Derek A. Stewart - Nanoscale Simulation

Welcome to the Stewart Research Group (dft4nano).

I direct the nanoscale simulation effort at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility and also serve as an adjunct professor in the Material Science and Engineering Department at Cornell.  My group's research combines density functional theory and transport approaches to understand thermal, electronic, and spin transport in materials and nanostructures.  We are currently developing a first principles foundation for thermal transport, designing new nanostructured thermoelectrics for energy harvesting, and magnetic tunnel junctions for memory applications.  If you are interested in working in our group or a possible collaboration, please contact us.            

Derek A. Stewart

Senior Research Associate, Cornell Nanoscale Facility
Adjunct Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Cornell University
250 Duffield Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853-2700
Tel: 607-255-2856
Fax: 607-255-8601

Current CV


Recent Announcements

  • Thermal Conductivity in Cubic Boron Nitride Under Pressure work published in Phys. Rev. Lett.! Our work on the thermal conductivity of cubic boron nitride under pressure is now available online at Physical Review Letters.  Congrats to Saikat Mukhopadhyay for all his work on this ...
    Posted Jul 8, 2014, 8:06 AM by Derek Stewart
  • Work on Wurtzite Indium Phosphide (InP) published in Phys. Rev. B! III-V nanowires show great potential for applications ranging from field effect transistors to photo-detectors.  One of the interesting things about these systems is that for very small nanowires ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2014, 10:36 AM by Derek Stewart
  • Phonon Spectrometer worked highlighted on Physics Today website Our recent Nano Letters article probing phonon surface scattering in nanostructures using a microscale phonon spectrometer was recently featured on the Physics Today website!  You can find the article here
    Posted Jan 4, 2014, 11:07 AM by Derek Stewart
  • Phonon Spectrometer work published in Nano Letters Our joint work with Richard Robinson's group (MSE/Cornell) on the role of surface scattering on phonon transport in nanostructures has just been accepted to Nano Letters!  You can ...
    Posted Nov 24, 2013, 2:27 PM by Derek Stewart
  • Saikat to present cubic-BN work at Fall MRS meeting Saikat Mukhopadhyay (post-doc in the dft4nano group) will be giving a talk at the Fall MRS meeting on our recent work looking at the thermal conductivity in cubic boron ...
    Posted Nov 7, 2013, 12:27 PM by Derek Stewart
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 14. View more »

I have switched over to the Google Post format above.  For older news please see the list below!

(January 25, 2012) PASI Workshop featured in PUC: Thank you to all the organizers and participants that helped make the PASI workshop a success.  The Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile has just posted an article (in spanish) on the workshop here.

(September 9, 2011) New Paper! Our paper on thermal transport in SiGe alloys with embedded nanoparticles has just been published in Phys Rev B. here.

(September 6, 2011) 2012 PASI Workshop Receives NSF funding!:  I just received word that our NSF proposal for the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute: Computational Materials Science for Energy Generation and Conversion has been funded.  This two-week workshop in Santiago, Chile is designed give young researchers (graduate students and post-docs) from across the Americas an introduction to essential simulation techniques for energy research.  Support will be provided for participants.  If you are interested in attending, please check out the workshop website, PASI 2012, for more details. 

(May 19, 2011) InAs Nanowire Thermal Conductivity: The paper "Thermal conductivity of indium arsenide nanowires with wurtzite and zincblende phases" has been published in Physical Review B.  This joint experiment/theory paper is the result of a collaboration with Li Shi's group at the University of Texas, Natalio Mingo at CEA-Grenoble, France, and Lars Samuelson's group at Lund University, Sweden.  The paper can be accessed here

(May 10, 2011) CiSE Preprint Available: The paper "A Cautionary Tale of Two Basis Sets and Graphene" has been accepted to Computing in Science and Engineering and is now available in preprint form on the CS Digital Library here.

(March 29, 2011) New NSF Grant!:  Derek Stewart will serve as PI for a new NSF grant CBET-01066406 "Ab-Initio Computation of Thermal Transport in Crystalline and Disordered Materials".  This grant will help fund research into first principles modeling of thermal conductivity in low thermal conductivity materials relevant for thermoelectric applications and thermal barrier coatings.  This project is in collaboration with joint research efforts at Boston College and CEA Grenoble.

(December 3, 2010) Our new paper examining the electronic structure of semiconducting CrAl alloy thin films was just published in Physical Review Letters.  This work combines density functional calculations with x-ray photoemission spectroscopy to provide insight into this unusual alloy.

Atomic structures at the Winter Olympics?! Last year, NBC came to Cornell to film a series of short videos on the Science behind the Vancouver Winter Olympics for NSF.  Melissa Hines (Director of the CCMR here at Cornell) does a great job explaining the role materials science plays in international sports in several of the videos.  The camera crew also came by my office and you can find a few of my screen shots of teflon and carbon nanotubes in this video on competition suits.

(December 17, 2009) My new paper examining a new type of spin filtering based on an reduced symmetry oxide (Mg3B2O6) has been published in Nano Letters ASAP.

(Sept. 16, 2009) Our new paper on predicting the thermal conductivity of diamond from first principles was just published in Physical Review B here.  The article was also selected as an Editor's Suggestion for the issue and it was also featured in a Cornell Chronicle article!

(June 16, 2009) Alistair Ward (now Dr. Ward!) successfully defended his dissertation on "First principles theory of the lattice thermal conductivity of semiconductors"at Boston College

(February 6, 2009) Our new paper on graphene oxide is now available online at Nano Letters!   This article combines electron microscopy, EELS data, and density functional calculations to examine oxygen bonding on graphene. (Article at Nano Letters ASAP)

(December 23, 2008) Derek Stewart was recently profiled in the Cornell Chronicle on Dec. 23, 2008 (Full Article)

In a paper published online in December 2008 in Nano Letters, we investigate the impact of isotope scattering on thermal transport in boron nitride nanotubes (Article at Nano Letters ASAP)

In a paper recently published in Physical Review Letters, we examine the role of phonon localization on thermal transport in nanotubes. (PRL 101 165502 (2008))

LM Suite

 I also manage the distribution of the Linear Muffin Tin Orbital electronic structure code LM Suite.

Please contact me if you are interested in getting the distribution.

Updated Feb 4, 2010