Welcome to the Leppert group!
What do solar cell panels and the purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides have in common? Both convert the energy of sun light into other forms of energy. And while the physical and chemical processes at the heart of these light-converting systems are very different, the relevant steps of charge excitation and charge and energy transport can be described using the same set of equations that rely on a quantum mechanical description of the nuclei and electrons that make up matter.
We are particularly interested in calculating electronic excitations using many-body perturbation theory (using the GW approximation and solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation). Additionally, almost all our simulations rely on density functional theory, the method of choice for fast calculations of ground state properties.
With these powerful methods at our hands, we simulate the electronic structure and dynamics of halide perovskites for solar cell applications, and the (bacterio)chlorophyll molecules that are central to charge excitation and transfer in photosynthetic bacteria.