APS March Meeting 2017

Focus Topic Descriptions, 13.1.1 to 24.1.2

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13.1.1: Nanostructures and Metamaterials (DMP)

Recent experimental, theoretical and computational advances have enabled the design and realization of nanostructured materials with novel, complex and often unusual electromagnetic properties unattainable in natural materials. Such nanostructures and metamaterials provide unique opportunities to manipulate electromagnetic radiation over a broad range of frequencies, from the ultraviolet and visible to terahertz and microwave. This focus topic will highlight recent progress in the physical understanding, design, fabrication, and applications of these man-made materials. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: nanophotonics, plasmonics, near field and quantum optics, opto-fluidics, energy harvesting, and the emerging interface of condensed matter and materials physics with the biological and neuro sciences.

Organizers: Jacob Khurgin (Johns Hopkins University), Andra Aiu (University of Texas, Austin)

13.1.2: Electron, exciton and heat transport in nanostructures (DMP)

Understanding and controlling how heat, charge, and energy flow at the nanoscale is critical for realizing the potential of nanomaterials in next generation device technologies. Of particular challenge, and opportunity, is understanding how elementary excitations such as phonons, electrons, holes, excitons, and plasmons interact with each other and are influenced by interfaces, confinement, and quantum effects in nanostructures. This is particularly true for heterogeneous nanoscale materials and interfaces with varying degrees of electronic and phononic couplings, and distinct thermal and electrical impedances. Structural components used in hybrid nanostructures can be made of semiconductors, metals, molecules, liquids, etc.

Contributions are solicited in areas that reflect recent advances in experimental measurement, theory, and modeling of transport mechanisms in nanoscale materials and interfaces. Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Electron-phonon coupling and heat generation by hot charge carriers
  • Dynamics of energy and charge flow in nanostructured hybrid materials
  • Ultrafast dynamics of charge carriers, excitons and phonons in nanostructures and across nanoscale interfaces
  • Charge, heat, and exciton transport through metal-semiconductor interfaces
  • Non-equilibrium heat transport and phonon-bottlenecks effects
  • Nanostructuring and reduced dimensionality for tailoring heat and charge transport
  • Energy transfer in hybrid nanomaterials including dots, wires, plates, polymers, etc
  • Excitonic nanomaterials with light-harvesting and lighting properties utilizing both solid-state and molecular components
  • Plasmonic nano- and meta-structures for light harvesting and concentration
  • Hybrid structures with interacting exciton and plasmon resonances
  • Hybrid nanomaterials for photo-catalytic applications utilizing excitons and plasmons

Organizers: Maria Chan (Argonne National Laboratory), Richard Schaller (Argonne National Laboratory), Jonathan Malen (Carnegie Mellon University)

13.1.3: Complex Oxide Interfaces and Heterostructures (DMP)

The intricate interactions between the electronic and structural degrees of freedom make complex oxides one of the most exciting fields of research. When these oxides are prepared in the form of thin films and heterostructures, they exhibit additional properties that cannot be realized in the constituent materials alone. These novel properties arise as a result of interfacial charge transfer, exchange coupling, orbital reconstructions, proximity effects, dimensionality and modifications to local atomic coordination. Emergent electronic and magnetic states at oxide interfaces raise exciting prospects for discovery of new fundamental physics and technological applications. This Focus Topic is dedicated to the progress in the knowledge, methodologies and tools in the field of complex oxide thin films, heterostructures, superlattices, and nanostructures, also with respect to the competition/coexistence with a rich variety of other physical properties. Synthesis, characterization, theory, and novel device physics are emphasized. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, growth of oxide thin films and heterostructures, formation of two-dimension electron gases, control of their magnetic properties and ordering, interfacial superconductivity, magnetotransport, strong spin-orbit coupling effects, magnetoelectric phenomena, coupling of atomic and magnetic structures, and recent developments in theoretical prediction and materials-by-design approaches. Advances in techniques to probe and image electronic, structural and magnetic states at heterostructure interfaces, including but not limited to scanning probes, optical, electron, neutron, and synchrotron-based techniques are also emphasized. Note that overlap exists with other DMP and GMAG focus sessions. As a rule of thumb, if complex oxides and their heterostructures are the core of the investigation, then the talk is appropriate for this focus topic.

Organizers: Anand Bhattacharya (Argonne National Laboratory), Ryan Comes (Auburn University), Anderson Janotti (University of Delaware

13.1.4: Thermoelectric phenomena, materials, devices (DMP)

Thermoelectrics for solid-state power conversion and refrigeration applications continues to be of great interest as new materials and transport phenomena are being discovered. The physics of materials and the associated charge carrier, spin, photon, and phonon transport is of particular interest. This focus topic addresses the latest developments in state of the art materials and novel phenomena, including theory, synthesis, characterization, processing, mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. These sessions will also highlight the latest application advances in waste heat recovery, high efficiency refrigeration, and how the field can lead to new advances in fundamental condensed-matter physics. Experimental, theoretical, and application and device-related contributions are solicited.

