David Neilson

BSc(Hons) Melb., MS, PhD S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook


         Professor of Physics
   University of Antwerp;
Partner Investigator
            Australian Research Council
               FLEET Centre of Excellence


Career Summary

David Neilson is author of more than 100 refereed research articles, review chapters in books and refereed conference reports and editor of a number of review books.

Superfluidity in graphene multilayers... A new quantum phenomenon in graphene predicted by Neilson and co-workers has recently been observed.
In May 2018 Physical Review Letters published an article by a University of Texas at Austin experimental group confirming a theoretical prediction by David Neilson in collaboration with Andrea Perali (University of Camerino) and Alex Hamilton (University of N.S.W., Sydney) that in a system of "double bilayer graphene" at low charge carrier densities, there should appear a new quantum phenomenon, condensation and the superfluid flow of pairs of electrons and holes, a state of matter searched for forty years, but never before observed.  Creation of this new quantum state in graphene opens up novel opportunities for quantum-technological applications, some to be developed in the new FLEET Centre of Excellence.

He serves on International Advisory Committees for Conference series including

o        (Chair, International Advisory Committee) International Conferences on Recent Progress in Many Body Theories (RPMBT) <http://www.physics.buffalo.edu/MBT18/>

o        (Chair, Program Committee) International Conferences on Strongly Coupled Coulomb Systems <http://newmexicoconsortium.org/table/conferences/sccs/2014/>

        International Workshops on Condensed Matter Theories (CMT)

He is organiser of international conferences including: 

         MultiSuper 2014. Multi-Condensate Superconductivity and Superfluidity in Solids and Ultracold Gases 2014 <http://www.multisuper.ml1.net/>
o  Strongly Coupled Coulomb Systems ConferenceCamerino, 2008

         International Conference on Recent challenges in novel quantum systems, Camerino 2005o        

         Frontiers of Science & Technology Workshop on Soft Condensed Matter and Nanoscale Physics, Sydney 2003
o   Australian Institute of Physics National Congress, Sydney, 2002
o   International Workshops on Condensed Matter Theories Canberra, 2002
o   CECAM Workshop on Coupled Bilayers of Electrons, Villa Gualino, Turin, 1999

         Tenth International Conference on Recent Progress in Many Body Theories, Sydney 1997

He was convenor of the annual series

         Gordon Godfrey Workshops on Recent Advances in Condensed Matter Theory, Sydney from its first meeting in 1991. 

He He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, a member of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics (U.K.).     

Born in Sydney, David Neilson did his schooling at Geelong Grammar School. He studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a B.Sc. with First Class Honours in 1968 under the supervision of Geoffrey Opat. He went to New York on a Fulbright scholarship in 1969 and completed an M.S. degree in High Energy Particle Physics and Field Theory under the supervision of Ben Lee at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1971. He then switched his research activities to Condensed Matter Physics, working with Gerald Brown jointly at Stony Brook and at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.  His doctoral project was on the Many Body Problem for the strongly interacting quantum system of electrons in solids. Obtaining his Ph.D. in 1974 he took an N.S.F. research Fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago working with Chia-Wei Woo on the quantum solidification of Helium and on the possibility of the solidification of nuclear matter under the intense pressures found in neutron stars. 

In 1975 he took up a position of Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and in 1978 he moved to the University of New South Wales in Sydney as Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor).  From 1985-1994 he was Associate Professor, and from 1995 until 2003 Professor of Physics at New South Wales.   He maintains his ties with New South Wales as a Visiting Professor.  He has held visiting positions at the Niels Bohr Institute, (NORDITA Fellow), at the Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart (Research Scientist), at Nottingham University (S.E.R.C. Visiting Fellow), at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (Research Director), Université de Paris VI (Visiting Fellow), and the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Visiting Professor). 

From 2005 to 2017 he was chiara fama Professor in Italy at the historic University of Camerino (founded 1336).  He was also Research Associate with the National Enterprise for NanoScience and NanoTechnology (NEST) Centre at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.

In 2018 David Neilson was appointed Professor of Physics at the
University of Antwerp. He is a Partner Investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence “Future Low Energy Electronic Transport” (FLEET).

