Stephan Lany received his Ph.D. in physics from the Universität des Saarlandes, Germany, in 2002. He is currently a senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In his recent research activities, he improved the methodology for accurate prediction of the properties of defects and impurities in semiconductors and insulators from electronic structure theory. He applied such methods to magnetic semiconductors and photovoltaic materials, and used the predicted defect energies for thermodynamic modeling of defects, off-stoichiometry, and doping.
Theoretical methods have greatly influenced experiment in search of the elusive marriage between semiconductor electronics and magnetism, and the development of spintronics. The path has not always been a straight one, but realizing the limitations and strengths of theoretical approaches promises a straighter course.