The Team

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PROF. ERAN RABANI

Director

The research of Prof. Rabani's group involves the theoretical understanding of fundamental aspects of nanoscience. The group makes use of both analytical and computer simulation techniques to investigate the behavior of a wide variety of topics including: structural, electronic and optical properties of nanocrystals, transport in molecular and mesoscopic junctions, self-assembly of nanomaterials, energy transfer in nanosystems, and properties of liquids and glasses.

School of Chemistry

Email: rabani@tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.tau.ac.il/~rabani

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DR. GILI BISKER

The group of Dr. Bisker is interested in a deeper understanding of the underlying dynamics that govern living systems. Using the framework of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics and stochastic thermodynamics, along with numerical simulations, they study the collective behavior of complex many-body systems in the context of nonequilibrium self-assembly and develop new tools for quantifying time-irreversibility in dissipative processes.

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Email: bisker@tauex.tau.ac.il
Web: http://biskerlab.com/

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PROF. GUY COHEN

The group of Dr. Cohen investigates nonequilibrium phenomena in chemical and condensed matter physics. They try to understand how strongly correlated quantum systems react to dissipative environments and to external perturbations, particularly in the context of the transport properties of nanosystems. This is a deeply challenging and fundamental problem, and therefore they work on state-of-the-art computational methods such as quantum Monte Carlo algorithms.

School of Chemistry

Email: gcohen@tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.tau.ac.il/~gcohen/

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PROF. OSWALDO DIEGUEZ

Dr. Dieguez heads the group of Atomistic Simulation of Materials in the Faculty of Engineering. They study the structural, electronic, magnetic, and optical properties of solids by using density-functional theory and other modelling techniques. The main focus of the group is in multifunctional oxides, materials that display properties such as ferroelectricity that make them promising for technological applications.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Email: dieguez@tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.eng.tau.ac.il/~dieguez/

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PROF. MOSHE GOLDSTEIN

The research of Dr. Goldstein’s group concerns the theory (both analytical and numerical) of nanoscale and low-dimensional quantum condensed matter systems, including: semiconductors, normal and superconducting metals, carbon-based materials, topological insulators, and ultracold atomic gases. These systems offer the fascinating challenge of understanding the interplay between quantum interference, strong correlations, topology, and nonequlibrium dynamics. Furthermore, they are important as the basic building blocks of future devices, including quantum simulators and quantum computers.

School of Physics and Astronomy

Email: mgoldstein@post.tau.ac.il
Web: http://www6.tau.ac.il/mgoldstein/

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DR. BARAK HIRSHBERG

Dr. Hirshberg's lab develops quantum and classical molecular dynamics simulations of condensed phase systems. We combine path integral molecular dynamics with machine-learning algorithms for overcoming some of the most fundamental limitations of molecular simulations: the fermion sign problem, the dynamical sign problem and the study of rare events. Using these tools, we investigate fascinating phenomena, such as thermodynamic properties of ultracold trapped atoms, transport of hydrogen molecules in porous solids at low temperatures and chemical reactions with high energy barriers on water surfaces.

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PROF. ODED HOD

The research of Prof. Hod's group focuses on the theoretical study of the mechanical, electronic, magnetic, and transport properties of systems at the nanoscale. A combination of first-principles methods codes developed within the group and commercial computational chemistry packages allows them to address the properties and functionality of a variety of systems ranging from carefully tailored molecular structures up to bulk systems.

School of Chemistry

Email: odedhod@tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.tau.ac.il/~odedhod/

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PROF. AMIR NATAN

The group of Dr. Natan uses first principles quantum calculations and other tools to investigate the electronic properties of materials and devices. In parallel to using commercial and public software they also develop new theoretical methods and software. Current interests include the properties of novel materials, the interaction of light with matter and electrons dynamics, multi-scale modeling of materials and devices, and physical phenomena at surfaces and interfaces.

School of Electrical Engineering

Email: amirnatan@post.tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.eng.tau.ac.il/~amirn/

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PROF. ABRAHAM NITZAN

The research of Prof. Nitzan's group focuses on theoretical aspects of chemical dynamics. This is the branch of chemistry that describes the nature of physical and chemical processes that underline the progress of chemical reactions. In particular, their studies deal with chemical processes involving interactions between light and matter, chemical reactions in condensed phases and at interfaces, and transport phenomena in complex systems.

