Dr. Davis M. Welakuh
Davis' research interest focuses on first principles description of light-matter interactions. In the non-relativistic limit of quantum electrodynamics the constituents of matter (electrons and effective nuclei) can be made to strongly interact with light (photons) leading to new states of matter with hybrid character commonly known as polaritons. In light of this, several experimental progress has been achieved recently in the condensed matter and quantum chemistry fields by investigating the influence of photons on the matter system. To better understand, complement and predict new observable features, theoretical methods and ab-initio applications become necessary to capture the complex interaction of light and matter.
Davis is a developer of and utilizes quantum-electrodynamical density-functional theory (QEDFT) in the linear-response regime to study single-molecule strong coupling and collective strong coupling. QEDFT which is a natural extension of traditional density-functional theory that includes the quantized electromagnetic field has been successful in describing ground-state and excited state properties of matter-photon systems. Davis is particularly interested in the excited state properties of such strongly coupled light-matter systems and how they affect chemical and material properties. He obtained his PhD in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Angel Rubio at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and University of Hamburg, Germany.