Norman C Rasmussen Assistant Professor
Mingda Li, Norman C Rasmussen Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, joined the Department January 2018. His research interest lies in understanding the mechanism of complex defects on materials’ functional properties, and engineering the defects toward efficient and optimized energy applications. His research group, Energy Nano Group (ENG), is currently developing microscopic quantum theories of defects, growing single crystals with controllable defects, and using artificial intelligence algorithms to assist spectroscopy analysis, to resolve the role that defects are playing on energy transport and conversion processes.
We are developing fundamental theories to study the influence of complex defects — dislocations, grain boundaries, nano-precipitates — on energy materials’ electrical, thermal and magnetic properties, at a microscopic quantum field theoretical level. Comparing to empirical models which are single-particle, low-order scattering with pre-set physical picture, our proposed approach retains all predictive power by incorporating all quantum many-body effects without necessity to introduce fitting parameters.
Instead of performing bulk measurements with ensemble-averaged defects, with modern nanotechnology, we are able to measure the influence of defects on materials carrier transport and electronic structures, at individual defect level. This research is expected to directly determine the intrinsic parameters of defects, and are directly comparable with the theories, hence can be considered to be an ultraclean platform for defect studies.
Many spectra are easy to collect but difficult to explain. Equipped with artificial intelligence deep learning methods, we are able to extract more information from existing spectra For instance, we are developing simple spectroscopic method to resolve the materials defect type and concentration.
Equipped with unique single crystal growth capability, we are growing hybrid crystals by introducing controllable complex defects, and using these defects as additional dimensions to tune materials properties. This approach is expected to open up a new revenue to tailor materials properties with greater range of tunability.
Please visit our group website for the updated publication list
22.02 Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics