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Squeezed nanocrystals: A new model predicts their shape

Scientific Achievement

In a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Northeastern University, scientists have developed a model for predicting the shape of metal nanocrystals or "islands" sandwiched between or below two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene. The advance moves 2D quantum materials a step closer to applications in electronics.

Significance and Impact

The structures and shapes of functional nanocrystals (NCs) are key to determining their properties.

Research Details

Using more than 1,000 nodes on NERSC’s Cori supercomputer, the team not only disproved one explanation for high solar cell efficiencies, but also studied how the materials could be used in light emitting diodes (LEDs). “These calculations are extremely demanding, and the compute power provided by NERSC has been instrumental in obtaining these results,” commented lead researcher Chris Van de Walle.

Additional Information

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 7,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.