We are hiring!

We are seeking to fill one postdoctoral position. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to lead exciting projects that integrate advanced first principles methods, information technology and experiments (through external collaborations) to develop novel materials in energy storage and solid-state lighting. They will also receive mentoring to prepare them for future careers in academia or industry, including project management skills, proposal writing and effective scientific communication. More information can be found at http://www.materialsvirtuallab.org/positions. The ideal candidate should demonstrate creativity, passion for scientific inquiry, and an ability to link fundamental science to real-world applications. The ideal candidate will also have: An advanced degree in materials science and/or solid-state physics. Experience with first principles methods, such as density functional theory (DFT), ab initio molecular dynamics, density functional perturbation theory or GW. Programming skills, preferably with experience in sustainable software development for robust widely used code bases. Interested applicants should send the following materials to ongsp@ucsd.edu. A cover letter of no more than one page summarizing their research accomplishments and interests Curriculum vitae (Optional, but recommended) Samples of scientific codes they have written, either as a web link to a publicly accessible software repository or an email attachment.

Structure-Property-Composition Relations in β-SiAlON:Eu2+ Phosphor

Our work on “Elucidating Structure–Composition–Property Relationships of the β-SiAlON:Eu2+ Phosphor” has been published in Chemistry of Materials. Using first-principles calculations, we identified and confirmed various chemical rules for Si−Al, O−N, and Eu activator ordering in β-SiAlON, one of the most promising narrow-band green phosphors for high-power light-emitting diodes and liquid crystal display backlighting with wide color gamut. Through the construction of energetically favorable models based on these chemical rules, we studied the effect of oxygen content and Eu2+ activator concentrations on the local EuN9 activator environment, and its impact on important photoluminescence properties such as emission peak position (using the band gap as a proxy), bandwidth, and thermal quenching resistance.  Based on these insights, we discuss potential strategies for further composition optimization of β-SiAlON.

Thermodynamic scale of inorganic crystalline metastability

Prof Ong is a co-author on a recent article in Science Advances on the thermodynamic scale of inorganic crystalline metastability. This article uses the Materials Project, its API and pymatgen to perform a large-scale data-mining study of the thermodynamic scale of metastability for 29,902 observed inorganic crystalline phases. Press release is available on EurekAlert.