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NREL Theorist Recognized for Highest Citation Impact

October 5, 2004

Golden, Colo. — Dr. Alex Zunger, Research Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a co-author of one of the 100 physics papers that has the highest citation impact over the past 110 years according to a recent analysis of manuscripts that have appeared in the journal Physical Review from 1893 to 2003.

Zunger's work with co-author J.P. Perdew on "Self-interaction Correction to the Density Functional Approximations for Many-Electron Systems" published in Phys. Rev. B23, 5048 (1981) was named the fifth most cited paper out of more than three million publications published 1893 through 2003. For this top-100 list, the citation impact was calculated based on the number of citations to a publication and the average age of these citations. See Physical Review's Top 100 Citation List.

Zunger, a condensed matter theorist who conducts research on semiconductor materials and photon energy conversion, has been with NREL for 25 years. He is an author or co-author of more than 400 journal articles and his research has led to several very important scientific advances. He has developed pioneering theoretical methods for studying impurities in solids, surfaces, alloys, superlattices, the thermodynamics and optics of solids and the electrochromic properties of semiconductor quantum nanostructures.

Zunger received his doctoral degree from Tel-Aviv University in 1976 and completed post-doctoral research at Northwestern University. He was an IBM Fellow at the University of California Berkeley. He received the DOE Sustained Outstanding Research in Solid State Physics award in 1997 for his work Prediction of Novel Ordered Intermetallic Compounds and their Properties.

The Israeli-educated Zunger is a condensed matter theorist who conducts research on quantum-mechanical theory of semiconductors and photon energy conversion. Zunger is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is recognized (among others) by the 2001 American Physical Society Rahman Award for "his pioneering work on the computational basis for first-principles electronic structure theory of solids" and the 2001 Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society John Bardeen award for "his seminal contributions to the theoretical understanding and prediction of 'spontaneous ordering', phase-stability and electronic properties of semiconductors."

Learn more about Zunger on NREL's Research Fellows Web site.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable energy research and development and a leading laboratory for energy efficiency R&D. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.

—Sarah Barba