School of Chemistry

Email: nitzan@post.tau.ac.il
Web: http://atto.tau.ac.il/~nitzan

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DR. SHLOMI REUVENI

The group of Dr. Reuveni is broadly interested in complex systems that are governed by statistical laws and random events. It conducts research at the interface of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Probability and Statistics; and aims to cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries in attempt to mathematically describe, explain, predict, and understand natural phenomena.

School of Chemistry

Email: shlomire@tauex.tau.ac.il
Web: https://www.sreuveni.com

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PROF. YAIR SHOKEF

The group of Prof. Shokef develops and applies theoretical and simulation techniques to the study of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of soft matter systems. Their current research covers two main directions: stuck matter (including geometric frustration, jamming, and slow dynamics in granular matter, colloids, foam, and glass-forming liquids), and live matter (nonlinear elasticity and active fluctuations in biological systems).

School of Mechanical Engineering

Email: shokef@tau.ac.il
Web: http://shokef.tau.ac.il/

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PROF. MICHAEL URBAKH

The research interests in the group of Prof. Urbakh include the application of theoretical and computational tools to study atomic scale friction, molecular engines, dynamic force spectroscopy, probing the solid-liquid interface with quartz crystal microbalance, interfacial electrochemistry of complex solid surfaces, interfacial soft matter electrochemistry (structure, dynamics, functioning), and electrodynamics of metal surfaces with account of microscopic effects.

School of Chemistry

Email: urbakh@post.tau.ac.il
Web: http://www.tau.ac.il/~urbakh1

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

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DR. VIPIN KUMAR

School of Electrical Engineering

Email: vipinkumar0247@gmail.com

Dr. Vipin Kumar obtained his Ph.D. Degree (October 2018) in Physics (Computational Materials Science) from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India. He has also two years Post-Doc research experience from the University of Ulsan, South Korea. Before joining the Sackler Center Dr. Kumar significantly contributed to developing novel 2D nanomaterials for environmental toxic NCGs/OCGs sensors, semiconductors, optoelectronics, and thermoelectric applications under Density Functional Theory (DFT) frameworks. His current research focuses on involving in the theoretical simulations of materials, interfaces, and surface reactions for energy storage applications by using Density Functional Theory. In addition, his research is involving also the development and use of Deep Learning models for the acceleration of such simulations.

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Dr. Sourav Manna

School School of Physics and Astronomy

Email: sourav.manna@weizmann.ac.il

Dr. Sourav Manna joined the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center in May, 2022. During his PhD in the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany he focused on the lattice fractional quantum Hall systems where he explored the properties of anyon quasiparticles. In the Sackler Center his research is focused on the topological phases of matter with a particular emphasis on the edge reconstructions and edge equilibrations in the fractional quantum Hall effect. Besides, he is also broadening his horizon of research by exploring topological insulators, topological superconductors and non-Hermitian topological phases. 

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DR. SAMUDRAJIT THAPA

School of Mechanical Engineering

Email: samudrajit11@gmail.com

Dr. Thapa joined the Sackler Center in December, 2020. His work is focused on using stochastic processes for the description of anomalous diffusion observed in biological and soft-matter systems. He uses different tools of statistical physics for these objectives and has experience in working with the methods of Bayesian inference and large-deviation theory. He is interested in studying active systems too, with a focus on collective motions and self-organisation. One of the goals here is in understanding the time-irreversibility in biological systems at a single-molecule level.

FORMER FELLOWS

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DR. WEI CAO

School of Chemistry
 

Dr. Cao joined the Sackler Center in October 2019. Before joining the Sackler Center Dr. Wei Cao used molecular dynamics simulations for investigations of fascinating phenomena of superlubricity (the state of ultra-low friction and wear) at interfaces between water and 2D materials. His current research focuses on studying the mechanisms underlying energy dissipation in layered material junctions via theoretical and numerical means. The goal of these studies is to devise guiding rules for structure/function relations in solid-solid contacts based on 2D layered materials, and to predict new layered material coatings that present robust superlubricity,

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DR. ANDRÉ ERPENBECK

School of Chemistry

Email: andre.erpenbeck@fau.de

Dr. Erpenbeck joined the Sackler Center in November 2019, after completing his PhD at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. His research is focused on the dynamics of nonequilibrium quantum systems using theoretical and numerical methods. In particular, he studies how strongly correlated systems behave when driven out of equilibrium by external influences. Within this context, his work includes the development and optimization of state-of-the-art computational approaches to enable the description of these systems.

