Condensed matter theory

The fundamental science to design and engineer complex materials
Our research team seeks to acquire a detailed understanding of condensed matter to design complex materials such as catalysts with greater selectivity and efficiency, or new electronic devices.

Our research

Our group's focus is on ab initio investigations of materials and surface science phenomena. First-principles electronic structure calculations are used in conjunction with high performance computing to probe chemical reactions at interfaces and explore the energetics, atomic, electronic, and magnetic properties of polyatomic systems.

The processes that occur at surfaces play a critical role in the manufacture and performance of advanced materials (electronic, magnetic and optical devices, sensors, catalysts and hard coatings). The research methods developed and knowledge gained will have applications in a range of physical, chemical, biological, medical engineering and material science problems.

Our goal is to acquire a detailed understanding of the fundamental science to engineer and design complex materials; for example, catalysts with greater selectivity and efficiency, and new electronic devices.

Our staff


  • Professor Matthias Scheffler
  • Professor Art Freeman
  • Dr Bernard Delley
  • Professor Chris Van de Walle
  • Professor Simon Ringer
  • Dr Juarez Da Silva
  • Dr Xiangyuan Cui
  • A/Professor Jun Huang
  • Professor Mike Ford
  • Dr Sherif Tawlik
  • Dr Leigh Weston
  • A/Professor Aloysius Soon


Catherine Stampfl

  • Room 439, Physics Building A28, University of Sydney NSW 2006