Department of Physics and Astronomy
Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Alex Shluger's group
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Matthew Wolf

About me

I obtained a BSc. in physics in 2004, and an MSc. in theoretical particle physics in 2006, both from Imperial College. Having found particle physics to be somewhat too abstract for my tastes, I subsequently joined the CMMP group at UCL to begin an EngD in Materials Simulation in 2007, of which I am currently in the final stages.


My research involves the application of ab initio density functional techniques to model polaronic localisation in wide-band-gap insulators. In a nutshell, a polaron is a quasiparticle consisting of a charge carrier, i.e. an electron or hole, and the lattice polarisation which it induces; if the electron-lattice coupling is strong enough, then the polaron may become self-trapped, which has wide-ranging implications for many properties of the material. My doctoral work has consisted of studying two prototypical polaronic systems, viz. the V- centre in the model oxide MgO, which may be thought of as a polaron bound to an acceptor, and the self-trapped hole polaron in the perfect lattice of the technologically-important oxide ZrO2.


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