My group conducts theoretical and computational research in condensed-matter and materials physics. We focus on materials phenomena and applications for which the relevant physics takes place at the atomic scale. In this regime it is usually necessary to treat the atomic interactions using quantum mechanics.Our approach is to investigate materials from first principles using Density Functional Theory. In addition, we use a variety of techniques to investigate the dynamical behavior of materials, including lattice dynamics, vibrational Green's functions, molecular dynamics, and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations.
My research interests cover a broad range of materials and phenomena, at both the fundamental and applied levels. Specific areas of interest include: surface structure and reactivity, molecule-surface interactions, nanocrystals, transtion-metal oxides, matter transport in solids, energy-exchange processes, structure and dynamics of lattice defects, solid-solid phase transitions, high-pressure phenomena, and compound solid solutions.
M.V. Pykhtin, S.P. Lewis, E.J. Mele, and A.M. Rappe, "Collective motion and structural order in adsorbate vibrational dynamics," Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 5940 (1998).
S.P. Lewis and A.M. Rappe, "Structural and vibrational properties of carbon monoxide adlayers on the copper (100) surface," J. Chem. Phys. 110, 4619 (1999).
M. V. Pykhtin, A. M. Rappe, and S. P. Lewis, "Adsorbate aggregation and relaxation of low-frequency vibrations," J. Chem. Phys. 113, 10265 (2000).
S. P. Lewis and A. M. Rappe, "Controlling adsorbate vibrational lifetimes using superlattices," Phys. Rev. B 63, 085402 (2001).
Center Director David P. Landau has been awarded a "Doctor Honoris Causa" by the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The American Astronomical Society prize was given to Kyle Walker for his thesis "Molecular Collisional Excitation in Astrophysical Environments and Modeling the Early Universe."