Johnston Research Group

Department of Physics and Astronomy,
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Welcome to the homepage of the Johnston Research Group. The members of our group are associated with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials, and the Appalachian Quantum Initiative. In these pages, you will find information about our group members, research highlights, an up-to-date list of publications, a list of our active collaborators, as well as other useful links.

Highlights in the press

Physicists uncover secrets of world’s thinnest superconductor , a story on our recent paper published in Nature Communications.

Researchers establish proof of principle in superconductor study.

Weird superconductor leads double life.

A new way to look at MITs. - A summary of our recent collaborative study on the rare-earth Nickelates. This work was funded by UTK's Organized Research Unit program.

Order on Command: Our collaborative study Switching Magnetism and Superconductivity with Spin-Polarized Current in Iron-Based Superconductor [Seokhwan Choi et al., PRL 119, 227001 (2017)] was selected both as an Editor's Suggestion and for a feature in Physics. The work was also featured at

Our article Aspects of electron-phonon interactions with strong forward scattering in FeSe Thin Films on SrTiO3 substrates was selected as one of the highlights of 2017 by the journal Superconductor Science and Technology.

Rising Energy Costs - It’s rare that additional fees are welcome, but as Steven Johnston and his colleagues explain in Nature Communications, sometimes they can actually be a pleasant surprise.

Good Vibrations - UT's Steven Johnston and Colleagues Find that Phonons Boost Superconductivity in Iron Selenides.

High-temperature superconductivity: Electron mirages in an iron salt - Nature News and Views by J. Zaanen.

A sign-changing gap - Science Magazine Editor's Choice for Chi et al., Phys. Rev. B 89, 104522 (2014).

Funding Acknowledgements

Our research is currently supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy's SciDAC program and the Office of Naval Research.

In the past we have been funded in part by the University of Tennessee Science Alliance's Joint Directed Research and Development program and the Organized Research Unit program.