MATERIALS AND COMPUTATIONAL RESEARCH GROUP
For the last five years, the Department of Physics at Southern University and A&M College(SUBR) has been making great contributions to our understanding of materials. The multifaceted material science research of the Department includes: (a) Calculations of Electronic Energies and Related Properties of Solids and Clusters, (b) High Temperature Superconductivity Theory and Simulations, (c) Stochastic Processes in Materials, and (c) Solid Electrolytes for Energy Conversion and Storage Devices. These research efforts are respectively led by D. Bagayoko, J.D. Fan, Pui-Man Lam, and Rambabu Bobba.
These research projects are supported by the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund, the Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Department of Energy. Funding is also partly provided by the National Science Foundation and the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR), through the Timbuktu Academy.
In the last few years, this group has made significant contributions through technical and research publications in prestigious journals. More importantly, the work of the group lends itself to significant applications in industry. The work of Dr. Bobba portends great benefits for space exploration and industrial activities that require efficient and durable energy conversion and storage devices. The superconductivity results of Dr. Malozovsky and of Dr. J. D. Fan provide the most comprehensive explanation to date of the phenomenon of high temperature superconductivity. Recent publications of Lam and Bagayoko, on stochastic processes, elucidated several critical points of importance in surface science and in the understanding polymers. Energy being a common denominator for most physical processes, the fundamental research of Bagayoko and collaborators on the electronic energies of solids and clusters is essential not only for academic reasons but also for the most sophisticated applications of materials. As noted elsewhere, the ability of these computations to treat all Bravais lattice obtain accurate total energies has moved them from the realm of description to one of prediction.
The extensive computational capability and resources further underscore the potential of the group. Indeed, modeling, simulations, and complicated computations serve not only to link the various investigations by the group, but also to guarantee a meaningful interface between the work of this SUBR group and that of the materials science and engineering community large. For instance, the electronic energy computations of Bagayoko and Lam can lead to band mass, among other practical quantities, that is a crucial link with the High Tc superconductivity theory developed by Fan and Malozovsky. Further, the accurate electro energies and wave functions obtained by Bagayoko et al directly lead to the derivation of potentials that are vital in molecular dynamics simulations (MD)--an other area of expertise D. Fan. Modeling and other computations partly serve to explain or to guide the experiment work of R. Bobba. Additional information is available from Bagayoko and from the respective leaders of the various projects. The vitae of these investigators provide significant insights into the scope and depth of the work performed to date.