About Us


Ivan  Oleynik

Ivan Oleynik

Ivan Oleynik
Professor, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science


Office: ISA 5109
Phone: 813/974-8186
Lab: ISA 5024
Fax: 813/974-5813



Ph.D. physics, 1992, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Professional Experience

  • Chair of 2015 APS International Conference “Shock Compression of Condensed Matter”
  • Organizer of focus topic sessions “Materials in Extremes: Bridging Simulation and Experiment” at APS 2012-2018 March Meetings
  • Chair of 2D Materials focus topic sessions at American Vacuum Society International Symposia (2010-2018)
  • Chair of USF System Research Council; member of USF Faculty Senate Executive Committee (2015-2016); member of USF System Research Council (2012-2016)


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.

Honors and Awards

  • APS Fellow, 2015
  • USF Outstanding Research Award, 2012
  • ONR/NRL Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2003-2005
  • The Royal Society Research Fellowship, 1995-1996
  • AFOSR/EOARD Window on Science (WOS) award, 1993