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Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics

Research Associates

Abraham Hmiel

Postdoctoral Research Associate

(509) 335-7041

Scientific Interests and Work

First-principle simulations of static and dynamic compression.

First-principle simulations may provide a theoretical basis for all the interpretation of experiments as well as being a generator for new ideas to push the boundaries of fundamental science forward, provided that the computations have a strong foothold in reality. Dr. Abraham Hmiel’s work at the ISP revolves around simulations of static and dynamic compression, aiming to enhance our knowledge of materials science by probing length and time scales that are difficult for experiments to access. Dr. Hmiel is interested in the role of temperature effects, deformation, and volume compression in nanoscale systems in addition to high-performance computing and algorithms for quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics.


As a graduate student at SUNY Albany (the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering), Dr. Hmiel’s dissertation revolved around modeling water chemisorption on the (110) titanium oxide surface under forward and reverse electrical bias with traditional GGA-DFT and self-consistent van der Waals DFT. This led to new structural, energetic, and electronic insight on how the first surface monolayer of water reacts to an applied field. He also performed ab-initio simulations of quantum confinement and surface chemistry on 1D semiconducting nanostructures, probing the effect of atomic structure on electronic structure for low-dimensional nanomaterials.


Ph.D. (Nanoscale Science), 2014, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY
M.Sc. (Nanoscale Science), 2009, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY
B.Sc. (Physics and Astronomy), 2007, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Honors and Recognition

  • Katherine Belz Groves Memorial Fellowship in Nanoscience from SUNY CNSE (2010)

Representative Publications

  1. A Hmiel, Y Xue “Water adsorption on hydrogen-passivated silicon nanowires from density functional theory with dispersion correction” Physical Review B 83 (3), 033304
  2. A Hmiel, Y Xue. “Shape-tunable electronic properties of monohydride and trihydride [112]-oriented Si nanowires” Physical Review B 80 (24), 241410
  3. A Hmiel, Y Xue, “Quantum confinement and surface relaxation effects in rutile TiO2 nanowires” Physical Review B 85 (23), 235461