Donald Brenner

Department Head and Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor

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Donald Brenner was a staff scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory before joining the NCSU faculty in 1994.

Brenner’s interests include atomistic simulations of the structure, growth and properties of thin films; simulated engineering of nanometer-scale structures and devices; solid-state chemical dynamics.

Dr. Brenner’s group’s research uses atomic-scale computer simulations to develop a fundamental understanding of many-body chemical dynamics in condensed phases, with an emphasis on technologically-important materials and processes. Specific areas of interest currently include molecule-surface collisions and thin film vapor deposition; energy transfer, friction, tribochemistry and their influence on the wear of sliding solid interfaces; shock-induced chemistry in solids; nanometer-scale structure and mechanical properties of grain boundaries in covalent materials; mechanisms of cross-linking and hardening of polymers via ion bombardment; and the development of new strategies for engineering nanometer-scale structures and devices. Much of the engineering of advanced materials and electronic devices in the next century will likely require building structures on a microscopic if not an atom-by-atom level. By exploring this realm, their simulations are helping to lay the foundation for the next generation of materials engineering.


Ph.D. 1987


Pennsylvania State University

B.S. 1982


State University of New York


Dynamics of Neutral and Charged Nanodiamonds in Aqueous Media Confined between Gold Surfaces under Normal and Shear Loading
Su, L., Krim, J., & Brenner, D. W. (2020), ACS OMEGA, 5(18), 10349–10358.
Exchange interactions and long-range magnetic order in the (Mg,Co,Cu,Ni,Zn)O entropy-stabilized oxide: A theoretical investigation
Rak, Z., & Brenner, D. W. (2020), JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 127(18).
Dielectric and Electrostatic Properties of the Silica Nanoparticle-Water Interface by EPR of pH-Sensitive Spin Probes
Perelygin, V., Voinov, M. A., Marek, A., Ou, E., Krim, J., Brenner, D., … Smirnov, A. I. (2019), JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 123(49), 29972–29985.
Effect of water chemistry on the composition of oxides formed on stainless steel surfaces in light water reactors
Rak, Z., & Brenner, D. W. (2019), JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 526.
Influence of mass and charge disorder on the phonon thermal conductivity of entropy stabilized oxides determined by molecular dynamics simulations
Lim, M., Rak, Z., Braun, J. L., Rost, C. M., Kotsonis, G. N., Hopkins, P. E., … Brenner, D. W. (2019), JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 125(5).
Nanotribological Performance Factors for Aqueous Suspensions of Oxide Nanoparticles and Their Relation to Macroscale Lubricity
Acharya, B., Pardue, T. N., Su, L., Smirnov, A. I., Brenner, D. W., & Krim, J. (2019), LUBRICANTS, 7(6).
Negative Surface Energies of Nickel Ferrite Nanoparticles under Hydrothermal Conditions
Rak, Z., & Brenner, D. W. (2019), JOURNAL OF NANOMATERIALS, 2019.
Phase stability and mechanical properties of novel high entropy transition metal carbides
Harrington, T. J., Gild, J., Sarker, P., Toher, C., Rost, C. M., Dippo, O. F., … Vecchio, K. S. (2019), ACTA MATERIALIA, 166, 271–280.
Tuning friction and slip at solid-nanoparticle suspension interfaces by electric fields
Acharya, B., Seed, C. M., Brenner, D. W., Smirnov, A. I., & Krim, J. (2019), SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9.
Charge-Induced Disorder Controls the Thermal Conductivity of Entropy-Stabilized Oxides
Braun, J. L., Rost, C. M., Lim, M., Giri, A., Olson, D. H., Kotsonis, G. N., … Hopkins, P. E. (2018), ADVANCED MATERIALS, 30(51).

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