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Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), working with Dr. Hanno Weitering. Mr. Smith received his B.S. in Mathematics from Lee University (LU) in 2012 and his M.S. from UTK in 2015, at which time he began his work with Dr. Weitering. His main area of interest is the optimization and growth of sub-monolayer surface phases, which are probed using scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and low energy electron diffraction (LEED). Mr. Smith’s most recent study focuses on driving electronic instabilities, such as superconductivity or charge/spin density waves, in strictly two-dimensional metallic systems on semiconductor surfaces. Specifically, the systems are examined through modulation and adsorbate doping, with a greater goal of understanding electronic correlations in relatively simple systems. Prior to joining the CMP, Mr. Smith was a co-author for several articles, including “Realization of a Hole-Doped Mott Insulator on a Triangular Silicon Lattice” in Physical Review Letters and “Atomic and Electronic Structure of Doped Si(111)(2√3 × 2√3)R30◦-Sn Interfacesin Physical Review B. His current research involves the optimization of additional dopants on these surfaces to drive further interesting electronic phenomena, with the exciting possibility of realizing superconductivity on a simple silicon platform. Such a discovery would result in possible applications in quantum technologies. Mr. Smith is currently working on a manuscript containing exciting results from alkali metal doping experiments of these 2D systems, where the surface undergoes a metal-insulator transition as the valence electrons condense into a beautiful Kagome pattern with potentially exotic topological quantum properties.