Chris Marianetti, PhD (SRCPAC Chair)
My research focuses on predicting various materials properties using theoretical and computational methodologies. In particular, I am interested in materials which have potential applications for energy storage or conversion, such as battery cathodes, nuclear reactor fuels, thermoelectrics, hydrogen storage materials, etc. Understanding and capturing the physics of such a broad array of phenomena requires the use of a broad range of theories and techniques. Techniques applied in my research group range from classical molecular dynamics to density functional theory to the dynamical mean-field theory.
From a fundamental perspective, I am most interested in materials where the electronic correlations are strong and conventional techniques such as density functional theory fail to describe observation. Strongly correlated materials are among the most exciting materials in that they exemplify some of the deepest theoretical mysteries in condensed matter physics and possess strong potential for applications. Some examples are f-electron systems like Plutonium, the cuprate high-temperature superconductors, manganite systems displaying colossal magneto-resistance, the cobaltates which are used for rechargeable batteries and have a large thermoelectric power, heavy Fermion materials, etc.