Recent news

Jan 2018

Yeongsu's paper, Environtmentally sensitive theory of electronic and optical transitions in atomically thin semiconductors, is published as a Rapid Communication in Phys. Rev. B, and selected as an Editors' Suggestion!

Jan 2018

Congratulations to Yeongsu, Jonathan, and Malte, who have all passed their second-year candidacy exams!

Dec 2017

Jonathan's paper, Linear and nonlinear spectroscopy from quantum master equations, is published in J. Chem. Phys.

Dec 2017

Two new graduate students join the group! Welcome to Sam Greene (B.S. UChicago, M.Sc. Oxford), who will be jointly advised by Jonathan Weare (UChicago Statistics), and James Callahan (B.A. Harvard).

Oct 2017

Tim is selected for the US Air Force Young Investigator Program (YIP), which will fund our work on exciton interactions in semiconductor nanostructures. The objective of the Air Force YIP is "to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering."

Sep 2017

Alan Lewis (D. Phil. Oxford University) joins the group as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome, Alan!

Sep 2017

Quantum master equations: time-tested classics for single-time observables, but how good are they for multi-time correlation functions, like the ones probed in spectroscopy? Read Jonathan's paper, Linear and nonlinear spectroscopy from quantum master equations, to find out!

Sep 2017

Can we use atomically-thin semiconductors as optical sensors of the local chemical environment? Read Yeongsu's paper, Environmentally-Sensitive Theory of Electronic and Optical Transitions in Atomically-Thin Semiconductors, to find out why it's harder than you think!

Jul 2017

Farewell to pseudopotentials! Gaussian and plane-wave mixed density fitting for periodic systems has been posted to the arXiv.

Jul 2017

We have received a Start-Up Research Grant from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation to study the role of low-frequency nuclear fluctuations in soft semiconductors in collaboration with Omer Yaffe's group at the Weizmann Institute!

Jun 2017

Shi-Ning leaves us for the summer, to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program at Kyoto University, where he will work in the research group of Prof. Yoshitaka Tanimura. Good luck Shi-Ning!

Jun 2017

Many thanks to Ben Levine and the other organizers at MSU for hosting the excellent 49th Midwest Theoretical Chemistry Conference. We are excited to announce that the 50th MWTCC will be held in Summer 2018 at the University of Chicago. More details can be found at

May 2017

Bryan Lau (Ph.D. Northwestern University) joins the group as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome, Bryan!

May 2017

Malte receives the Nathan Sugarman Teaching Award in General Chemistry!

May 2017

Tim heads to Europe to speak at the Theory Department of the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and the CECAM Workshop Theoretical Chemistry for Extended Systems in Toulouse.

Apr 2017

University of Chicago undergraduate Shi-Ning Sun joins the group!

Mar 2017

Tim visits nearby Northwestern and gives a talk at the Northwestern-Argonne Solar Energy Research Center (ANSER).

Mar 2017

Tim and Greg Scholes organize a Focus session on Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Multichromophore Systems at APS March Meeting.

Feb 2017

Gaussian-Based Coupled-Cluster Theory for the Ground State and Band Structure of Solids has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

Jan 2017

We contribute to the open-source PySCF software package, especially concerning excited-state and condensed-phase electronic structure. A preprint describing the capabilities and design philosophy of PySCF has been posted to the arXiv: The Python-based Simulations of Chemistry Framework (PySCF).

Jan 2017

Tim gives an invited talk at the 18th Total Energy and Force Methods workshop, held at ICTP.

Group Members

Timothy Berkelbach

Principal Investigator

B.A. NYU (2009)
Ph.D. Columbia University (2014)
Fellow at PCTS (2014-2016)

James Callahan

Graduate Student

B.A. Harvard University (2014)

Yeongsu Cho

Graduate Student

B.A. Seoul National University (2015)

Jonathan Fetherolf

Graduate Student

B.A. Rutgers University (2016)

Sam Greene

Graduate Student
joint w/ J. Weare (Statistics)

B.S. University of Chicago (2014)
M.S. Oxford University (2016)

Malte Lange

Graduate Student

B.S. University of Washington (2016)

Bryan Lau

Postdoctoral Researcher

B.S. University of Toronto (2011)
Ph.D. Northwestern University (2017)

Alan Lewis

Postdoctoral Researcher

M.Chem. Oxford University (2013)
D.Phil. Oxford University (2017)

Shi-Ning Sun

Undergraduate Student

B.S. University of Chicago (expected 2018)

Research areas

We work on a variety of quantum-mechanical problems motivated by excited-state phenomena. This research occurs at the fascinating interface of physical chemistry, condensed-matter physics, and materials science.

Quantum dynamics and spectroscopy

Building on modern theories of quantum dynamics, we develop powerful simulation techniques for nonequilibrium and time-resolved spectroscopies. These new tools enable the accurate simulation of extremely large and complex sytems, providing new insights into excited-state structure and dynamics.

Emerging materials

We are actively exploring the excited-state behavior of fundamentally interesting and technologically promising materials, especially those that are anisotropic, layered, or low-dimensional. Particular materials of interest include conjugated polymers, organic molecular crystals, and quasi-two-dimensional inorganic semiconductors.

Condensed-phase electronic structure

Aiming towards highly accurate but insightful descriptions of electronic excitations, we formulate and apply electronic structure methods adapted for the condensed phase. Some of our favorite tools are low-energy effective theories, many-body diagrammatics, and coupled-cluster techniques.

Interested in learning more?

Check out our publications!

About Tim

Timothy Berkelbach is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. in physics and chemistry from NYU in 2009 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Columbia University in 2014, where he was a Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Research Fellow advised by David Reichman. Before coming to the University of Chicago, Tim spent two years as a fellow of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, working closely with Garnet Chan and his group.

Contact info

929 E. 57th St., GCIS E133, Chicago IL 60637

1 773 834 9879