Organizers: George Nolas (University of Southern Florida), and Stefano Curatolo (Duke University)


14.1.1: Surface Science of Organic Molecular Solids, Films, and Nanostructures (DMP)

Organic molecular solids are a challenging materials class since numerous "weak" interactions, all of comparable strength, control structures and functional properties. The promise of high performance optoelectronics, designer sensors, electrode work function control, and bioelectronic devices make the payoff for addressing this challenge high. Moreover, there is great scientific value in addressing complex systems with hierarchical interactions and a strong tension between localized and delocalized phenomenon such as found in organic molecular solids. This Focus Topic will bring together Surface Scientists to report and discuss new experimental and theoretical/computational results aimed at the basic physics underpinning this material class. Research of interest includes the structure, properties, and applications of organic adsorbates, monolayer assemblies, thin films, crystals and nanostructures.

Organizers: Brad Conrad (Appalacian State University), Pengpeng Zhang (Michigan State University), Kristen Burson (Hamilton College), Dan Dougherty (North Carolina State University), Ted Einstein (University of Maryland)


16.1.1: Computational Discovery and Design of New Materials (DMP/DCOMP) [same as 12.1.7]

No Description Provided

16.1.2: Novel Chemistry under Extreme Conditions (DCOMP/DCP/GSCCM(SHOCK) [same as 5.1.7]

High-pressure often leads to unusual states of matter, expressed as novel structures, unexpected metal-insulator transitions, superconductivity etc. Recently, a series of computational and experimental studies show that materials can undergo changes at a fundamental level and form unusual chemical compounds. For example, electrons may detach from all nuclei and occupy interstitial sites, forming electrides; also what might have been thought as core levels or unfilled orbitals might be involved in forming covalent and ionic bonds under pressure. Characteristic of progress in this area is the close interaction of theory and experiment. Although some compounds predicted with unusual stoichiometry have recently been attained by static high-pressure experiments, many novel compounds are still awaiting experimental discovery.

The Focus Topic will open the opportunity to concurrently present and discuss the recent new chemistry and physics emerging under high pressure. It will include but not be limited to the following topics: (1) synthesis and prediction of novel compounds with atypical or unusual compositions under pressure; (2) the observation and prediction of high pressure electrides and the mechanism of their formation; (3) the role of inner shell and outer shell orbitals and electrons in high pressure chemistry; (4) the reactivity of noble gas elements under pressure; (5) emerging physics in new compounds such as the topological insulating state and superconductivity.

Organizers: Maosheng Miao (California State University, Northridge), Russell Hemley (Carnegie Institute of Washington)

16.1.3: Theory and Simulation of Fiber-Based Materials (DCOMP/DMP/DPOLY) [same as 1.1.22]

Fibers are the basic blocks of a wide range of synthetic and natural materials. While the physical behavior of isolated fibers is well-developed, the collective structure and emergent behaviors of fiber-based materials are less understood. The theory and simulation of these materials is a cross-disciplinary area of research, with computational methods spanning atomistic, mesoscopic, and continuum scales. It is actively being pursued in multiple areas of science, including materials science and polymer physics. This Focus Topic brings together researchers working in these areas to develop synergies and to further the theory and simulation of fiber-based materials in an interconnected manner.

Organizers: Traian Dumitrica (University of Minnesota), Catalin Picu (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Gregory Grason (University of Massachusetts)

16.1.4: Computational Physics at the Petascale and Beyond (DCOMP/DMP/DCMP/DCP/DBIO) [same as 5.1.10 and 4.1.26]

On July 29, 2015, the President signed an Executive Order creating the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) with a goal of enabling high performance computing (HPC) capable of performing 1018 floating-point operations per second (“exascale”), as well as integrating large-scale data opportunities associated with experiment, observation, and simulation science. This focus session will bring together researchers in computational materials, computational chemistry, and computational biophysics with experience in the effective utilization of high-performance data and compute infrastructure, including supercomputers, communication networks, and data resources to achieve breakthrough results. We intend for this session to highlight strong examples of the state-of-the-art in computational science today leveraging large, national-scale infrastructure. The talks will highlight science results as well as opportunities and challenges in using energy-efficient, pre-exascale HPC systems.

