College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences,
Nano Research Area
- Nano-Energy & Environment
- Health & Bio-Nanotechnology
Dr. Bernholc is working in several subfields of theoretical condensed matter and materials physics. In the area of semiconductors, he has contributed significantly to the theory of defects, impurities, and diffusion, semiconductor surfaces and steps, and surface optical response. In the emerging field of fullerenes, contributions include predictions of fundamental properties of solid C60 soon after its discovery. For nanotubes, the primary growth modes were uncovered and their extreme strength over 10 times greater than steel at one sixth the weight was predicted through simulations.
Another important area of research is new methodology for electronic structure calculations, using advanced mathematical techniques and harnessing the power of parallel computers. A real-space multigrid method, developed at NC State, enables ab initio studies of very large systems. It has been used extensively in large-scale simulations of semiconductors, nanotubes and biomolecules, and in studies of quantum transport in nanoscale systems.
Current research focuses on nanoscale science and technology, nano and molecular electronics, novel nanostructured and bio-inspired materials, O(N) electronic structure and quantum transport methods, multilevel acceleration in electronic structure calculations, multiscale methods, and scalable parallel computing.
Dr. Bernholc was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2011 for seminal contributions to the physics of materials, especially C60, nanotubes and semiconductors. He has developed methods that enable calculations of unprecedented size.