Ion Garate


Associate professor

Département physique, Université de Sherbrooke.
Office: D2-1070
email: ion.garate (AT)

Research areas

I am a theorist interested in quantum condensed matter theory. My research interests are quite broad, and are often driven by a desire to build connections between different topics.  I enjoy working on problems where some progress can be made analytically, as well as developing qualitative ideas and predicting new effects that could be verified by experiments. I am fond of applying quantum field theory methods, which are essential in order to understand the behavior of interacting electrons in solids.

My current research focus lies in the theory of topological materials. These are insulators, semimetals and superconductors whose electronic energy bands and wave functions are characterized by nonzero integers known as topological invariants. Topological invariants manifest themselves physically by virtue of peculiar electronic states localized at sample boundaries. Aside from being a remarkable feat of fundamental science, the advent of topological materials harbors a promise for practical applications in the forms of low-decoherence quantum computers and low-dissipation spintronics devices. 

Some keywords describing my recent works in topological materials are the following: spintronics, electrical transport, Majorana zero modes, and electron-phonon interactions. For more details, please see my publications. You may also consult the following videos, where I describe my research in understanding the interplay between electronic band topology and phonons:

Education and professional experience

  • B.Sc in Physics, University of the Basque Country (June 2003).
  • Ph.D. in Physics (condensed matter theory), University of Texas at Austin (August 2009).
  • Postdoctoral fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, University of British Columbia (August 2009- August 2011).
  • Prize postdoctoral fellow, Yale University (August 2011- June 2013). 
  • Assistant professor, Physics department, Université de Sherbrooke (June 2013 - June 2018).
  • Associate professor, Physics department, Université de Sherbrooke (June 2018 - present).