Organizers: Jack C. Wells (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Nichols A. Romero (Argonne National Laboratory), Jack Deslippe (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Barry Schneider (National Institute for Standards and Technology)

16.1.5: Electrons, Phonons and Electron-Phonon Scattering (DCOMP)

Electron-phonon interactions play a central role in many phenomena, most classically the resistivity of metals at ordinary temperatures, and are important for electrical and thermal conductivity of thermoelectrics, the temperature dependence of the optical band gaps of semiconductors, and other phenomena such as phonon drag. This focus topic covers electron-phonon interactions emphasizing fundamental physics, direct computation, first principles and phenomenological theory, optical and phonon spectroscopy and novel effects in nanostructures, nanodevices, 2D materials, and bulk materials. This focus topic also includes the emerging area of phononics, in particular manipulating phonon eigenstates or coherent superpositions, e.g. for logical operations or to manipulate sound or heat in unconventional ways.

Organizers: David Singh (University of Missouri), Matthieu Verstraete (University of Liège)

16.1.6: First-Principles Modeling of Excited-State Phenomena in Materials (DCOMP/DCP/DMP) [same as 5.1.8]

This Focus Topic is dedicated to recent advances in many-body perturbation theory and electron-ion dynamics methods: Challenges, scalable implementations in electronic structure codes, and applications to functional materials, interfaces, molecules, and nano-structures are of interest. It aims to attract researchers working on the nexus of electronic and optical properties of materials, hot electron dynamics, and device physics (e.g., transistors, light emitting diodes, solar cells, and photo-electrochemical cells). A proper description of electronic excitations requires theoretical approaches that go beyond ground state density functional theory (DFT), such as Green's function based many-body perturbation theory methods (e.g., RPA, GW, and BSE), or Ehrenfest dynamics and surface-hopping schemes (e.g., based on time-dependent DFT).

Phenomena, processes, and properties of interest include ionization potentials and electron affinities, optical spectra and exciton binding energies, electron-phonon coupling, charge transition levels, and energy level alignment at interfaces, transition between excited states, energy transfer to the lattice, etc.

Organizers: Noa Marom (Carnegie Mellon University, Andre Schleife (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Volker Blum (Duke University), Emmanouil Kioupakis (University of Michigan)

16.1.7: Materials in Extremes: Bridging Simulation and Experiment (DCOMP/DCMP/DMP/GSCCM(SHOCK)

The behavior of matter under extreme conditions of high pressure, temperature, strain and strain rate is of fundamental scientific importance. Geophysical processes in the core of the Earth and other planets, matter withstanding hypervelocity impacts of comets, shock wave compression of materials, detonation of explosives, high pressure and high temperature synthesis of novel materials, failure of materials reaching their intrinsic limit of performance, all require an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of materials response at the atomic, microstructural, and continuum levels. Recent advances in theory and modeling, due to enormous increase in computer power combined with new computational techniques, have made it possible to extend simulations to the time and length scales of the experiments.

This Focus Topic, consisting of several sessions with invited and contributed talks, will assess recent experimental and computational efforts towards exploring the fundamental properties of materials at extreme conditions, including (1) high-pressure and high temperature synthesis and characterization of materials; (2) static and shock-induced materials behavior, including plasticity, phase transitions, and chemical reactions; (3) high strain rate phenomena occurring upon ultrafast energy deposition; (4) static and dynamic properties of energetic materials, including detonation phenomena; (5) properties of matter in the warm dense regime; and (6) new computational methods including development of interatomic potentials and multi-scale simulations.

Organizers: Ivan Oleynik (University of South Florida), Anatoly Belonoshko (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), Ricky Chau (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Timothy Germann (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

16.1.8: Explicitly Correlated Methods and Quantum Few-Body Systems (DCOMP/DAMOP) [same as 6.1.6]

Computational methods tackling the difficult problem of describing correlated motion of interacting quantum particles by employing explicitly correlated wavefunctions have had a tremendous success in the last two decades. Explicitly correlated approaches have a wide range of applications in physics and chemistry and provide a very powerful tool to solve quantum few-body problem with various types of interparticle interaction. There is a significant interest in expanding the applicability of such methods to new areas and problems. The purpose of this focus session is to survey recent research activity in the field and provide a much needed forum for physicists and chemists, share experience, and discuss many theoretical and computational issues.

Contributions spanning relevant theoretical developments and applications of the explicitly correlated methods will be solicited in the following areas:

  • Atomic and molecular physics
  • Ultracold systems, Efimov states, universal few-body physics
  • Quantum chemistry (including R12/F12 methods)
  • Few-body systems in condensed matter (quantum dots, biexitons, etc)
  • Systems containing positrons and other exotic particles
  • Scattering problems

Organizers: Sergiy Bubin (Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan), Kalman Varga (Vanderbilt University)

16.1.9: Advances in Quantum Simulation (GQI/DAMOP/DCOMP) [same as 17.1.4]

No Description Provided

16.1.10: Quantum Games and Other Novel Approaches in Quantum Physics Outreach (GQI/FOEP/DCOMP)

