Bio

Ph.D., 1978, California Institute of TechnologyB.S., 1974, California Institute of Technology

My research group currently focuses on three projects: (i) Experimental and computational study of thermoelectric properties of semiconductors and semimetals. The narrow-bandgap semiconductors studied are often in the proximity of topological semimetals that show unusual thermo-magnetic and electrical transport properties. (ii) Synthesis of thin films and computational study of ferrimagnetic and antiferromagnetic heterostructures that show skyrmionic state and anomalous Hall effect. The unique magnetic spin texture and fast dynamics are ideal for low-power and ultrafast spintronics. (iii) In our third project, we employ data science and experiment to study high-entropy alloys (HEAs) with specific properties in the complex high-dimensional composition space. The enormous flexibility of HEAs offers nearly unlimited possibilities for realizing superior physical and functional properties.

Research Interests

  • Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

In the News

  • Joe Poon Awarded the 2020 Jesse W. Beams Award

    Thursday, November 5, 2020


    Joe Poon has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Jesse W. Beams Research Award which is given annually by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. The award will be bestowed (virtually) during the 87th Annual Meeting of the SESAPS, November 4 – 5, 2020. Poon's citation reads: "In recognition of his keen physical insights and significant contributions to a broad range of topics in experimental materials physics. These include ground breaking work on the first aluminum-based and nonmagnetic iron-based metallic glasses, novel work on alloy quasicrystalline phases and nano-crystalline aluminum alloys, and work in thermo-electric materials." Here is a description of the Award from the APS (https://engage.aps.org/sesaps/honors/prizes-awards/beams): "The Jesse W. Beams Research Award, first presented in 1973, was established by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society to recognize especially significant or meritorious research in physics, the major portion of which was carried out while the recipient was resident in the ten-state region of the Southeast. The award is named for Jesse Wakefield Beams, a remarkably broad and productive experimental physicist who received his Ph.D. from and spent most of his career at the University of Virginia. ... The Beams Award honors those whose research led to the discovery of new phenomena or states of matter, provided fundamental insights in physics, or involved the development of experimental or theoretical techniques that enabled others to make key advances in physics, and the contributions of the award recipient should have received the critical acclaim of peers nationally and internationally."

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  • Cox and Poon Highlighted in UVAToday Story on Dozen Top Science Discoveries

    Monday, October 1, 2018


    Brad Cox's work on the discovery of the Higgs boson and Joe Poon's work on amorphous "super steel" is celebrated in a UVAToday story on UVA's top twelve notable science discoveries of the last half-century. Full story: https://news.virginia.edu/content/what-are-uvas-top-12-science-discoveries-past-half-century

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Selected Publications

  • “Tuning Interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interactions in Thin Amorphous Ferrimagnetic Alloys” Y. Quessab, J.-W. Xu, C. T. Ma, W. Zhou, G. A. Riley, J. M. Shaw, H. T. Nembach, S. J. Poon, and A. D. Kent, Scientific Reports, 10:7447 (2020).
  • “Amorphous Ferrimagnets: An Ideal Host for Ultra-Small Skyrmions” S. Joseph Poon and Chung Ting Ma, J. Supercond. Novel Magn. 33, 269 (2020).
  • “Robust Formation of Ultrasmall Room-Temperature Neél Skyrmions in Amorphous Ferrimagnets from Atomistic Simulations" Chung Ting Ma, Yunkun Xie, Howard Sheng, Avik W. Ghosh, and S. Joseph Poon, Scientific Reports, 9:9964 (2019).