The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

Topics in the theory of amorphous materials

  • D. A. DraboldEmail author


In this Colloquium, I describe some current frontiers in the physics of semiconducting amorphous materials and glasses, including a short, but self-contained discussion of techniques for creating computer models, among them the quench from the melt method, the Activation-Relaxation Technique, the decorate and relax method, and the experimentally constrained molecular relaxation scheme. A representative study of an interesting and important glass (amorphous GeSe3:Ag) is provided. This material is a fast-ion conductor and a serious candidate to replace current FLASH memory. Next, I discuss the effects of topological disorder on electronic states. By computing the decay of the density matrix in real space, and also computing well-localized Wannier functions, we close with a quantitative discussion of Kohn’s Principle of Nearsightedness in amorphous silicon.


61.43.-j Disordered solids 61.43.Bn Structural modeling: serial-addition models, computer simulation 61.43.Fs Glasses 71.23.Cq Amorphous semiconductors, metallic glasses, glasses 71.23.An Theories and models; localized states 66.30.Dn Theory of diffusion and ionic conduction in solids 71.23.-k Electronic structure of disordered solids 


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© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity CollegeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Clare Hall, Herschel RoadCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio UniversityAthensUSA

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