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Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
Exciton-phonon interactions: theoretical techniques for light-induced structural changes
David Strubbe, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, UC Merced,

Abstract:  Exciton-phonon interactions are key to a range of materials phenomena such as light-induced degradation, indirect absorption, Stokes shifts, exciton transport, charge separation, non-radiative recombination, and resonant Raman scattering. Absorption of light leads in general to forces on the atoms, and induces vibrations and atomic motions. Experimental resolution of these motions is challenging as they may be small, on ultrafast timescales, and heterogeneous in the material. By contrast, electronic-structure calculations naturally work at the relevant spatial and temporal scales, and are a powerful tool to investigate the detailed mechanisms at work. Recent developments in theory and massively parallel computation have enabled highly accurate and efficient calculations of forces in the excited state, via our unique combination of the GW/Bethe-Salpeter equation and time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) approaches with density-functional perturbation theory. These calculations are implemented in the widely used BerkeleyGW and Octopus codes. I will show the development of the theory, and applications to the self-trapped exciton in crystalline pentacene (related to the singlet fission process), photoisomerization reactions for energy storage (which we call solar thermal fuels), and ongoing work on light-induced degradation processes in photovoltaics such as hybrid perovskites and amorphous silicon.

Bio:  David Strubbe received his bachelor's degree in physics and chemistry from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 in physics with the designated emphasis in nanoscale science and engineering. His thesis in condensed-matter theory, advised by Professor Steven Louie, focused on methods and applications for calculations of optical and transport properties of organic molecules. As a postdoctoral researcher, he studied materials for solar energy with Professor Jeffrey Grossman in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined UC Merced in 2016 as assistant professor of physics at UC Merced, and is also affiliated with the chemistry graduate group and the NASA-funded MACES center at UC Merced.

Refreshments served at 3:30pm in the Spalding Laboratory Lobby.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Blankenship by phone at 626-395-8124 or by email at [email protected].