Research Interests

David Neilson has wide experience in the field of semiconductor theory and has studied exotic quantum phases of the low-dimensional systems found in semiconductor devices.  His recent work has been on superfluidity in graphene bilayer devicesThe prediction of superfluidity (Reference [13]) has attracted over 50 citations.  He has also predicted new states of matter for electrons in coupled  bilayers in the form of a coupled electron crystalline solid or a charge density waves. Reference [53] with over 100 citations, has stimulated a large number of follow-up studies of bi-layers in zero magnetic field. The predictions that a coupled crystal does form at relatively high densities were confirmed in numerical simulation studies. There has been a CECAM (France) conference devoted to coupled bi-layers in zero magnetic field resulting from Ref. [37]. He developed comprehensive diagrammatic many-body calculations incorporating functional conserving techniques for conduction electrons.  He developed a quantum generalization of the classical glass equations with applications to conduction electrons, extended it to include impurities in interacting electron 2D layers, and showed that this could lead to a transition to a solid electron glass state]. He has worked on ground state, localization and transport properties in disordered electron 2D systems. He has studied the effect of strong correlations between electron spins in electron systems at low density.  He has studied the decisive effect that impurities have on the ground state of interacting electrons in quasi one-dimensional quantum wires.  Before taking up his chiara fama Chair in Italy, he had had continuous funding as Chief Investigator of Major Research Grants from the Australian Research Council for an uninterrupted period of 25 years from 1978.

