Controlling quantum materials on the atomic scale
The huge diversity of electronic phases that emerge out of the complex interactions that exist within a solid can range from dissipationless superconductivity, novel forms of magnetism, to the recently discovered massless Dirac-like states that exist on the surfaces of topological insulators. Understanding such properties and searching for new phenomena has historically been driven by the symbiotic relationship between synthesis, characterization, and theory. Here, I will focus on how the atomic-scale control of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), which is the gold-standard for synthesizing the highest quality materials, opens up pathways to create and explore novel phenomena. In particular, I will discuss how MBE has been key to realizing intrinsic electronic properties from the novel surface states on topological insulators to strongly correlated phases in transition metal perovskites.