Qihang Liu

4001 Discovery Dr. Suite N366
Boulder CO 80309


2013 – 2018: Research Associate Faculty, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
2012 – 2013: Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL



2007 – 2012: Ph. D. in Condensed Matter Physics, State Key Laboratory of Mesoscopic Physics and Department of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
2003 – 2007: Bachelor of Science, Department of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China



    My research interest is theoretical condensed matter physics and nanoscience, special focus is on novel physical properties induced by spin-orbit coupling, topological insulators, strong correlation physics, electronic and structural properties of crystals, surfaces, and interfaces, low-dimensional systems and nano-materials, and electron transport through nanostructures.

  • Novel physics induced by spin-orbit coupling, such as topological insulators, spin splittings (Rashba-type and Dresselhaus-type) and related electronic or optical properties.
  • Atomic and electronic structure of crystals, defects, molecules and low-dimensional nanostructures, such as interfaces, heterostructures, graphene, silicene, carbon nanotube and transition-metal dichalcogenides.
  • Novel electronic device simulation in nanoelectronics and spintronics, such as (spin-) field effect transistor, negative differential resistance, spin-filter, spin-valve, etc.
  • Functionality-driven inverse material search, including quantum wells, superlattices by genetic algorithm.
  • Quantum transport study under nano-scale by using non-equilibrium Green’s function method, including transmission spectrum, eigenstates, I-V curve, etc.
  • Computational physics. Density-functional theory (DFT), pseudopotentials. Some skilled DFT codes like CASTEP, VASP, Dmole3, SIESTA, etc.
  • Qihang is also enthusiastic about learning and exploring new research areas including energy efficient systems (e.g., solar cells), technologically and environmentally relevant materials, and intersection related materials (e.g., photonic crystals).

Selected Publications

  1. Q. Liu* and A. Zunger, Predicted Realization of Cubic Dirac Fermion in Quasi-One-Dimensional Transition-Metal Mono-Chalcogenides, Phys. Rev. X 7, 021019 (2017).
  2. X. Zhou, Q. Liu*, J. A. Waugh, H. Li, T. Nummy, X. Zhang, X. Zhu, G. Cao, A. Zunger and D. S. Dessau. Predicted electronic markers for polytypes of LaOBiS2 examined via angular resolved photoemission spectroscopy, Phys. Rev. B 95, 075118 (2017).
  3. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang, J. A. Waugh, D. S. Dessau and A. Zunger. Orbital mapping of energy bands and the truncated spin polarization in three-dimensional Rashba semiconductors, Phys. Rev. B 94, 125207 (2016).
  4. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang and A. Zunger. Transforming common III-V and II-VI semiconductor compounds into topological heterostructures: The case of CdTe/InSb superlattices, Adv. Func. Mater. 26, 3259 (2016).
  5. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang and A. Zunger. Polytypism in LaOBiS2-type compounds based on different three-dimensional stacking sequences of two-dimensional BiS2 layers, Phys. Rev. B 93, 174119 (2016).
  6. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang and A. Zunger, Intrinsic circular polarization in centrosymmetric stacks of transition-metal dichalcogenides, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 087402 (2015).
  7. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang, L. B. Abdalla, A. Fazzio and A. Zunger, Switching a Normal Insulator into a Topological Insulator via Electric Field with Application to Phosphorene, Nano Lett. 15, 1222 (2015).
  8. Q. Liu*, X. Zhang, H. Jin, K. Lam, J. Im, A. J. Freeman, et al. Search and design of nonmagnetic centrosymmetric layered crystals with large local spin polarization. Phys. Rev. B 91, 235204 (2015).

  9. X. Zhang, Q. Liu, J.-W. Luo, A. J. Freeman, A. Zunger, Hidden spin polarization in inversion-symmetric bulk crystals, Nat. Phys. 10, 387 (2014).

  10. Q. Liu*, Y. Guo, A. J. Freeman, Tunable Rashba Effect in Two-dimensional LaOBiS2 Films: Ultra-thin Candidates for Spin Field Effect Transistors, Nano Lett. 13, 5264 (2013).
  11. Z. Ni, Q. Liu, K. Tang, J. Zheng, J. Zhou, R. Qin, Z. Gao, D. Yu and J. Lu, Tunable Bandgap in Silicene and Germanene, Nano Lett. 12, 113 (2012).
  12. Q. Liu, L. Li, Y. Li, Z. Gao, Z. Chen & J. Lu, Tuning Electronic Structure of Bilayer MoS2 by Vertical Electric Field: A First-Principles Investigation. J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 21556-21562 (2012).
  13. Q. Liu, G. Luo, R. Qin, H. Li, X. Yan, C. Xu, et al. Negative differential resistance in parallel single-walled carbon nanotube contacts. Phys. Rev. B 83, 155442 (2011).

† Co-first author

* Corresponding author.

For a full list of publications please visit the Google Scholar site.