Selected Publications

Here are representative examples of David Neilson's 140 publications

    1. Multiband Mechanism for the Sign Reversal of Coulomb Drag Observed in Double Bilayer Graphene Heterostructures, M. Zarenia, A. R. Hamilton, F. M. Peeters, and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. Lett. (to appear)
    2. Evidence from quantum Monte Carlo of large gap superfluidity and BCS-BEC crossover in double electron-hole layers, Pablo Lo'pez Ri'os, Andrea Perali, Richard J. Needs and David Neilson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 17701 (2018)
    3. Multicomponent Electron-Hole Superfluidity and the BCS-BEC Crossover in Double Bilayer Graphene, S. Conti, A. Perali, F. M. Peeters, and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 257002 (2017)
    4. Inhomogeneous phases in coupled electron-hole bilayer graphene sheets: Charge Density Waves and Coupled Wigner Crystals, M. Zarenia, D. Neilson, and F. M. Peeters, Sci. Reports 7, 11510 (2017)
    5. Wigner crystallization in transition metal dichalcogenides: A new approach to correlation energy, M. Zarenia, D. Neilson, B. Partoens, and F. M. Peeters, Phys. Rev. B 95, 115438 (2017)
    6. Tuning the BEC-BCS crossover in electron-hole double bilayer graphene superfluidity using multiband effects, Sara Conti, Andrea Perali, David Neilson, and François Peeters, B-Phy. 01/2014, 1 (2017)
    7. Large gap electron-hole superfluidity and shape resonances in coupled graphene nanoribbons, M. Zarenia, A. Perali, F. M. Peeters, and D. Neilson, Sci. Reports 6, 24860 (2016)
    8. Many-body electron correlations in graphene, David Neilson, Andrea Perali, and Mohammad Zarenia, J. Phys.: Conf. Series 702, 012008 (2016)
    9. Using magnetic stripes to stabilize superfluidity in electron-hole double monolayer graphene, Luca Dell’Anna, Andrea Perali, Lucian Covaci, and David Neilson, Phys. Rev. B, Rapid Comm. 92, 220502(R) (2015)
    10. Enhancement of electron-hole superfluidity in double few-layer graphene, M. Zarenia, A. Perali, D. Neilson, and F. M. Peeters, Sci. Reports 4, 7319 (2014) DOI: 10.1038/srep07319
    11. Enhancement of electron-hole superfluidity in double few-layer graphene, M. Zarenia, A. Perali, D. Neilson and F. M. Peeters, Sci. Reports 4, 7319 (2014) DOI: 10.1038/srep07319
    12. Excitonic superfluidity and screening in electron-hole bilayer systems, D. Neilson, A. Perali and A. R. Hamilton, Phys. Rev. B Rapid Comm. 89, 060502(R)-1 -  060502(R)-5 (2014)
    13. High-Temperature Superfluidity in Double-Bilayer Graphene, A. Perali, D. Neilson and A. R. Hamilton, Phys. Rev. Letters 110, 146803-1 -  146803-5 (2013)
    14. Quantum Glass Transition at Finite Temperature in Two-Dimensional Electron Layers, David Neilson, Alexander R. Hamilton and Jagdish S Thakur, Int. J. Mod Phys. B 27, 1347004-1 – 1347004-13 (2013)
    15. Proceedings of the International Conference on Strongly Coupled Coulomb Systems 2011, Budapest, Hungary, Zolt´an Donk´o, Peter Hartmann and David Neilson (eds.) , Contrib. Plasma Physics 52, 6 (2012)
    16. Dissipative processes in low density strongly interacting 2D electron systems, D. Neilson, chapter 9 in book Condensed Matter Theories Vol. 25, ed. Eduardo V Ludeña, Raymond F Bishop and Peter Iza,  (World Scientific, Singapore, 2011)
    17. Anomalous transport in mesoscopic inhomogeneous two-dimensional electron systems at low temperature, D. Neilson and A.R. Hamilton, Phys. Rev. B15 82, 035310 (2010)
    18.  Dissipative processes in low density strongly interacting 2D electron systems, D. Neilson, Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 24, 4946-4960 (2010)
    19.  Metal–insulator transition in 2D as a quantum phase transition, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, J. Phys. A 42, 214011 (2009)
    20.  Quantum tunnelling and hopping between metallic domains in disordered two-dimensional mesoscopic electron systems, D. Neilson and A.R. Hamilton, J. Phys. A 42, 214012 (2009)
    21.  Tunneling and Hopping Between Domains in the Metal-Insulator Transition in Two- Dimensions, David Neilson and Alex Hamilton, Int. J. Mod. Phys. 22, 4565 – 4571 (2008)
    22.  Special issue on new developments in strongly coupled Coulomb systems, David Neilson and Gaetano Senatore, J. Phys. A Math. Theor. 42, 210301 (2009)
    23.  Quantum critical point description of the 2D metal insulator transition, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, 40, 1182 (2008)
    24.  Metal-Insulator Phenomena in 2D: A Unified Scaling Picture, D. Neilson and D.J.W. Geldart, chapter 11 in book, Condensed Matter Theories Vol. 21, edited by Hisazumi Akai, Hiroshi Toki and F. Bary Malik (Nova, New York 2007)
    25.  Quantum critical behavior in insulating region of the 2D metal insulator transition, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B15 76, 193304 (2007)
