Volker Blum heads the "Ab initio materials simulations" group at Duke University. Dr. Blum's research focuses on "first-principles" computational materials science: using the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics to predict the properties of real materials from the atomic scale on upwards.
Specific focus areas are interface and nanoscale systems with electronic and energy applications, as well as work on molecular structure and spectroscopy. Recent research topics include structure and properties of graphene on the semiconducting substrate, SiC; structure and electronic properties of new materials for photovoltaics; organic-inorganic hybrid materials; carbon-nitride materials for photocatalysis; and more.
Dr. Blum is the coordinator of a major computer package for computational materials and molecular science based on electronic structure theory, FHI-aims. Work in his group is interdisciplinary (touching areas of physics and chemistry in addition to materials science), with opportunities for international collaboration and exchange. Active collaborations include groups in Berlin, Munich, London, Hefei, and elsewhere.