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Can Ataca

Contact Information
Physics, Rm 315

Research Group


Assistant Professor


Ph. D. Physics – Bilkent University, National Nanotechnology Research Center, Turkey, 2011
Sc. Physics – Bilkent University, National Nanotechnology Research Center, Turkey, 2008
Sc. Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Physics (Double Major) – Bilkent University, Turkey, 2007

Previous Experience

I was a postdoctoral associate in the group of Prof. Jeffrey C. Grossman at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between 2012-2016. I then worked with Prof. Brenda M. Rubenstein at the Department of Chemistry, Brown University as a Senior Research Associate/Scientist between 2016-2017.

Professional Interests

Our research focuses on the theoretical investigation of materials (crystals, molecules, alloys, amorphous systems, junctions, surfaces, porous media …) for next generation device, green energy, coating and filtration applications. We try to understand the physics of devices and correlated systems, as well as how materials react under extreme environments and growth/nucleation processes. The tools we use range from DFT (Density Functional Theory to QMC (Quantum Monte Carlo) to ab-initio, force-field and classical MD (Molecular Dynamics).

Some of the materials simulated in our group include low dimensional materials (1D, 2D), concrete, high-capacity electrode materials and specific molecules. Our group not only employs quantum mechanical approaches that span multiple time and length scales to accurately predict and engineer the electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical, thermal, piezo-electric, dielectric and transport properties of materials, but is also involved in the development of new computational methodologies for higher accuracy and post-processing approaches to bridge different time/length scales.

Selected Publications

A complete list of publications can be found at: