We are pleased to send you the 15th issue of the NCCR MARVEL newsletter!
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Newsletter - May 28, 2019

Dear MARVEL'ers,

Please find below our latest newsletter, with all the news, highlights, feature stories, and events related to the MARVEL community.

This month, read about the "beautiful fundamental work" on a new, unified theory of heat transfer developed by Nicola Marzari, his PhD student Michele Simoncelli and Prof. Francesco Mauri at the University of Rome Sapienza. The theory, which one reviewer said is "likely to stand as the standard model of heat conduction for years to come" has just been published in Nature Physics. Read too about using strain to modify the valley structures, an approach that could be used to design or discover 2D materials combining both good carrier mobility and the energy gap needed for use in logical devices.

On June 17, make sure to attend the MARVEL Distinguished Lecture given by Prof. Emily Carter, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University, who will discuss quantum simulations of sustainable energy materials.

Finally, don't forget this month’s junior seminar, which will feature Andrea Grisafi (COSMO, EPFL) and Alberto Fabrizio (LCMD, EPFL) giving an update on their research. 

Scientific highlights

MARVEL researchers introduce a novel heat transport theory in quest for more efficient thermoelectrics

MARVEL researchers have developed a novel microscopic theory that is able to describe heat transport in very general ways, and applies equally well to ordered or disordered materials such as crystals or glasses and to anything in between. This is not only a significant first—no transport equation has been able so far to account simultaneously for these two regimes—it also shows, surprisingly, that heat can tunnel, quantum-mechanically, rather than diffuse away, like an atomic vibration. The new equation will also allow the accurate prediction of the performance of thermoelectric materials for the first time. With ultralow, glass-like, thermal conductivity, such materials are one of the holy grails of energy research: they can turn heat into electricity or use electricity for cooling without needing to resort to pumps and environmentally harmful gases. The article was published in Nature Physics.

Strain modifies the valley structure of 2D materials, leads to remarkable improvements in conductivity

NCCR MARVEL researchers have investigated strain as a means of engineering the valley structure of 2D materials. They found that it leads to remarkable improvements in conductivity—in the example of arsenene, they showed the enhancement factor to be on the order of 600%—by suppressing intervalley scattering and thus enhancing electron mobility. The approach could be used to design or discover 2D materials that combine both good carrier mobility and the energy gap needed for use in logical devices. The research has been published in Nano Letters. 

Read MARVEL Highlights here.


MARVEL Executive Committee Member Prof. Clemence Corminboeuf wins SCGC teaching excellence award

Clemence Corminboeuf, professor and head of the Laboratory for Computational Molecular Design and a member of MARVEL's Executive Committee, has been awarded the 2019 teaching excellence award from EPFL's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Section for her outstanding contribution to teaching first year students, in computational chemistry and outreach for children, especially young girls.

Nicola Spaldin named lead editor of Physical Review Research

Professor Nicola Spaldin of ETH Zürich and project leader of MARVEL Design & Discovery Project 5 has been appointed Lead Editor of Physical Review Research, the new fully open access, multidisciplinary American Physical Society journal being introduced this year. 

MARVEL Distinguished Lecture: Emily Carter

MARVEL Distinguished Lecture — Emily A. Carter

Jun 17, 2019, from 16:15 until 17:15, EPFL, Room SV1717

The 18th NCCR MARVEL Distinguished Lecture will be given by Prof. Emily A. Carter, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University on "Quantum Simulations of Sustainable Energy Materials".

Summer School

EPFL/ETHZ Summer School on Advanced Electronic Structure Methods

Jul 08, 2019, 8:45 until Jul 10, 2019, 16:15, EPFL

On July 8-10, 2019, the Summer School on Advanced Electronic Structure Methods in Condensed Matter Physics will take place at EPFL.

MARVEL Junior Seminars

MARVEL Junior Seminar — June 2019

Jun 13, 2019, from 12:15 until 13:30, EPFL, MED 0 1418

Welcome to the 26th MARVEL Junior Seminar on Thursday June 13, 2019, 12:15 pm, EPFL, room MED 0 1418. Andrea Grisafi (COSMO, EPFL) and Alberto Fabrizio (LCMD, EPFL) will present their research. The seminar is chaired by Kun-Han Lin.

Save the Date

CCMX-MARVEL Materials Science Day 2019

Oct 08, 2019, from 9:00 until 17:30, Welle 7, Bern

NCCR MARVEL and CCMX, the Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology, are co-organizing their third Materials Science Day where both experimental and modeling approaches will be addressed. The morning will be dedicated to MARVEL projects related to Materials for Energy, including modeling and first experimental validation. During the afternoon, we will present progress with ongoing CCMX Materials Challenges. Participants from industry and academia are welcome to discover new projects, make new contacts and initiate collaborations.

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