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Vincent Meunier - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Troy, NY, US

Vincent Meunier Vincent Meunier

Department Head, Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy & Gail and Jeffrey L. Kodosky ’70 Constellation Chair | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Using high-performance computing to examine the atom-level details of materials, using quantum mechanical techniques

Areas of Expertise (5)

Research Education

Quantum Mechanics

Density Functional Theory

Computational Physics

Quantum Materials


Vincent Meunier is the Head of the Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he holds the Gail and Jeffrey L. Kodosky ’70 Constellation Chair. Meunier earned a PhD from the University of Namur in Belgium in 1999 under the supervision of Professor Philippe Lambin. He was a Senior R&D staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory until 2010 when he joined Rensselaer as an Associate Professor. He became Full Professor in 2015, shortly before being appointed as Head of Department.

Meunier leads the Innovative Computational Material Physics (ICMP) group at Rensselaer. His research uses computation to examine the atom-level details of materials, using quantum mechanical techniques. He is particularly interested in fundamental properties of low-dimensional materials and domains where he can collaboratively work with engineers and experimentalists to optimize these materials, starting at the atomic level and targeting functionality. His h-index, as 07/2019, is 67. He has published approximately 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics. Clarivate recognized him among the top 1% highly cited researcher worldwide for material science field in Fall 2018.

Meunier's teaching focuses on Computational Physics and Quantum Mechanics education; he has been teaching Computational Physics at the senior undergraduate level at Rensselaer since 2010. He also teaches "Introduction to Density Functional Theory" and "Advanced Computational Physics" at the graduate level. He strives to bring modern computational approaches to the classroom, including state-of-the-art algorithms and the practical use of parallel computing. Since 2016, he has been teaching “Introduction to Quantum Mechanics” for physics majors. He has received 6 SuperTeacher Awards since 2015.

Education (3)

Namur University: PhD, Physics 1999

Namur University: MS, Chemistry and Physics at the Mesoscale 1998

Namur University: BS, Physics 1996

Media Appearances (3)

Vanadium disulphide stabilised for faster charging batteries

The Engineer  


The team, including Vincent Meunier, head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, and others, determined that lithium insertion caused an asymmetry in the spacing between vanadium atoms, known as Peierls distortion, which was responsible for the breakup of the VS2 flakes...

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Exploring 2D material structures for energy, transport properties

The Polytechnic  


Passionate about physics and computational methods, Professor and Head of the Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy Department Vincent Meunier works to optimize materials at their lowest level, playing with atomic structure to maximize their electronic properties on a quantum scale...

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Simulations point to graphene oxide frameworks potential in water purification



Initially intrigued by GOFs' tunable electronic properties, Sumpter and RPI's Vincent Meunier soon realized the material could be used as a desalination membrane...

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Articles (7)

Modeling the Kondo effect of a magnetic atom adsorbed on graphene

2D Materials

Liangbo Liang, Eduardo Costa Girão and Vincent Meunier

2019 The Kondo effect due to a magnetic atom adsorbed on graphene is investigated using two theoretical approaches, including the non-equilibrium Green's function method within the slave-boson mean-field approximation and a newly developed tight-binding (TB) model with an effectively infinite Hubbard U term. Both methods reveal the presence of a Kondo peak in the local density of state (LDOS) of graphene near the Fermi level.

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Vanadium disulfide flakes with nanolayered titanium disulfide coating as cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries

Nature Communications

Lu Li, Zhaodong Li, Anthony Yoshimura, Congli Sun, Tianmeng Wang, Yanwen Chen, Zhizhong Chen, Aaron Littlejohn, Yu Xiang, Prateek Hundekar, Stephen F. Bartolucci, Jian Shi, Su-Fei Shi, Vincent Meunier, Gwo-Ching Wang & Nikhil Koratkar

2019 Unlike the vast majority of transition metal dichalcogenides which are semiconductors, vanadium disulfide is metallic and conductive. This makes it particularly promising as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries. However, vanadium disulfide exhibits poor stability due to large Peierls distortion during cycling. Here we report that vanadium disulfide flakes can be rendered stable in the electrochemical environment of a lithium-ion battery by conformally coating them with a ~2.5 nm thick titanium disulfide layer.

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Engineering of robust topological quantum phases in graphene nanoribbons

International Journal of Science

Vincent Meunier, et al.

2018 Boundaries between distinct topological phases of matter support robust, yet exotic quantum states such as spin–momentum locked transport channels or Majorana fermions. The idea of using such states in spintronic devices or as qubits in quantum information technology is a strong driver of current research in condensed matter physics. The topological properties of quantum states have helped to explain the conductivity of doped trans-polyacetylene in terms of dispersionless soliton states.

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Low-Frequency Shear and Layer-Breathing Modes in Raman Scattering of Two-Dimensional Materials

ACS Publications

Liangbo Liang, Jun Zhang, Bobby G. Sumpter, Qing-Hai Tan, Ping-Heng Tan, & Vincent Meunier

2017 Ever since the isolation of single-layer graphene in 2004, two-dimensional layered structures have been among the most extensively studied classes of materials. To date, the pool of two-dimensional materials (2DMs) continues to grow at an accelerated pace and already covers an extensive range of fascinating and technologically relevant properties.

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On-Surface Synthesis and Characterization of 9-Atom Wide Armchair Graphene Nanoribbons

ACS Nano

Vincent Meunier, et al.

2017 The bottom-up approach to synthesize graphene nanoribbons strives not only to introduce a band gap into the electronic structure of graphene but also to accurately tune its value by designing both the width and edge structure of the ribbons with atomic precision. We report the synthesis of an armchair graphene nanoribbon with a width of nine carbon atoms on Au(111) through surface-assisted aryl–aryl coupling and subsequent cyclodehydrogenation of a properly chosen molecular precursor.

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Physical properties of low-dimensional sp2-based carbon nanostructures

Reviews of Modern Physics

V. Meunier, A.G. Souza Filho, E.B. Barros, and M.S. Dresselhaus

2016 The last two decades have witnessed a tremendous growth in the development and understanding of sp2 carbon-based nanostructures. The impact of this research has led to a number of fundamental discoveries that have played a central role in the understanding of many aspects of materials physics and their applications. Much of this progress has been enabled by the development of new techniques to prepare, modify, and assemble low-dimensional materials into devices.

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Controlled Sculpture of Black Phosphorus Nanoribbons

ACS Publications

Vincent Meunier, et al.

2016 Black phosphorus (BP) is a highly anisotropic allotrope of phosphorus with great promise for fast functional electronics and optoelectronics. We demonstrate the controlled structural modification of few-layer BP along arbitrary crystal directions with sub-nanometer precision for the formation of few-nanometer-wide armchair and zigzag BP nanoribbons. Nanoribbons are fabricated, along with nanopores and nanogaps, using a combination of mechanical–liquid exfoliation and in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning TEM nanosculpting.

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