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RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science Topological Quantum Matter Research Unit

Unit Leader: Max Hirschberger (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Max Hirschberger (Ph.D.)

We are focused on studying the interplay between magnetic order, in particular non-coplanar spin arrangements such as magnetic skyrmions, and the electronic band structure in solids. A particular emphasis will be put on compounds with the potential to be grown in thin-film form and realizing new types of protected surface states in correlated materials. Methods include materials search guided by standard density functional theory calculations, crystal synthesis using a variety of solid state techniques, and ultra-high resolution transport measurements. We also collaborate closely and regularly with other researchers at RIKEN and beyond to resolve the magnetic structure of new materials using quantum beam scattering experiments and real-space imaging. An important addition to our toolbox is the investigation of physical properties in very high magnetic fields up 45 Tesla (static) or 100 Tesla (transient); for this purpose, we make use of facilities with user programs in Japan, the United States, and Europe.

Main Research Fields

  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Related Research Fields

  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Applied Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics I
  • Inorganic materials/Physical properties


  • Topological Semimetals
  • Skyrmions
  • Frustrated magnetism
  • Thermal Hall effect
  • Thermoelectric transport

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. Hirschberger, M., Nakajima, T., Gao, S., Peng, L., Kikkawa, A., Kurumaji, T., Kriener, M., Yamasaki, Y., Sagayama, H., Nakao, H., Ohishi, K., Kakurai, K., Taguchi, Y., Yu, X., Arima, T.-h., and Tokura, Y.:
    "Skyrmion phase and competing magnetic orders on a breathing kagome lattice"
    Nature Communications, in print.
  • 2. Kurumaji, T., Nakajima, T., Hirschberger, M., Kikkawa, A., Yamasaki, Y., Sagayama, H., Nakao, H., Taguchi, Y., Arima, T.-h., and Tokura, Y.:
    "Skyrmion lattice with a giant topological Hall effect in a frustrated triangular-lattice magnet"
    Science 365, 914-918 (2019)
  • 3. *Hirschberger, M., Kushwaha, S., Wang, Z., Gibson, Q., Liang, S., Belvin, C.A., Bernevig, B.A., Cava, R.J., and Ong, N.P.:
    "The chiral anomaly and thermopower of Weyl fermions in the half-Heusler GdPtBi"
    Nature Materials 15, 1161 (2016)
  • 4. *Hirschberger, M., Chisnell, R., Lee, Y.S., and Ong, N.P.:
    "Thermal Hall effect of spin excitations in a kagome magnet"
    Physical Review Letters 115, 106603 (2015)
  • 5. *Hirschberger, M., Krizan, J.W., Cava, R.J., and Ong, N.P.:
    "Large thermal Hall conductivity of neutral spin excitations in a frustrated quantum magnet"
    Science 348, 106-109 (2015)
  • 6. *Ali, M.N., Xiong, J., Flynn, S., Tao, J., Gibson, Q.D., Schoop, L.M., Liang, T., Haldolaarachchige, N., Max Hirschberger, M., Ong, N.P., Cava, R.J.:
    "Large, non-saturating magnetoresistance in WTe2"
    Nature 514, 205 (2014)
  • 7. *Yu, F., Hirschberger, M., Loew, T., Li, G., Lawson, B.J., Asaba, T., Kemper, J.B., Liang, T., Porras, J., Boebinger, G.S., Singleton, J., Keimer, B., Li, L., and Ong, N.P.:
    "Magnetic phase diagram of underdoped YBa2Cu3Oy inferred from torque magnetization and thermal conductivity"
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 12667-12672 (2016)
  • 8. *Xiong, J., Kushwaha, S.K., Liang, T., Krizan, J.W., Hirschberger, M., Wang, W., Cava, R.J., and Ong, N.P.:
    "Evidence for the chiral anomaly in the Dirac semimetal Na3Bi"
    Science 350, 413-416 (2015)
  • 9. *Wang, Z., Vergniory, M.G., Kushwaha, S., Hirschberger, M., Chulkov, E.V., Ernst, A., Ong, N.P., Cava, R.J., Bernevig, B.A.:
    "Time-reversal-breaking Weyl fermions in magnetic Heusler alloys"
    Physical Review Letters 117, 236401 (2016)
  • 10. *Gibson, Q.D., Schoop, L.M., Muechler, L., Xie, L.S., Hirschberger, M., Ong, N.P., Car, R., and Cava, R.J.:
    "Three-dimensional Dirac semimetals: Design principles and predictions of new materials"
    Physical Review B 91, 205128 (2015)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Max Hirschberger
Unit Leader

Contact Information

Frontier Research Building #208,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama
351-0198, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)48 462 1111 Ext. 6115
Email: maximilian.hirschberger [at] riken.jp