Research

We are involved in research on a variety of subjects in condensed matter physics. Because of the breadth of this field, it is important to expose graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to a wide spectrum of problems. A broad view is also important because new breakthroughs occur in different subareas of this field. Since the research projects are chosen because of their inherent scientific importance, we are sometimes working directly with experimentalists and at other times developing new formalisms and techniques to understand or solve a problem. We are often trying to predict the existence of new materials and attempting to explain or predict new properties of condensed matter systems.

Our research covers a broad range of materials systems, from bulk materials (metals, semiconductors, and insulators) to those of finite size, such as organic and inorganic nanostructures, to complex multifunctional oxides; phenomena of interest include optical properties, superconductivity, conductance of nanostructures at finite bias, pressure and temperature effects, and dynamics. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of the role of many-particle effects in determining experimentally observed properties.

Our primary goal is to understand and predict materials properties at the most fundamental level using atomistic first principles (or "ab initio" ) quantum-mechanical calculations. A variety of different computational approaches are used that require only the atomic number and positions as input. These first principles methods have, in the past, resulted in excellent quantitative agreement with experiment and have predicted with good accuracy materials properties that were later verified experimentally.

For more details, please see our list of publications.