Dr. Peter Derlet

photo of Peter Derlet Senior Scientist

Paul Scherrer Institute
5232 Villigen – PSI

Telephone: 3164
E-mail: peter.derlet@psi.ch

Research Activities/Specialties

Peter Derlet is a senior staff scientist within the Condensed Matter Theory group at the Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland. He specializes in the atomistic modeling of materials science related issues using both ab initio and semi-empirical methods. His fields of interest are:
  • The mechanical properties of materials with complex defect structures.
  • The dynamical properties of local and extended defects.
  • The theoretical development and implementation of reliable semi-empirical models of inter-atomic interaction.
  • The development of simulation tools to model the experimental measurement of structural disorder using neutrons, photons and electrons.
  • Classical magnetization dynamics in micro- and meso-scopic magnetic systems.
  • The vibrational and configurational dynamics of structural glasses well below the glass transition temperature.
  • Avalanche statistics using simplified dislocation dynamics geometries.
  • The development of potential energy landscape exploration algorithms for use in the study of structural and magnetic excitations.

Selected Activity


Recent and current collaborators:
  • Robert Maaß, University of Goettingen, Germany
  • Joerg Loeffler, Inst. Metallforschung, ETHZ, Switzerland
  • Dan Gianola, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Laura Heyderman, Frijthof Nolting and Armin Kleibert, SLS-PSI, Switzerland
  • Christoph Hauri, SwissFEL, PSI, Switzerland
  • Peter Arbenz, Dep. Informatik, ETHZ, Switzerland
  • Andreas Adelmann, AMAS group, PSI, Switzerland
  • Nicola Spaldin, Materials Theory, ETHZ, Switzerland
  • Uli Aschauer, Chemistry, UniBern, Switzerland
  • Jean-François Molinari, Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory, EPFL, Switzerland
Current and past PhD. Projects within CMT:
  • Soyong Jekal 2016-, (Geometrical characterization of atomic structure and evolution in atomistically simulated model bulk metallic glasses; Thesis director, Prof. J. Loeffler, ETHZ)
  • Dominik Schildknecht 2016-, (Two dimensional dipolar XY systems with disorder; Thesis Director, Prof. L. J. Heyderman, ETHZ/PSI)
  • Soumya Swayamjyoti 2012-2016, (Atomistic Modelling of Structural Glasses; Thesis director, Prof. J. Loeffler, ETHZ)
  • Araceli Valles Sales 2010-2013, (Vibrational Properties of Amorphous Solids; Thesis directors, Profs. D. Crespo and E. Pineda, UPC-BarcelonaTech)

