Sawatzky, George



Condensed Matter / Theory / Experiment

Office Location

Department of Physics & Astronomy
Brimacombe 361-B
2355 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Phone: (604) 822-3540


Bachelors Degree University of Manitoba (1965)
Doctoral Degree University of Manitoba (1969)

Employment History

1969 – 1971 NRC Post Doc. Solid State Physics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

1971 – 1979 Associate Professor, Physical Chemistry Department, University of Groningen

1979 – 1985 Professor of Physical Chemistry Department, University of Groningen

1985 – 2001 Professor of Applied and Solid State Physics, University of Groningen

1986 – 1997 Director Materials Science Center, University of Groningen

2001 – Present Professor of Physics and Chemistry, University of British Columbia

2002 - 2007 Director of AMPEL, University of British Columbia

2010 - Present Director of the Quantum Matter Institute and Max Planck/UBC Quantum Materials Centre, University of British Columbia

Awards & Honours

1991 – PresentMember of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW)

1996NWO-Spinoza award (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)

1996 - PresentISI list of highly cited

1997Nieuwsblad van het Noorden prize

2002Knight in the order of the Dutch Lion

2002Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

2002 - 2016CRC tier 1 chair holder

2003Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

2007RSC Henry Marshall Troy medal

2008Elected fellow of the Royal Society of London

2011IFW Dresden Leibnitz medal

Committees & Service

1990 - 1991 Chairman of Executive Committee, FOM (Netherlands Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter) Solid State Physics group

1992 - 1996 European Communities (EC) (Human Capital and Mobility (HCM) and Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR)) Physics Expert Panel

1994 - 2000 Member of the Hewlett Packard prize committee

1994 - 2000 Member of the Executive board of the European Physical Society, Condensed Matter Division

1995 - 1997 Chairman, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) Condensed Matter Programme Committee

1997 - 2001 Member of Executive Committee of FOM (Netherlands Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter)

1997 - 1998 Member of the Science Advisory Committee of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Grenoble

1998 - 2003 Member of the 'Raad van Toezicht' of the Leiden Institute of Chemical Research, the Netherlands

1998 - 2003 Member of the Synchrotron Radiation Facility of the Republic of China (SRRC) Science Technology Advisory Committee (Taiwan)

1998 - 2001 Associate member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR)

1999 - 2002 Member of the Dutch Forum for Technology and Science

1999 - 2002 Member of the Advisory Board of the Dutch Research School of Theoretical Physics, Utrecht University

1999 - 2003 Member of the Advisory Board of the Lorentz Centre, Leiden University, the Netherlands

2002 - 2007 Member of the NSERC GSC28 committee

2002 - 2008 Member of the advisory board of the Alberta Ingenuity fund

2003 - Present Member of the UBC CRC committee

Research Interests

Our research program involves the fabrication as well as the theoretical and spectroscopic study of novel complex systems and nanostructured materials. The goal is to develop new approaches and understanding in the quantum theory of solids, and define new pathways for the fabrication of materials and structures with innovative physical properties. Our research includes the following:
Electronic Structure of Solids
The research program is concentrated on the study of the electronic structure of the strongly correlated electron systems, in bulk and ultra-thin film form. We use both high-energy (resonant and magnetic X-ray scattering) and high-resolution (photoemission and electron energy loss – EELS) spectroscopy, in combination with many-body theoretical modeling, to develop a microscopic description of the physical properties. New synchrotron based experimental techniques (such as resonant soft X-ray scattering – RSXS) are being developed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Canadian Light Source to study multiphase systems and nanoscale ordering phenomena.
ARPES on Complex Systems.
Our research activity focuses on the study of the low-energy electronic structure and, in particular, of the interplay between the spin, charge, and orbital degrees of freedom in novel complex systems and one and two-dimensional nanostructured materials. As a main spectroscopic technique we use angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES), which is one of the most powerful methods to study the electronic structure of solids. The experiments will be carried out both on the in-house ARPES system currently under development and at facilities such as the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, the Canadian Light Source, and Elettra, where complementary X-ray absorption studies will also be performed.
Oxide MBE
This research program is primarily concerned with the growth of novel complex oxide thin films. In particular we are interested in understanding how defects — both point defects and extended defects such as interfaces and surfaces — can be used to modify the electronic properties of oxides. Many-body theoretical modeling is used as a guide and inspiration to the experimental film growth, and angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) is the primariy tool for studing the electronic structure of the films.

Group Website


2355 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604.822.3909
Fax: 604.822.4750