Discovering New Materials and Nanoscale Devices Through Computational Optimization

Monday, April 18, 2011 - 12:00pm EDT

  • Location:Rogers Hall, RH 418

Applied Physics Colloquium


Dr. Ilya Grigorenko
Pennsylvania State University


Optimal design of nanostructured materials is a modern approach aimed to reproduce the desired physical properties through the control of their electronic eigenenergies and eigenfunctions. This can be achieved by an iterative optimization of the effective electron trapping potential. By using microscopic simulations of the linear response of the system, combined with efficient optimization procedures, we provide optimized designs for some particular applications, such as single molecule detectors and high density energy storage in nanocapacitors. We have demonstrated that optimal design can improve the target functionality (e.g., the detector sensitivity) up to three orders of magnitude. At the end of the talk, I will also address the question of the self-assembly of the optimized nanostructures.

About the Speaker

Dr. Ilya Grigorenko received his undergraduate education in physics at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in Russia. He completed his PhD dissertation work in 2002 at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. His PhD thesis was focused on optimal control of nonequilibrium dynamics of electrons in nanoscale systems. He has been employed as a postdoctoral researcher in the Physics and Astronomy Department at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where his research was focused on solid-state quantum computing; in the Physics and Astronomy Department at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where he performed research in nanoplasmonics; at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where his research has been mostly focused on the development of theoretical foundations for optimal design of optical properties in the nanoscale systems, with application to single molecule detection and ultra-dense electrostatic energy storage.  Currently, as a postdoctoral research associate at Penn State University, Dr. Grigorenko explores the information-theoretic aspects of optimal design of complex systems.  Another direction of his current research is focused on the enhancement and suppression of single photon absorption/emission near metal nanostructures.

Dr. Grigorenko has published a book and 32 papers, including 6 Physical Review Letters papers and 1 Applied Physics Letters paper.