Curriculum Vitae

Employment History
  • 2009-, Tenured Senior Staff Physicist NUM Condensed Matter Theory Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • 2008-09, Tenured Senior Staff Physicist NUM/ASQ Materials Science and Simulation Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • 2005-08, Tenured Staff Physicist NUM/ASQ Materials Science and Simulation Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • 2000-05, (Tenure track) Staff Physicist NUM/ASQ Materials Science and Simulation Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • 2000-00, Swiss National Science Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Nano-structured Materials Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • 1998-00, Norwegian Research Council Fellow - Electron Microscopy Group, Department of Physics, NTNU, Norway
  • 1994-97, Australian Research Council Fellow - Department of Physics and Department of Materials Engineering, Monash University, Australia
  • 1990-93, (During Ph.D.) Undergraduate physics laboratory demonstrator at Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia
  • 1989-90, Research Assistant (level A) - Summer Vacation Scholar, Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia
  • 1996, Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Physics, Monash University
  • 1990-93, Australian Postgraduate Research Award
  • 1989, J. J. McNeill Prize for best (first class) honours physics degree
Teaching Experience
  • 2016-, Lecturer at ETHZ, Zurich, Projects in Statistical Thermodynamics
  • 2015-, Guest Lecturer at EPFL, Lausanne, Powder technology Masters Course
  • 2004-2008, Instructor at the EPFL Doctoral School, Lausanne, MX-13, Modelling as a complementary technique to experiments.
  • 1999, Developed and given a post-graduate course at Department of Physics, NTNU, Norway, in bonding within materials covering: sp-valent metals, transition metals and semi-conductors.
  • 1994-97, Given lectures in senior physics at the Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia, in special relativity, general relativity, stochastic methods, optical properties of semi-conductors, tight-binding methods and linear response theory.
  • 1996-97, First year physics tutor for daily lunchtime physics tutorial classes at the Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia
  • 1989-97, Laboratory demonstrator for 1st and 2nd year experimental physics, and 2nd Year Astronomy at the Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia.
Recent/upcoming Invited talks
  • Seminar talk, Dep. of Physics, EPFL, July 13th, 2017, "Thermally active two dimensional artificial spin-ice systems: experiment and simulation"
  • CECAM workshop, Challenges in crystal plasticity: from discrete dislocations to continuum models, CECAM-Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, February 27 to March 1, 2017
  • CCMX Summer School, Multiscale Modelling of Materials, EPFL Lausanne, August 29-31, 2016, "Introduction to molecular dynamics"
  • Seminar talk, Technische Universität Darmstadt, June 22nd, 2016, "Thermally activated structural excitations in a model amorphous solid"
  • Seminar talk, Institut für Materialphysik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, June 7th, 2016, "Thermally activated structural excitations in a model amorphous solid"
  • Invited talk, DPG Spring Meeting, Regensburg, Germany, March 21st-26th 2016, "Critical stresses in intermittent plasticity and the transition to macroscopic yield"
  • Seminar talk, Civil Engineering Department, EPFL Lausanne, September 4th, 2014, "A probabilistic explanation for the size-effect in crystal plasticity"
  • CCMX Summer School, Atomistic Scale Modelling of Materials, EPFL Lausanne, September 1-3, 2014, "What are the biggest challenges for modelling metals?"
  • CCMX Summer School, Atomistic Scale Modelling of Materials, EPFL Lausanne, September 1-3, 2014, "Potential based methods"
  • 13th PSI Summer School on Condensed Matter Research, Exploring time, energy and length scales in condensed matter, Institut Montana, Zug, Switzerland, August 9-15 2014, "Two dimensional artificial spin ice: experiment and simulation"
  • March APS Meeting, Denver, Colorado, US, "Thermally active two dimensional artificial spin-ice systems: experiment and simulation."
  • Seminar Talk, Institute of Materials, University of Goettingen, Germany, 2013, "Simplified dislocation dynamics modelling of micro-plasticity"
  • Seminar Talk, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylavania, Philedelphia, USA, 2012, "Thermally active structural glasses: extreme value statistics, freezing and low temperature deformation."
  • Seminar Talk, Joint User's Meeting at PSI, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland, September 11th, 2011, "Langevin Dynamics and probing the atomic scale"
  • Seminar Talk, Department of Physics, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, April 11th 2011, "Understanding disorder and how metallic glasses yield"
  • Invited Talk, Spring Meeting, Swiss Association of Computational Chemistry, Bern, Switzerland, February 18th 2011, "Semi-empirical atomistic modelling of itinerant magnetic systems"
Extra-curricular activities and contributions
  • MRS Spring 2018 symposium organiser for "Strain localization, avalanches and intermittent deformation mechanisms", Phoenix, USA, 2018.
  • MRS Fall 2012 symposium TT organiser for "Defects and Microstructure Complexity in Materials", Boston, USA, 2012.
  • Organizer for a CECAM workshop entitled "Interatomic potentials for transition metals and their compounds", Zurich, Switzerland, 2010.
  • MRS Fall 2009 lead symposium GG organiser for "Plasticity in confined volumes: simulations and experiments", Boston, USA, 2009
  • Member of international advisory committee for "EMMM09: Electron microscopy and multi-scale modelling", Zurich, Switzerland, 2009
  • Contributor to the GENSYS (Grand European Initiative on Nanoscience and Technology at Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation Sources) White paper detailing the role of simulation in the analysis and interpretation of leading edge elastic and in-elastic scattering experiments, 2008

Preprints and papers under review/in press

  • Quantitative signature of a continuous phase transition in artificial square ice, O. Sendetskyi, V. Scagnoli, N. Leo, L. Anghinolfi, A. Alberca, J. Luning, U. Staub, P. M. Derlet, and L. J. Heyderman, submitted (2017).
  • Computational Logic with Square Rings of Nanomagnets, H. Arava, P. M. Derlet, J. Vijayakumar, J. Cui, N.S. Bingham, A. Kleibert, and L.J. Heyderman, submitted (2017).
  • Thermally-activated stress relaxation in a model amorphous solid and the formation of a system-spanning shear event, P. M. Derlet, R. Maass, under review (2017).
  • Micro-plasticity and recent insights from intermittent and small-scale plasticity, R Maass and P. M. Derlet, Acta Mater. in press (2017).


Ordered in terms of most recent (click to go to DOI link, most papers available via my research gate page)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002-1991