Research Groups, Laboratories and Centers

Research Groups, Laboratories and Centers

Battery Laboratory

The ever-increasing global energy need and its impact on climate change have motivated intensive research in various renewable energy alternatives.  Among these include energy conversion from sources such as the sun and wind, to name a few.  In addition, the storage of energy via clean methods is equally important.  The use of rechargeable batteries, like lithium ion batteries (LIBs), has proven to be the technology of choice.  LIBs are rechargeable, electrochemical storage devices that have gained significant attention and now serve as an integral power source for many of today’s portable electronics and automobiles.

Today, lithium iron phosphate battery systems are very attractive but are hindered by constraints due to its poor lithium ion diffusion dynamics and extremely low electronic conductivity.  The battery research group is exploring advanced lithium ion material compositions using nanomaterials such as metallic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers and graphene.  The overarching goal of the renewable energy researchers is to overcome challenges which impede the practical applications of LIBs.

Principal personnel: Quinton L. Williams



Computational Physics Laboratory

The Computational Physics Laboratory headed by Professor James Lindesay has a strong history of producing graduates at all levels, including the doctorate. Computational physics projects have included: relativistic scattering, black hole formation, atmospheric waves and oscillations, DNA sequencing, cellular electroporation, fluid dynamics, and electromagnetic scattering from rough surfaces. Members of computational physics group have used standard professional software packages, as well as designed special customized codes for specific applications.

Principal personnel: James V. Lindesay


Computer Simulations in Condensed Matter Group

The Computational Simulations in Condensed Matter Group led by Dr. Silvina Gatica focuses on applying molecular simulation techniques, such as Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics, along with Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics, to study physical adsorption in nano-porous materials. These nano-scale studies are designed to investigate the properties of the adsorbed matter and to assess materials for specific applications, such as gas storage and gas separation.

Principal personnel: Silvina M. Gatica & Pratibha Dev



Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory

The focus of the Laser Spectroscopy research group is currently on the “Spectroscopy of Nanomaterials,” with special interest in the thermal characteristics of carbon nanotubes, functionalized graphene and metal oxides for gas-sensing, energy storage and photovoltaic applications.

 Principal personnel: Prabhakar Misra


Quantum Materials and Magnetism Group

Quantum materials are a class of materials where better understanding of unique quantum phenomena, such as entanglement, correlation and coherence, are necessary to explain their physical properties over a wider range of energy and length scales. Examples of quantum materials include magnets, superconductors, topological insulators, graphene, etc.

Principal personnel: Samaresh Guchhait



Solid State Physics Laboratory

The Solid State Physics Laboratory spearheaded does experimental condensed matter research relating to: magnetic, optical, electrical, and structural properties of materials; as well as sample preparation and experimental studies of magnetic alloys and glasses, optical materials, superconducting materials, and spin glass systems.

Principal personnel: Robert Catchings


Strings and Quantum Superfields Group

Research activities in this group focus on the most basic building blocks of Nature and their mutual interactions, as well as the development of the theoretical and mathematical techniques used to this end. This includes but is not limited to the study of:

  1. the physical spacetime in string theory and its M- and F-theory extensions,
  2. geometry and topology of spacetime, esp. algebraic geometry and group theory,
  3. supersymmetry, its representations, applications in physics and its breaking,
  4. the origins and properties of dark matter and dark energy.

 Principal personnel: Tristan Hubsch


Terahertz Spectroscopy Laboratory

Research activities for the group involve Terahertz Spectroscopy.

Principal personnel: Thomas Searles