    26.  Electron Gas In High-Field Nanoscopic Transport: Metallic Carbon Nanotubes, F. Green and D. Neilson, Int. J. Mod. Physics B 21, 2181 – 2190 (2007)
    27.  Effects of density imbalance on the BCS-BEC crossover in semiconductor electron-hole bilayers, P. Pieri, D. Neilson, and G. C. Strinati,, Phys. Rev. B 75, 113301 (2007)
    28.  Temperature dependent resistivity in the low resistance region for diffusive transport in two-dimensions, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 70, 235336 (2004)
    29.  Two-component scaling near the metal-insulator bifurcation in two dimensions, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 67, 205309 (2003)
    30.  Density dependence of critical magnetic fields at the metal-insulator bifurcation in two dimensions, D.J.W. Geldart and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 67, 045310 (2003)
    31.  Characterizing the metal-insulator transitions in 2D, D. Neilson, J.S. Thakur and E. Tosatti, Aust. J. Phys. 53, 531 (2000)
    32.  The effect of spin alignment on the metal-insulator transition in two-dimensional systems, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 12, 4483 (2000)
    33.  Phase diagram of the metal-insulator transition in two-dimensional electronic systems, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B Rapid Comm. 59, R5280 (1999)
    34.  Metal-insulator transition in a disordered 2D electron gas including temperature effects, J.S. Thakur, Lerwen Liu and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 59, R7255-7258 (1999)
    35.  Superconductivity in a correlated disordered two-dimensional electron gas,  J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 58, 13717-13720 (1998)
    36.  Finite Temperature Correlations on Plasmon and Coulomb Drag in Coupled Quantum Wells, Lerwen Liu, D. Neilson and L. Swierkowski, Physica B 249-251, 937-940 (1998)
    37.  Exciton and Charge Density Wave Formation in Spatially Separated Electron Hole Liquids, Lerwen Liu, L. Swierkowski and D. Neilson, Physica B 249-251, 594-597 (1998)
    38.  Superconducting pairing in coupled electron-hole layers, J.S. Thakur, D. Neilson and M.P. Das, Phys. Rev. B 57, 1801-1804, (1998)
    39.  Freezing of Strongly correlated Electrons in Bilayer Systems with Weak Disorder, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Prog. Theor. Phys. 126, 339 (1997)
    40.  Electron correlations in thin disordered quantum wires, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 56, 4679 (1997)
    41.  Coupled electron and hole quantum wires, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 56, 4671 (1997)
    42.  Electron correlations and disorder on mobility and localization in quasi one-dimensional wires,  J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 56, 7485 (1997)
    43.  Freezing of strongly correlated electrons in bilayer systems with weak disorder, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 56, 10297-10302 (1997)
    44.  Frozen electron solid in the presence of small concentrations of defects, J.S. Thakur and D. Neilson, Phys. Rev. B 54, 7674-7677 (1996)
    45.  Static and dynamic properties of coupled electron-electron and electron-hole layers, Lerwen Liu, L. Swierkowski, D. Neilson and J. Szymanski, Phys. Rev. B 53, 7923-7931 (1996)
    46.  Correlations in coupled layers of electrons and holes, (with J. Szymanski and L. Swierkowski),  Phys. Rev. B 50, 11002 (1994).
    47.  Excitations of the strongly correlated electron liquid in coupled layers, (with L.Swierkowski, J.Szymanski and L.Liu),  Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 4035 - 4038 (1993).
    48.  Spin correlations in the low density electron system, (with F. Green, L.Swierkowski, J. Szymanski and D.J.W.Geldart),  Phys. Rev.  B  47, 4187 - 4192  (1993).
    49.  Electron Liquids in Coupled Quantum Wells, (with L. Swierkowski and J. Szymanski),  Acta Phys. Pol. 43, (1993).
    50.  Nonlocal exchange contribution to the Free Energy of inhomogeneous many-Fermion systems.  III.  Numerical study for screened Coulomb interaction,  (with M.R.A. Shegelski,  D.J.W. Geldart and M.L. Glasser),  Can. J. Phys. 72, (1993).
    51.  Collective modes in the two-dimensional electron liquid near the Wigner phase transition, (with L. Swierkowski, J.  Szymanski and L. Liu)  J. Low Temp. Phys.  89, 251 - 256 (1992).
    52.  Positron Surface Sticking Rates,  (with A.B. Walker, J. Szymanski and K.O. Jensen),  Phys. Rev. A  46, 1687 - 1696  (1992).
    53.  Enhancement of Wigner Crystallization in Multiple-Quantum-Well Structures, (with L.Swierkowski and J.Szymanski),  Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 240 - 243 (1991).
    54.  Dynamical Theory for Strongly Correlated Two Dimensional Electron Systems, (with A. Sjölander, L. Swierkowski and J.  Szymanski), Phys.  Rev. B  44, 6291 - 6305 (1991)
    55.  Adsorption of Zinc on Cadmium Telluride and Mercury Telluride Surfaces, (with K.A.I.L.  Wijewardena J. Szymanski), Phys. Rev. B  44, 6344 - 6350 (1991).
