APS March Meeting 2017

This past month, five representatives from the Schleife Group escaped the bitter cold of the north and braved the bayou in pursuit of knowledge and alligator meat. Here they describe their adventures at the 2017 APS March Meeting, a week-long physics conference in New Orleans:

Cheng-Wei is excited to find the community applying TDDFT to condensed matter has been growing since the last march meeting, though they mostly focus on the photo-excited system. He presented his current work on the effect of point defect during proton irradiation and got several inspiring feedbacks. Last, Cheng-Wei has been working on the relaxation time after excitation from first principles and feels excited to see different methods such as perturbation theory and TDDFT+surface hopping. Overall, he found march meeting worth attending.

Alina presented her work on non-adiabatic electron-ion dynamics in proton-irradiated aluminum sheets and received some thought-provoking questions and suggestions in response. She attended a variety of talks on topics including exciting advances in first-principles modeling of excited states, ultrafast measurements, emerging 2D materials, and 2D electronic devices. She concludes that there is still tons of work to be done and returns to her research with renewed inspiration! Also, she was surprised to encounter more alligators in New Orleans restaurants than in the actual swamp nearby.

Xiao thinks that the APS March Meeting is a very nice chance to reach out to people in the community and seize the trend of scientific research in the field (excited state properties, GW, BSE). He found that there are a huge amount of talks on ways to overcome the limit of GW in large scale simulations and I’m really looking forward to try out some of them: the WEST package that does not require empty state, for example. Such progress will enable many new possibilities like simulating defect systems using the GW approximation, which has been a challenge in the past due to the high cost. Xiao also met his collaborator Dr. Chris Van de Walle and his students. They are all very nice people and Xiao really enjoyed talking to them about our project. 

Ethan presented work on designing semiconductor heterostructures using digitally accessible electronic-structure data and listened to the various talks that were presented on machine-learning in the electronic-structure community.

Josh presented his work on lattice and free carrier screening of electron-hole pairs (excitons) in methylammonium-lead-iodide solar cells materials. A large community has come together to tackle the problem of screening beyond the 3D-electronic contribution standard. Of particular importance is the development of highly parallelized Bethe-Salpeter equation framework explored at UC Berkeley, which is capable of handling fully relativistic material systems. These new methods will help guide Josh’s future work at UIUC. Josh also met and discussed future projects with collaborator Chris van de Walle and his students from UC Santa-Barbara, with whom he will explore the optical properties of highly doped oxides for