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


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).
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.
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).
Evidence for Jahn-Teller compression in the (Mg, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn)O entropy-stabilized oxide: A DFT study
Rak, Z., Maria, J. P., & Brenner, D. W. (2018), Materials Letters, 217, 300–303.
First-principles investigation of diffusion and defect properties of Fe and Ni in Cr2O3
Rak, Z., & Brenner, D. W. (2018), Journal of Applied Physics, 123(15).
High-entropy high-hardness metal carbides discovered by entropy descriptors
Sarker, P., Harrington, T., Toher, C., Oses, C., Samiee, M., Maria, J.-P., … Curtarolo, S. (2018), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 9.
Ab initio investigation of the surface properties of austenitic Fe-Ni-Cr alloys in aqueous environments
Rak, Z., & Brenner, D. W. (2017), Applied Surface Science, 402, 108–113.
How predictable is plastic damage at the atomic scale?
Li, D., Bucholz, E. W., Peterson, G., Reich, B. J., Russ, J. C., & Brenner, D. W. (2017), Applied Physics Letters, 110(9).
Local structure of the MgxNixCoxCuxZnxO(x=0.2) entropy-stabilized oxide: An EXAFS study
Rost, C. M., Rak, Z., Brenner, D. W., & Maria, J. P. (2017), Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 100(6), 2732–2738.

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