Jay Kikkawa

Jay Kikkawa
Standing Faculty


Research Areas: Hard Condensed Matter




  • 2013 recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 2001 William McMillan Award
  • NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award (2001-)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2001-02)
  • Research Innovation Award (2000-02)
  • Parsons Foundation Fellow (1994-95)
  • Department of Education Condensed Matter Fellow (1991-93)
  • DuPont de Nemours Graduate Fellow (1991)
  • Elected member Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard College (1991)



  • Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania (2012 - )
  • Associate Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania (2006-12)
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania (2000-06)
  • QUEST Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California at Santa Barbara (1997-99)

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara (1997)
B.S. Harvard (1991)

Research Interests


Our experimental group is interested in systems ranging from molecules to nanomaterials to strongly correlated bulk solids, with a special interest in spin and orbital magnetism.  Often our work aims to find new ways to understand these materials by introducing new static and transient optical spectroscopies. Our time-resolved work on colossally magnetoresistive manganites compared spin and charge dynamics and found evidence for photonucleated transitory magnetic ordering using the dynamical magneto-optical Kerr effect. We have developed a method of optical magnetometry to produce background-free measurements of diamagnetic anisotropy in different chiralities of carbon nanotubes, a strategy we are now using for other low dimensional compounds.  We introduced a method of phonon sideband spectroscopy for studying finite-momentum ‘dark’ excitons in carbon nanotubes, and used this technique to provide a comprehensive study of these excitons across a wide range of nanotube chiralities. We have recently developed a sub-picosecond photoluminescence system, which we used to study the Purcell effect in plasmonically enhanced nanowires.   This Kerr gate system is one of only a few in the world and is now being employed to study charge and energy migration in nanocrystal assemblies.  Our lab is currently developing new ultrafast orbital magnetic spectroscopies and high pressure techniques, and has at various times employed a wide range of additional measurements including single molecule photoluminescence and photoconductivity, Raman scattering, circular dichroism, magnetoresistance, thermal conductivity, and transient absorption and Faraday/Kerr effect.


Selected Publications

Carl H. Naylor, William M. Parkin, Jinglei Ping, Zhaoli Gao, Yu Ren Zhou, Youngkuk Kim, Frank Streller, Robert W. Carpick, Andrew M. Rappe, Marija Drndic, James M. Kikkawa, A. T. Charlie Johnson, “Weak antilocalization in monolayer single crystal 1T’-MoTe2 grown by chemical vapor deposition”, Nano Letters 16, 4297-4304 (2016).


Benjamin T. Diroll, Michael E. Turk, Natalie Gogotsi, Christopher B. Murray, James M. Kikkawa, “Ultrafast Photoluminescence from the Core and the Shell in CdSe/CdS Dot-in-Rod Heterostructures”, ChemPhysChem 17, 759-765 (2016). DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201500747


M.A. Noyan, J.M. Kikkawa, “Time-resolved orbital angular momentum spectroscopy” Applied Physics Letters, 107, 032406 (2015).


M.E. Turk, P.M. Vora, A.T. Fafarman, B.T. Diroll, C.B. Murray, C.R. Kagan, J.M. Kikkawa, “Ultrafast Electron Trapping in Ligand-Exchange Quantum Dot Assemblies”, ACS Nano 9(2), 1440-1447 (2015).


M.E. Turk, J.-H. Choi, S.J. Oh, A.T. Fafarman, B.T. Diroll, C.B. Murray, C.R. Kagan, J.M. Kikkawa, “Gate-Induced Carrier Delocalization in Quantum Dot Field Effect Transistors”, Nano Letters 14, 5948-5952 (2014).


A. L. Exarhos, M. E. Turk, J. M. Kikkawa, “Ultrafast Spectral Migration of Photoluminescence in Graphene Oxide,” Nano Letters 13, 344-349 (2013).


P.M. Vora, O.N. Torrens, J.M. Kikkawa, “Calculation of the Chirality-Dependent Orbital Magnetic Anisotropy in Doped Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes,” Carbon 50, 771-777 (2012).


P. M. Vora, P. Gopu, M. Rosario-Canales, C.R. Perez, Y. Gogtsi, J.J. Santiago-Aviles, J.M. Kikkawa “Correlating Magnetotransport and Diamagnetism of sp2-Bonded Carbon Networks Through the Metal-Insulator Transition,” Physical Review B 84, 155114/1-8 (2011).


C.-H. Cho, C.O. Aspetti, M.E. Turk, J. M. Kikkawa, S.-W. Nam, and R. Agarwal, “Tailoring hot-excitonic emission in semiconducting nanowires via whispering gallery nanocavity plasmons,” Nature Materials 10, 669-675 (2011).


G. Grigoryan, Y.-H. Kim R. Acharya, K. Axelrod, R.M. Jain, L. Willis, M. Drndic, J.M. Kikkawa, W.F. DeGrado, “Computational Design of Virus-like Protein Assemblies on Carbon Nanotube Surfaces,” Science 332, 1071-1076 (2011).


P.M. Vora, X. Tu, E.J. Mele, M. Zheng, and J.M. Kikkawa, “Chirality dependence of the K-momentum dark excitons in carbon nanotubes,” Phys. Rev. B, 81, 155123, (2010)


A. Dong, J. Chen, P.M. Vora, J.M. Kikkawa, and C.B. Murray, “Binary nanocrystal superlattice membranes self-assembled at the liquid-air interface,” Nature 466, 474-477 (2010).


Z. Luo, P.M. Vora, E.J. Mele, A.T. Johnson, J.M. Kikkawa, “Photoluminescence and band gap modulation in graphene oxide,” Applied Physics Letters 94, 111909 (2009).


O.N. Torrens, M. Zheng, J.M. Kikkawa, “K-Momentum Dark Exciton Energy in Carbon Nanotubes,” Physical Review Letters 101, 157401 (2008).


P.R. Frail, K. Susumu, M. Huynh, J. Fong, J.M. Kikkawa, M.J. Therien, Modulation of Dark Conductivity over a 1 × 10 −12 to 1 × 10−5 S/cm Range Through Ancillary Group Modification in Amorphous Solids of Ethyne-Bridged (Porphinato)zinc(II) Oligomers, Chemistry of Materials 19, 6062-6064 (2007).


M. B. Bryning, D. E. Milkie, M. F. Islam, L. A. Hough, J. M. Kikkawa, A. G. Yodh, “Carbon Nanotube Aerogels,” Advanced Materials 19, 661-664 (2007).


O.N. Torrens, D.E. Milkie, H.Y. Ban, M. Zheng, G.B. Onoa, T.D. Gierke, J.M. Kikkawa, “Measurement of Chiral-Dependent Magnetic Anisotropy in Carbon Nanotubes,” Journal of the American Chemical Society 129, 252-253 (2007).


O.N. Torrens, D.E. Milkie, M. Zheng, J.M. Kikkawa, “Photoluminescence from Intertube Carrier Migration in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Bundles,” Nano Letters 6, 2864-2867 (2006).


D.E. Milkie, C. Staii, S. Paulson, E. Hindman, A.T. Johnson, J.M. Kikkawa, “Controlled Switching of Optical Emission Energies in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”, Nano Letters 5, 1135-1138 (2005).


S.A. McGill, R.I. Miller, O.N. Torrens, A. Mamchik, I-Wei Chen, and J.M. Kikkawa, “Optical Evidence for Transient Photo-induced Magnetization in La0.7Ca0.3MnO3,” Physical Review B 71, 075117 (2005).


M.F. Islam, D.E. Milkie, O.N. Torrens, A.G. Yodh, J.M. Kikkawa, “Magnetic Heterogeneity and Alignment of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes,” Physical Review B – Rapid Communications 71, p. 201401 (2005).


S.A. McGill , R.I. Miller , O.N. Torrens , A. Mamchik , I-Wei Chen and J.M. Kikkawa, “Dynamic Kerr effect and spectral weight transfer of the manganites,” Physical Review Letters 93, 47402-47405 (2004).


M.F. Islam, D.E. Milkie, C.L. Kane, A.G. Yodh, J.M. Kikkawa, “Direct measurement of  the polarized optical absorption cross-section of single-wall carbon nanotubes,” Physical Review Letters 93, p. 37404-37407 (2004).