    56.  New Quantum Interference Effect in Rotating Systems,  (with C. H. Tsai),  Phys. Rev. A  37, 619--621 (1988).
    57.  Angular Distribution of Positrons Emitted from Metal Surfaces, (with R.M. Nieminen and J. Szymanski),  Phys. Rev B 38, 11131-11134 (1988)
    58.  Surface Barrier Effects in Low Energy Positron Diffraction,  (with P.J.  Jennings),  Solid State Comm.  65, 649--652 (1988).
    59.  Energy Loss Mechanism for Hot Electrons in GaAs,  (with D.X. Lu and J. Szymanski),  J. de Physique  48, 263--266 (1987).
    60.  Electron and Hole Self Energy Contributions to the Dynamic Structure Factor in Interacting Electron Systems, (with F. Green and J. Szymanski),  Phys. Rev. B  35, 124 - 132 (1987).
    61.  Multipair Excitations and Sum Rules in Interacting Electron Systems, (with F.  Green, D. Pines and J. Szymanski),  Phys. Rev.  B  35, 133--144 (1987).
    62.  Adsorption on Narrow Gap Semiconductors,  (with H.J. Kreuzer and J.Szymanski),  Phys. Rev. A  36, 3294 - 3303 (1987).
    63.  Phonon Emission by a Hot Two Dimensional Electron Gas in a Quantizing Magnetic Field  (with G.A. Toombs, F.W. Sheard and L.J. Challis), Sol. State Comm.  64, 577 - 581 (1987).
    64.  Emission of Thermal Positrons from Metal Surfaces,  (with R.M. Nieminen and J.  Szymanski),  Phys. Rev. A  33, 1567 – 1571 (1986).
    65.  Dynamical Theory of Binary Ionic Mixtures,  (with K.I. Golden and F.Green),  Phys. Rev. A,  Rapid Comm.  31, 3529 3532 (1985).
    66.  Functional Dependence of Electron Mobility on  Distance of Remote Donor Impurities from the Interface in AlGaAs/GaAs Heterostructures, (with J. Szymanski, F.  Green, P.G. Kemeny and B.J. Linard),  App. Surf. Sci.  22, 992--996 (1985).
    67.  First Principles Calculation of the Dynamic Structure Factor for the Electron Gas in Metallic Systems,  (with F. Green and J. Szymanski), Phys. Rev. B  31, 5837 - 5840 (1985).
    68.  Nonlinear Response Function Approach to Binary Ionic Mixtures: Dynamical Theory, (with K.I.  Golden and F. Green),  Phys. Rev. A 32, 1669 - 1692 (1985).
    69.  Bound Electron States of Coulombic Impurities and their Effect on Mobility in Inversion Layers,  (with F. Green and J. Szymanski), Surf. Sci.  142, 279 - 283 (1984).
    70.  A Conserving Dynamic Theory for the Electron Gas,  (with F. Green and J. Szymanski),  Phys. Rev B  31, 2779 - 2795 (1985).
    71.  The Dynamic Structure Factor for the Electron Gas in Metallic Systems, (with F. Green and J. Szymanski),  Phys. Rev B  31, 2796 - 2815 (1985).
    72.  Momentum Dependent Annihilation Rate for Positrons in Metals, Phys. Rev. B  26, 60 - 65 (1982).
    73.  Direct Evidence for Dynamic Electron Electron Correlations in Metals, (with F. Green and J. Szymanski),  Phys.  Rev. Lett. 48, 638--641 (1982)
    74.  Photodesorption of Diatomic Molecules by Laser - Molecular Vibrational Coupling, (with H.J. Kreuzer),  Chem. Phys. Letters  78, 50 -53 (1981).
    75.  Rate Equations for Positronium Formation at Metal Surfaces, (with H.J.  Kreuzer and Z.W. Gortel),  Solid State Comm.  35, 781 -784 (1981).
    76.  On the Validity of a Hydrodynamic Description of Laser – Driven Fusion,  (with H.J. Kreuzer),  J. Plasma Physics  23, 357 -381 (1981).
    77.  Study of the Electronic Structure of Model (110) Surfaces and Interfaces of Semi-Infinite III-V Compound Semiconductors:  The GaSb--InAs System,  (with N.V. Dandekar and A. Madhukar),  Phys. Rev. B  21, 5687 - 5705 (1980).
    78.  Enhancement of Positron Annihilation with Core Electrons in Solids, (with E. Bonderup and J.U. Andersen),  Phys. Rev. B  20, 883 -899 (1979).
    79.  Study of Interface Electronic Structure of a Model Metal-Semiconductor Interface,  (with A. Madhukar),  Phys. Rev. B  17, 3832 -3843 (1978).
    80.  Solidification of Helium-4 Monolayer, (with M.A. Lee and C.W. Woo), Phys. Rev. B  14, 4874 - 4882 (1976).
    81.  New Variational Treatment of the Ground State of Solid Helium, (with C.W. Woo), Phys. Rev. B  13, 3790 - 3798 (1976).
    82.  Theory of Quantum Crystals,  (with C.W.  Woo),  Phys. Lett. 56A, 402 - 404 (1976).
    83.  Caging and the Solidification of Neutron Star Matter,  (with C.W. Woo),  Phys. Rev.  D  13, 3201 - 3207 (1976).
    84.  Electron Correlations at Metallic Densities,  (with G.E. Brown),  Phys.  Rev. B  12, 2138 - 2149 (1975).
    85.  Positron Annihilation and Electron Correlations in Metals, (with A.D. Jackson), Phys. Rev. B  12, 1689 - 1706 (1975). 
    86.  Single-Electron Energies, Many Electron Effects, and the Renormalized Atom Scheme as Applied to Rare-Earth Metals, (with J.F. Herbst and R.E. Watson), Phys. Rev. B 6, 1913 - 1924 (1972).

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Contact Details 

Fac. Wetenschappen - Dept. Fysica
Groenenborgerlaan 171
2020 Antwerpen Belgium
Email. dneilson  at  ftml.net
Tel. +32 3 265 35 26
Mob. +32 485 27 88 58
Skype david.neilson