Abstract by Tanner Hardy
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Mapping Interatomic Potential Energy Surfaces to Guide Coherent Control
Achieving coherent control of phenomenon such as phase transitions and massive domain reorientations has long been a goal of researchers in a variety of fields due to exciting applications. Key to gaining such control is an understanding of the interatomic potential energy surfaces of the materials utilized, especially lattice anharmonicities. Here we present first principles calculations of the phonon band structures and potential energy surfaces of several crystalline systems, including ferroelectric LiNbO3. Preliminary measurements of the interatomic potentials of these systems using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy show reasonable agreement with the calculated structures, encouraging further computational efforts to map additional regions of these potential surfaces. Our goal is to completely map the potential surfaces of many crystalline systems and identify potential routes of coherent control, thus enabling advances in electronics, computing, and other fields.