
    2. Computational Physics and Advanced Materials Science, with emphasis on
    simulation of non-equilibrium phenomena and time-dependent nonlinear interactions
    3. Optical, Electronic, Topological, Photonic, Transport, and Magnetic properties of
    Quantum Materials and Superconductors
    4. Theory and Computation of ultra-strong and non-adiabatic light-matter interactions
    and Lightwave Terahertz Electronics
    5. Theory of Quantum Sensing, Imaging, Transduction, and Control of Quantum
    Materials and Collective Modes for Quantum Information Science
    6. Design of Non-equilibrium Advanced Materials Phases using Electromagnetic fields
  • Teaching Overview

  • Physics via Concept Grinders: I designed an innovative, fully interactive freshman physics unconventional course with a three-fold purpose: (1) acquisition of deeper knowledge on science concepts and misconceptions (content knowledge), (2) development of scientific explaining skills (substantive knowledge), and (3) enhancement of arguing skills (syntactic knowledge). During the semester, students must discover who a fictitious character named “Bobo” is and how to talk to him so that he can understand Physics-based STEM concepts in order to be able to grade their exam. In addition to designing a successful tool for developing students’ complex skills (explaining, argumentative, and critical thinking abilities) and for motivating students about STEM, this course can be part of a training program for prospective high-school teachers. Success in meeting the stated goals was documented by the PhD dissertation of Dr. F. Chaimala at the School of Education of the University of Southampton. The results of this project were presented at various science education international conferences

    Scientist Citizen: I introduced, designed, and coordinated a Scientist Citizen interdisciplinary course for students from all Schools and Departments. This course includes public lectures from prominent experts that discuss some pressing scientific and ethics issues under national debate that affect modern society and make headlines (e.g. economy, science ethics, pollution, food and water shortage, global warming, nuclear weapons and energy, etc.). At the same time, we address issues of how to effectively communicate scientific facts to the general public. For the course grade, students act as reporters that talk to the lecturers and gather material in order to write (1) a newspaper article addressed to the general public and (2) a scientifically-structured paper. Both have to be on the same topic, but discussed from two different angles.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, University of Illinois System : Urbana-Champaign 1992
  • Bell Laboratories, Postdoctoral Fellowship 1995
  • Rutgers University Department of Physics, Postdoctoral Fellowship 1995
  • Full Name

  • Ilias Perakis