**Are you an EPFL student looking for a semester project?**

Work with us on data science and visualisation projects, and deploy your project as an app on top of GraphSearch.

Unit# Laboratory of theory and simulation of materials

Laboratory

This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.

Related people

Loading

Units doing similar research

Loading

Related research domains

Loading

Related publications

Loading

Related publications (89)

Loading

Loading

Loading

Related people (90)

Units doing similar research (101)

Related research domains (97)

Density functional theory

Density-functional theory (DFT) is a computational quantum mechanical modelling method used in physics, chemistry and materials science to investigate the electronic structure (or nuclear structure) (

Molecular dynamics

Molecular dynamics (MD) is a computer simulation method for analyzing the physical movements of atoms and molecules. The atoms and molecules are allowed to interact for a fixed period of time, giv

Dye-sensitized solar cell

A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC, DSC, DYSC or Grätzel cell) is a low-cost solar cell belonging to the group of thin film solar cells. It is based on a semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitiz

Electronic-structure simulations have been impacting the study of materials properties thanks to the simplicity of density-functional theory, a method that gives access to the ground state of the system. Although very important, ground-state properties represent just part of the information, and often technological applications rely more on excited-state properties. In the context of density-functional theory, the latter are difficult to extract and one usually has to resort to more sophisticated approaches. In the last years, Koopmans spectral functionals have emerged as an effective method which combines the feasibility of density-functional theory with the accuracy of more complex methods, such as many-body perturbation theory. While retaining its simplicity, Koopmans functionals extend the domain of density-functional theory providing direct access to charged excitations, and ultimately to the photoemission spectra of materials. This approach has been extensively employed in finite systems, displaying an accuracy which is comparable to that of state-of-the-art many-body perturbation theory methods. In extended systems, calculations were bound to the supercell (Gamma-only) method, preventing the access to the full band structure of the system. In this work we overcome this limitation, proving that a band structure description of the energy spectrum is possible, and providing a scheme to carry out calculations in crystalline materials. The first result of this work consists in proving the compliance of Koopmans functionals with the translation symmetry of the system. The validity of Bloch's theorem, thus the possibility of describing the spectrum via a band structure picture, depends on this condition. Because of the orbital-density-dependent nature of the functional, the invariance of the total energy with respect to unitary transformations of the one-electron orbitals is broken. The energy is then minimized by a particular set of orbitals, called ``variational'', which are strongly localized in space. In extended periodic systems, the localized, thus non-periodic, character of the variational orbitals is inherited by the effective orbital-density-dependent Hamiltonians, which apparently break the translation symmetry of the system. Here we show that, by requiring the variational orbitals to be Wannier functions, the translation symmetry is preserved and Bloch's theorem holds. In the second part, we devise a scheme to unfold the band structure from supercell (Gamma-only) calculations, and reconstruct the k-dependence of the quasiparticle energies. This method is then used to compute the band structures of a set of benchmark semiconductors and insulators. Finally, we describe a novel formulation of Koopmans functionals for extended periodic systems, which exploits from the beginning the translation properties of Wannier functions to realize a primitive cell-based implementation of Koopmans functionals. Results obtained from this second approach are also discussed. In the last part, we present the preliminary study of impurity states arising in crystalline materials in the presence of point defects.

SporTran is a Python utility designed to estimate generic transport coefficients in extended systems, based on the Green-Kubo theory of linear response and the recently introduced cepstral analysis of the current time series generated by molecular dynamics simulations. SporTran can be applied to univariate as well as multivariate time series. Cepstral analysis requires minimum discretion from the user, in that it weakly depends on two parameters, one of which is automatically estimated by a statistical model-selection criterion that univocally determines the resulting accuracy. In order to facilitate the optimal refinement of these parameters, SporTran features an easy-to-use graphical user interface. A command-line interface and a Python API, easy to embed in complex data-analysis workflows, are also provided. (C) 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Nicola Marzari, Michele Simoncelli

Recent progress in understanding thermal transport in complex crystals has highlighted the prominent role of heat conduction mediated by interband tunneling processes, which emerge between overlapping phonon bands (i.e., with energy differences smaller than their broadenings). These processes have recently been described in different ways, relying on the Wigner or Green-Kubo formalism, leading to apparently different results, which question the definition of the heat-current operator. Here, we implement a full quantum approach based on the Kubo formula, elucidating analogies and differences with the recently introduced Wigner or Green-Kubo formulations, and extending the description of thermal transport to the overdamped regime of atomic vibrations, where the phonon quasiparticle picture breaks down. We rely on first-principles calculations on complex crystals with ultralow conductivity to compare numerically the thermal conductivity obtained within the aforementioned approaches, showing that at least in the quasiparticle regime the differences are negligible for practical applica-tions.