Bernardi Research Group


Our research combines theory and computation to study the dynamics of electrons in materials from first principles. Using these methods, we investigate electrons in materials with near-atomic length and femtosecond time resolutions, providing microscopic insight beyond the reach of experiment into the motion of electrons, their spin, and their coupling to atomic vibrations and defects in materials.
One main goal of our research is advancing fundamental understanding of electron transport, ultrafast dynamics and light-matter interactions in materials. Another goal is using the unique microscopic insight provided by our calculations to advance applications in electronics, optoelectronics, energy and quantum technologies, as well as simulating and advancing the interpretation of novel ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopies.


  • Hsiao-Yi Chen receives the prestigious J. Yang Fellowship from the J. Yang & Family Foundation. Congratulations! 5-5-20
  • Marco and Jin-Jian were slated to give invited talks at the 2020 APS March Meeting. Slides of their talks are available on the APS website (links: Marco's talk on ultrafast dynamics , Jin-Jian's talk on charge transport in oxides ) 4-1-20
  • Our PERTURBO code is available for download.
    PERTURBO computes electron-phonon interactions, charge transport, and ultrafast carrier dynamics. It is efficient, parallelized, and carefully tested. Its workflows are intuitive and user friendly.
    The paper accompanying PERTURBO is available on arXiv. 2-6-20
  • Caltech features our recent work on charge transport in strontium titanate breaking the quasiparticle picture and the Planckian limit. 12-9-19
  • Marco wins an Emerging Young Investigator Award at the 4th Functional Oxide Thin Films for Advanced Energy and Information Technology Conference in Portugal. 7-20-19
  • Marco gives two invited talks at the ACS Spring Meeting in Orlando 4-1-19
  • We give talks at the APS March Meeting in Boston 3-10-19
  • Shiyuan Gao joins the group as a new postdoc 1-15-19
  • Our work on computing electron-phonon interactions in the presence of soft modes is published in Physical Review Letters. 11-30-18
  • Xiao Tong receives the prestigious Resnick graduate fellowship. Congratulations! 10-28-18
  • We receive funding from the DOE as part of a Caltech team investigating quantum states in two-dimensional materials 9-28-18
  • Our joint theory-experiment work on the Rashba effect in halide perovskites is featured in the Caltech News! 6-20-18
  • The APS March Meeting comes to Los Angeles! Marco will give an invited talk on carrier dynamics and a tutorial on electron-phonon coupling. The group will give talks on several topics 3-1-18 .
  • Marco receives the NSF CAREER Award 12-15-17
  • Our work on ultrafast carrier dynamics in GaN and the origin of the efficiency droop in LEDs is featured in the Caltech News! 11-20-17
  • Marco receives the AFOSR Young Investigator Award 10-10-17
  • Marco gives an invited talk at the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (WATOC) 2017 conference. 9-1-17
  • We receive funding from Caltech's Space Solar Initiative. 8-1-17
  • Our joint experiment-theory work on hot carrier super-diffusion is featured in the Caltech News! 6-15-17
  • Two graduate students, Hsiao-Yi Chen (Physics) and Xiao Tong (Materials Science), join the group! 4-15-17
  • Marco gives talks at Trinity College, Cambridge University and EPFL on our work on electron-phonon interactions and excited carrier dynamics. 4-15-17
  • Our work on Super-Diffusion of Excited Carriers in Silicon, a theory-experiment collaboration with Prof. Ahmed Zewail, is accepted in Nature Communications! 3-3-17
  • Luis, Jin-Jian, Vatsal, I-Te and Marco will present at the APS March Meeting. 3-2-17
  • Marco gives two talks at the TMS conference in San Diego. 3-1-17
  • Marco gives a Materials Research Lecture at Caltech on the Electron-Phonon Interaction. 2-15-17
  • Jin-Jian's article on ab initio polar phonon scattering is published in Physical Review B as a rapid communication. 11-28-16
  • The Psi-K features Marco's review article on ab initio electron and phonon dynamics. Read the summary and the review article. 11-4-16
  • The NERSC supercomputing center features Marco's research on carrier dynamics and solar cells. Read the news article and interview. 10-19-16
  • We receive funding through the NSF SI2 program to develop a code for electron dynamics 9-10-16
  • We welcome three new graduate students, Austin, Megan, and Nien-En! 8-1-16
  • Marco's research on hot carriers featured on 6-13-16
  • Vatsal is awarded the prestigious Resnick graduate fellowship. Congratulations! 5-17-16
  • Marco's review on computational methods for solar cells published in Energy and Environmental Science
  • Vatsal, I-Te, Seva, and Marco give talks at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore 3-14-16
  • The group is awarded a start-up supercomputing time allocation at XSEDE, an NSF-funded center 1-25-16
  • Marco gives an invited talk at the biennial Total Energy and Force Methods international workshop in Luxembourg 1-14-16
  • The group is awarded supercomputing time at NERSC, a DOE-funded center 1-12-16
  • Jin Jian Zhou joins the group as a JCAP-funded postdoc 12-15-15
  • Marco will give three invited talks in Europe, at Oxford, Imperial, and CFEL in Hamburg, on our recent work on ultrafast carrier dynamics in semiconductors 11-15-15
  • We obtain funding from JCAP, a DOE-BES supported hub to study the basic science of artificial photosynthesis 10-1-15
  • Luis Agapito joins the group as a senior postdoc 10-1-15
  • Marco wins the 2015 Psi-K Volker Heine Young Investigator Award 9-8-15

Recent Publications