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Project TitleSimulation of Energy Transport and Conversion in Nanostructured Semiconductor and Thermoelectric Materials and Devices
SummaryThis undergraduate student internship will involve developing parallel numerical codes for the simulation of energy transport and conversion in nanostructured semiconductor materials and devices. We will then proceed to study nanostructured thermoelectric devices for energy conversion with the goal of improving energy conversion efficiency and energy performance in nanoelectronics.
Job DescriptionThe intern will be part of a tight-knit research group with diverse research interests relating to numerical device simulation and ranging from thermoelectric energy conversion, quantum transport, electronic structure, 2-dimensional materials, silicon MOSFETs, and dissipation in nanoelectronics. The internship will focus on nanostructured materials containing group IV semiconductors (including silicon, germanium, and tin) as a platform to achieve high thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency for waste heat recovery applications. The work will be based on the Monte Carlo method for the solution of the Boltzmann transport equation and first principles methods for the modeling of electronic and vibrational spectra of nanostructures. The key component of the internship will be further developing and utilizing a parallel version of the Monte Carlo code for the simulation of electronic and thermal transport in nanostructured semiconductor devices.

We will then proceed to use this method to study and optimize nanocomposite thermoelectric devices for energy conversion with the goal of optimizing energy conversion efficiency and performance through material composition and structure. The intern will develop a simple but powerful and scalable numerical simulation code utilizing a combination of either C/MPI or Matlab/CUDA platforms. The intern will test the code on the HPC cluster at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC or a GPU-enabled workstation in the Nanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Group at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The final code will be equipped with a RAPPTURE user interface and deployed on the on-line simulation and education resource, thereby making the final product accessable and useful to the broader nanoscience and simulation community. The finished tool will be used in undergraduate lectures as a parallel computing learning resource.

This position will require some background in solid-state electronics, as well as some programming skills in either Python, C/C++, Fortran, or Matlab. The intern will gain valuable skills in both parallel/high-performance computing and numerical simulation in the context of semiconductor device engineering and applied nanoscience. Work done during this internship will have strong impact both on the environment (through developing more energy efficient nanoelectronics) and on the broader scientific computing community (by sharing both the codes and the results of the work on-line and through publications).
Use of Blue WatersThis project will first use the Massachusetts High Performance Green Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke, MA ( to further develop and test the parallel Monte Carlo (MC) simulation code. Once completed and tested, the parallel version of the MC code will be run on Blue Waters toward the end of the internship to accelerate the time-to-results and reduce the time required to sweep multiple materials parameters, such as alloy composition, structure of the nanocomposite, and doping, to find the optimal combination of parameters that yield the highest thermoelectric conversion efficiency.
Conditions/QualificationsUndergraduate student at UMass or any school in the vicinity (Western Massachusetts, Pioneer Valley including any of the Five Colleges)
Some programming experience in either Matlab, Python, C/C++, or Fortran
Basic exposure to either electronics, solid-state devices, or quantum mechanics
Start Date05/31/2018
End Date05/31/2019
LocationNanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Group
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Lakshay Gautam