Through the collaboration with Prof. Jiandong Guo’s group in the Institute of Physics (IOP), Chinese Academy of Science, Prof. Ward Plummer and Prof. Jiandi Zhang with their colleagues, have designed and built a new type of electron energy loss spectroscopy system (see the picture: (from left) Prof.Jiandi Zhang, Dr. Xuetao Zhu, Prof.Ward Plummer and Prof. Jiandong Guo, stand by the system installed at IOP). This newly designed spectrometer provides unique capability of simultaneous electron energy and momentum mapping, thus it is a powerful technique to probe vibrational and electronic excitations at surfaces. The detailed design principle and its applications for studying lattice and charge dynamics as well as their coupling at a crystalline surface have been summarized in their recent publication [see Xuetao Zhu et al., Review of Scientific Instruments 86, 083902 (2015)].
Also recently, both Prof. Zhang and Prof. Plummer group have worked on the understanding of the nature of metal-insulator transition in ultrathin films of crystalline oxide materials. The results have been published in Physical Review B 92, 125123 (2015), which is also a part of the thesis work of a Ph. D. student (Zhaoliang Liao) under the LSU-China Dual Degree Program