Internship Project

Electronic structure of strained low-dimensional semiconductors from first principles

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
IRIS Adlershof
Subject Area
Theoretical condensed-matter physics
Position filled in 2023.

Internship Modality:
On-site internship in Berlin
Online Internship
Project Supervisor(s)
Prof. Dr. Caterina Cocchi
Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from third year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
Further Information
Project Type
Academic Research
Project Content
In this project, the electronic structure of novel low-dimensional semiconductors under strain will be studied computationally using first-principles methods based on density-functional theory. Focusing on experimentally and technologically relevant materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides, the intern will explore how extending or compressing the two-dimensional sheets will alter the electronic properties of the systems. Extreme scenarios in which strain induces mechanical deformations will be considered as well. If time and interest allow, the vibrational characteristics of such systems will be explored, too. This work is embedded in an active research line in the supervisor's group, including numerous collaborations with experimental groups in Berlin, Germany, and abroad.
Tasks for Interns
  • Learning the basics of density-functional theory (if not known yet).
  • Characterization of the electronic properties of the pristine (unstrained) materials for reference.
  • Generation of the strained sheets at varying amounts and types of strain.
  • Calculation of the electronic properties of the strained materials (band structure, density of states).
  • Analysis of the results with the rationalization of the effects of strain on the relevant material. properties (band gap, charge-carrier mobility, etc.).
  • Calculation of the phonon bands and related analysis (optional).

Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from third year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
  • Studies in physics, physical chemistry, or materials science. 
  • Robust knowledge of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics (undergraduate level).
  • Attitude for computational work.
  • Basic knowledge of scientific programming (undergraduate level)
  • Programming experience is an asset.
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For more information on the Humboldt Internship Program or the project, please contact the program coordinator.