No Description Provided

16.1.11: Advances and Applications of Numerical Methods in Cold Quantum Gases (DAMOP/DCOMP) [same as 6.1.5]

No Description Provided

16.1.12: Inferring Dynamical Models of Biological Systems from Data (DBIO/DCOMP) [same as 3.1.14]

No Description Provided

16.1.13: Dielectric and Ferroic Oxides (DMP/DCOMP) [same as 7.1.1, 11.1.1]

No Description Provided

16.1.14: Dopants and Defects in Semiconductors (DMP) [same as 8.1.2]

No Description Provided

16.1.15: Fe-based Superconductors (DMP/DCOMP) [same as 9.1.1]

No Description Provided

16.1.16: 2D materials: semiconductors (DMP/DCOMP) [same as 12.1.2]

No Description Provided

16.1.17: Van der Waals bonding in advanced materials (DMP/DCOMP) [same as 12.1.6]

No Description Provided


17.1.1: Novel approaches to quantum measurement in microwave circuits

No Description Provided

17.1.2: Engineering parametric interactions for control of superconducting circuits

No Description Provided

17.1.3: Small-scale quantum computers: Current state-of-the-art and applications

No Description Provided

17.1.4: Advances in quantum simulation (GQI/DAMOP/DCOMP) [same as 6.1.7 and 16.1.9]

No Description Provided

17.1.5: Continuous measurements and quantum foundations

No Description Provided

17.1.6: Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum information (GSNP/GQI)

No Description Provided

17.1.7: Quantum Shannon theory and remote communication

No Description Provided

17.1.8: Experimental advances in Quantum Technologies

No Description Provided

17.1.9: Challenging conventional quantum limits in measurements and metrology

No Description Provided

17.1.10: Gamification and other novel approaches in quantum physics outreach (GQI/FOEP/DCOMP) [same as 25.6 and 16.1.10]

No Description Provided



19.1.1: Advances in Scanned Probe Microscopy 1: Novel approaches and ultra sensitive detection

No Description Provided

19.1.2: Advances in Scanned Probe Microscopy 2: High frequencies and Optical Techniques

No Description Provided

19.1.3: Advances in Scanned Probe Microscopy 3: Scanning Probes Spectroscopic Techniques

No Description Provided

19.1.4: Optical Spectroscopic Measurements of 2D Materials

No Description Provided


20.1.1: Active Matter: from colloidal bots to reconstituted networks

No Description Provided


21.1.1: Organic Electronic Systems for Solar Energy Conversion

No Description Provided

21.1.2: Novel Photophysics and Transport Mechanisms for Nanostructured Photovoltaics

No Description Provided

21.1.3: Solar Fuels

No Description Provided

21.1.4: Physics of Batteries, Supercapacitors, and Fuel Cells

No Description Provided

21.1.5: Thermoelectric Materials and Applications (GERA, DCOMP, FIAP) [same as 22.1.1]

No Description Provided

21.1.6: Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage (GERA, DMP, FIAP) [same as 22.1.2]

No Description Provided

22: APPLICATIONS (IT, Medical/Bio, Photonics, etc.) (FIAP)

22.1.1: Thermoelectric Materials and Applications (GERA, DCOMP, FIAP) [same as 21.1.5]

No Description Provided

22.1.2: Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage (GERA, DMP, FIAP) [same as 21.1.6]

No Description Provided

22.1.3: Spin Transport and Magnetization Dynamics in Metals-Based Systems (GMAG/DMP/FIAP) [same as 10.1.4]

No Description Provided

22.1.4: Spin-Dependent Phenomena in Semiconductors (GMAG/DMP/FIAP) [same as 08.1.1, 10.1.5]

No Description Provided


23.1.1: Focus Session: Natural Pattern Formation and Earth’s Climate System

This session presents research on pattern formation in the Earth system and its relationship to climate. Theoretical and experimental investigations of spatial pattern formation have been a central part of nonlinear and statistical physics for decades, and this research often draws inspiration from the natural environment at the microscopic scale all the way up to the planetary scale, e.g. cloud patterns, ripples on sand, and thermosolutal convection in the oceans. An application of our current understanding of pattern formation has emerged at an interface between the climate system and pattern formation in the environment, where large scale satellite observations often replace laboratory experiments for gaining understanding and testing predictions. Examples of topics to be presented include the patterns of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice and the size distribution of Earth’s lakes. Melt ponds in the Arctic play a significant role in determining the ice albedo, and knowledge of the distribution of Earth’s lakes is required for estimates of surface fluxes of CO2 and CH4. Presentations in this session may also address the formation of vegetation patterns in the semi-arid regions of the terrestrial globe, which are on a spatial scale to be observed and monitored by satellites, and which represent regions that are vulnerable to desertification. Other contributions in the session may investigate global patterns of teleconnections in the climate system.

Organizers: Mary Silber (University of Chicago)