Seminari & Eventi

Colloquium in Physics
Prof. Stefano Corni
Università di Padova
Dipartimento di Fisica

Gold nanoparticles have a plethora of potential applications in which their interaction with (bio)-molecules is pivotal. Nanoparticles are being explored for in situ diagnostic, targeted drug delivery, and as therapeutic agents themselves. The determinant of their action is their interaction with the biological environment (proteins, cell membranes, nucleic acids...). Understanding such interaction is a challenging task, and computer simulations have the potential to contribute important pieces of the overall, intricate, picture.

We have developed a computational approach that exploits various levels of description for the biomolecule and the gold nanoparticle/surface, leading to a flexible and useful tool to investigate such complicated systems. I will present our work on the interaction between amyloidogenic proteins and gold nanoparticles and surfaces, identifying mechanisms that can lead to promotion or inhibition of protein fibrillation by means of the inorganic material.

Metal nanoparticles also feature a peculiar response to light, as they support localized surface plasmons, collective electronic excitations with a large oscillator strength, tunable resonance frequency and able to locally enhance the applied electromagnetic field. The interaction of such excitations with nearby molecules can strongly modify their optical properties (e.g. Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering). Computational investigations can clarify the microscopic picture of the phenomena and help designing new experiments. We are developing multiscale models for molecules close to metal nanostructures that we have recently exploited to investigate the possibility of launching localized excitations in light harvesting proteins and of manipulating photochemical reactions.

Brief bio: Stefano Corni got his PhD in Chemistry from the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, in 2003. He has been post-doc at the INFM National Research Center S3 in Modena (now CNR Institute of Nanoscience), where he became tenured researcher in 2009. He has been visiting scientist at USI/ETH Lugano and at RMIT, Melbourne. Since 2017 he is full professor of Physical Chemistry at the Dept. of Chemical Sciences, Univ. of Padova. He is interested in the development and applications of multiscale models to investigate several aspects of hybrid systems involving (bio)molecules and inorganic nanostructures. Since 2016 he is the PI of the ERC Consolidator project TAME Plasmons, dedicated to multiscale models for molecular plasmonics.

Colloquium in physics Elisabetta Vignati
European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Dipartimento di Fisica - Aula Magna

Climate change is one of the most challenging global issues that humankind faces. The earth average surface temperature has risen 0.9 degree since the pre-industrial time with most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years. 2019 was the second warmest year after 2016 since 1880, year were modern measurement records began.

The basic chemistry and physics of climate change have been understood for more than a century and effects already well documented: oceans are warming, Arctic sea ice is rapidly decreasing, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are retreating as well as glaciers, sea level is rising, to name some.

Human activities are estimated to have caused the temperature increase since pre-industrial time and global warming is projected to increase if substantial and sustained actions to reduce the human impact are not taken soon. While the Paris Agreement brings all nations into the common goal to combat climate change, since 2008 the European Union adopted packages of climate and energy actions to mitigate climate change and now it is committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050, first in the world.

CV short
Elisabetta Vignati is a physicist by training graduated at University of Milan, with a PhD in Geophysics obtained at Copenhagen University. Through more than 20 years of her carrier in atmospheric science Elisabetta Vignati worked mainly in developing and applying atmospheric models with the purpose of evaluating the impact of human activities on air quality and climate and is (co-)author of about 60 articles published in peer reviewed journals. She joint the European Commission Joint Research Centre in 1999 and is the Head of Air and Climate Unit of the Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate. Her unit aims to provide integrated analysis in support of European Union air quality and climate policies.

Anna Ciurlo
Dipartimento di Fisica


Colloquium in physics
Christoph Stampfer
University of Aachen
Dipartimento di Fisica - Aula Magna
Via Dodecaneso 33
16146, Genova
Mon - Fri
07:30 - 14:30
Tel: +39 010 353 6267