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DR. RAKESH CHATTERJEE

School of Mechanical Engineering
 

Dr. Chatterjee joined The Sackler Center in November 2017. His research was focused on the statistical properties of low-dimensional non-equilibrium systems using analytical theory and numerical simulation. This included work on simple lattice-gas models when active particles are closed-packed to investigate jamming and un-jamming of particles with some internal motility.

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DR. HSING-TA (THETA) CHEN

School of Chemistry
 

Dr. Chen joined The Sackler Center in June 2016 from Columbia University. During his stay, he developed state-of-the-art quantum Monte Carlo algorithms for simulating energy and electron transfer dynamics in condensed phase systems, with the aim of investigating systems ranging from molecular magnets to light-harvesting complexes. Dr. Chen returned to Columbia University in August 2016.

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DR. XIANG GAO

School of Chemistry

Email: xianggao3064@gmail.com

Dr. Gao joined the Sackler Center in October 2018. His research was focused on the nanotribological properties of two-dimensional (2D) layered materials, using molecular dynamics simulations and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Currently, he is studying the effects of grain boundaries on the friction properties of homojuctions and heterojunctions of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride. He is also working on accurate calculations of sliding and binding energy landscape of other novel 2D materials, such as molybdenum disulfide, using DFT calculations with considerations of many body dispersion effects.

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DR. UDIT KHANNA

School of Physics and Astronomy
 

Dr. Khanna joined the Sackler Center for two years, starting November 2017. His research was focused on the properties of low-dimensional condensed matter systems, using both analytical and numerical techniques. In particular, he studied the effect of strong correlations and emergence of superconductivity in two-dimensional electron gases.

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DR. SIJO K. JOSEPH

School of Electrical Engineering
 

Dr. Joseph joined The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for two years after May 2016. His work involved the application of time dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) to investigate light matter interaction in bio-inspired materials. He is also focused on the development of different numerical propagation schemes for the time dependent Kohn-Sham equations.

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DR. DAVIDE MANDELLI

School of Chemistry
 

Dr. Mandelli was at The Sackler Center for two years, starting in February 2016. His work involved theory and simulations of friction at nano- and micro-scales, including friction in colloidal systems and layered materials.

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DR. ERDAL C. OĞUZ

School of Mechanical Engineering
 

Dr. Oğuz joined The Sackler Center during two years, from September 2016. His theoretical and numerical research addressed the statistical mechanics of soft condensed matter with an emphasis on structure and dynamics of colloidal systems under external fields. He investigated the self-assembly of soft quasicrystals as well as local density fluctuations and hyperuniformity in various point patterns including (non-)periodic and quasiperiodic ones.

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DR. SOMRITA RAY

School of Chemistry

Email: somritaray1987@gmail.com

Dr. Ray joined the Sackler Center in June, 2018. Her research was focused on modeling stochastic processes that occur far from equilibrium. She has worked on the energetics of classical and quantum Brownian systems, rate theory of chemical reactions and heat transport phenomena. In addition, she is interested in stochastic thermodynamics and has published work exploring several aspects of precision, energetic cost and periodic driving in small-scale dissipative systems. With a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Visva-Bharati University, India and a post-doc from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Germany, she now takes a Physical Chemist's perspective to better understand biophysical and biochemical systems at a single molecule level.

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DR. MICHAEL RIDLEY

School of Chemistry
 

Dr. Ridley joined the Sackler Center in March 2017, after completing a PhD at Imperial College London. He worked on time-dependent quantum transport in driven systems and the theory of quantum fluctuations using nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF) theory. His investigations included the effect of local interactions on the full counting statistics of electron transport in molecular junctions.

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DR. AKANSHA SINGH

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
 

Dr. Singh was at The Sackler Center for two years, starting in November 2015. Her work involved the application of density-functional theory and related computational first-principles methods to investigate the properties of solids, including ferroelectrics and materials of interest for energy applications.