University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Contribute to our future
Office: ISA 5109
Lab: ISA 5024
Email: oleynik (at) usf.edu
Ph.D. physics, 1992, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
My group’s research in computational and theoretical materials physics focuses on discovery of new materials with unique electronic, vibrational, thermal, mechanical, optical, transport and superconducting properties using a combination of first-principles quantum mechanical, and atomistic molecular dynamics simulation tools. Working closely with experimental collaborators, we predict new materials and study their properties before their synthesis is attempted in a laboratory. The current focus is on the search of novel high-nitrogen content energetic materials, superhard materials, novel superconductors and 2D materials for energy applications.
Another key research effort is to study behavior of materials at extreme conditions of high pressure, high temperature and high strain rates. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulations are performed to uncover fundamental mechanisms of shock-induced plasticity, phase transitions, and the fundamental atomic-scale mechanisms of condensed-phase detonations. At more fundamental level, using first-principles quantum mechanics we study the nature of chemical bonding at extreme conditions that results in unusual and unexpected structures and properties of molecules and solids realized under both static and dynamic compressions.
We are fascinated of the various forms of carbon, especially graphene, carbon nanotubes, graphite, diamond, and porous carbon. To probe the fundamental properties of these materials at the atomic scale, we develop novel analytic bond order potentials (BOPs) through systematic coarse-graining of electronic structure through the chemically intuitive tight-binding framework and incorporating the environment-dependent screening of interatomic interactions. Within the broad class of carbon materials, we study their mechanical properties, shock compression, phase transitions including melting and other phenomena involving atomistic processes of bond breaking and remaking.
The group also maintains a long-term interest in studying fundamental mechanisms of charge, spin and thermal transport in single molecular junctions. In particular, we study fundamental mechanisms of resonant tunneling, heating, rectification and other unique electronic functionalities to be utilized in future single molecular electronic devices.