Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Science

First Advisor

Dennis P. Clougherty


In this talk, I will discuss three problems related to the novel physics of two-dimensional quantum materials such as graphene, group-VI dichalcogenides family (TMDCs viz. MoS2 , WS2, MoSe2 , etc) and Silicene-Germanene class of materials.

The first problem poses a simple question - how do the quantum excitations in a graphene membrane affect adsorption? Using the tools of diagrammatic perturbation theory, I will derive the scattering rates of a neutral atom on a graphene membrane. I will show how this seemingly naive model can serve as a non-relativistic condensed matter analogue of the infamous infrared problem in Quantum Electrodynamics.

In the second problem, I will move from the framework of a single atom adsorption to a collective behavior of fluids near graphene and TMDC - interfaces. Following the seminal work of Dzyaloshinskii-Lifshitz-Pitaevskii on van der Waals interactions, I will develop a theory of liquid film growth on 2 dimensional surfaces. Additionally, I will report an exotic phenomenon of critical wetting instability which is a result of the dielectric engineering and discuss experimental and technological implications.

Finally, the last problem will see the introduction of spin-orbit coupling effects in the 2D topological insulator family of Silicene-Germanene class of materials. I will present a unified theory for their in-plane magnetic field response leading to "anomalous", i.e electron interaction-dependent spin-flip transition moment. Can this correction to spin-flip transition moment be measured? I will propose magneto-optical experimental techniques that can probe the effects.



Number of Pages

228 p.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 30, 2019