David Chen



I am currently designing and building a two-photon microscope capable of imaging large volumes of fixed tissue (as large as 1 cubic-cm) with sub-micron resolution. This novel technology will be used to understand how cells form tissue at large scales in 3D.

As part of this project, I am establishing a new advanced microscopy lab at the MPI-CBG

Morales et. al., A versatile pipeline for the multi-scale digital reconstruction and quantitative analysis of 3D tissue architecture, eLife



2015 to present - Postdoctoral researcher at the Myers Lab, Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics



2015 - Ph.D. in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dissertation: "Strongly correlated dynamics of ultracold atoms in optical lattices". Adviser: Prof. Brian DeMarco
2007 - B.S. in E.E., University of Chile. Dissertation: "Surface characterization of thin gold films via scanning tunneling microscopy". Adviser: Prof. Raul Munoz
2007 - B.S. in Physics, University of Chile


[6] D. Chen, C. Meldgin, P. Russ, B. DeMarco, and E. Mueller. "Disappearance of quasiparticles in a Bose lattice gas", Phys. Rev. A, A 94, 021601(R) (2016)

[5] C. Meldgin, U. Ray, P. Russ, D. Chen, D. Ceperley, and B. DeMarco. "Probing the Bose glass-superfluid transition using quantum quenches of disorder", Nature Physics 12, 646–649 (2016)

[4] D. Chen, C. Meldgin, and B. DeMarco. "Bath-induced band decay of a Hubbard lattice gas", Phys. Rev. A 90, 013602 (2014)

[3] D. McKay, C. Meldgin, D. Chen, and B. DeMarco. "Slow thermalization between a lattice and free bose gas", Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 063002 (2013)

[2] D. Chen, M. White, C. Borries, and B. DeMarco. "Quantum Quench of an Atomic Mott Insulator", Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 235304 (2011)

[1] R. Munoz, J. García, R. Henríquez, A. Moncada, A. Espinosa, M. Robles, G. Kremer, L. Moraga, S. Cancino, J. Morales, A. Ramírez, S. Oyarzún, M. Antonio Suárez, D. Chen, E. Zumelzu, and C. Lizama. "Hall effect induced by electron-surface scattering on thin gold films deposited onto mica substrates under high vacuum", Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 206803 (2006)


Past Interests

During my Ph.D. studies, I employed quantum gases to investigate strongly correlated systems [2-6], the understanding of which represents one of the greatest challenges in condensed matter physics today. In particular, I used electro-optical and magneto-optical techniques to trap, cool, and manipulate ultracold atomic gases with extremely high precision. My work led to the first observation of quantum defect generation in a lattice-potential quench [2], the first demonstration of quasimomentum-selective stimulated Raman excitation [4,6], and the development and first demonstration of quasimomentum cooling [6] – a novel technique that may pave the way to realization of exotic quantum states.

For my B.S. dissertation, I studied the effects of electronic surface-scattering in metals.  Specifically, I used scanning-tunneling microscopy to measure, analyze, and characterize the surface of thin conductive films [1].