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Methusalem Grant Holder François Peeters

The three main directions of research are:

Superconductivity

Our expertise build up over the last 10 years in the area of mesoscopic and nanoscopic superconductivity will be extended in the following three directions:

  • Nano superconductivity (e.g. nanofilms, nanowires and dot structures).
  • Coupled superconducting condensates.
  • Three dimensional hybrid mesostructures with sizes comparable to the relevant characteristic physical length scales.

Two-dimensional crystals

Future directions of research in this topic will involve many-body effects, graphene quantum dot structures, interaction of graphene with other molecules (i.e. sensor properties and H-storage) and different hybrid structures. Recently, we used atomistic simulations to study the mechanical properties and the stable lattice configurations for finite size carbon systems. The aim is to use this expertise to transfer it to other two-dimensional materials. This will broaden the available computational techniques and will allow us to collaborate with new experimental groups.

Ab initio calculations and materials informatics

This research started in the CMT group by applying standard density functional theory calculations, which are now rather routinely applied in the research community, to study the structural and electronic properties of materials and nanostructures (i.e. quantum wires, hydrogenated and fluorinated graphene). Recently, we also invested in applying techniques that go beyond standard density functional theory like the GW approach in order to predict a better band gap then what is possible within standard density functional theory. Although the GW approach is now applied by many groups to bulk materials, we plan to apply it to more complicated systems as semiconductor nanostructures and oxide materials. Furthermore we will extend our research by investigating excitonic effects in nanostructures and bulk materials using ab initio techniques (the Bethe-Salpeter approach). Ab initio density functional theory calculations have been proven to be extremely successful in predicting and explaining the structural and electronic properties of different kinds of materials. The CMT group plans to go into the field of “Materials informatics” by combining techniques from informatics like data mining and data statistics with our ab initio density functional theory data. The final goal is to make the step from calculating a property from a known structure to the design of materials with a specific desired property. Such techniques are applied in different areas of science, while in materials science only the first few attempts have been made.