Seminari & Eventi

Dipartimento di Fisica
Colloquium in Phyisics
Stefano Corni
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova, Italy
Microsoft Teams

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 [1].

We have developed a flexible and useful computational tool that exploits various levels of description for the biomolecule and the gold nanoparticle/surface [2]. 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 [3].

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 [4] that we have recently exploited to investigate the possibility of launching localized excitations in light harvesting proteins [5] and of manipulating photochemical reactions [6].

[1] M. Ozboyaci et al. Quart Rev Biophys 49, e4 (2016).
[2] R. Di Felice & S. Corni, J Phys Chem Lett 2, 1510 (2011)
[3] L. Bellucci et al. Nanoscale 9, 2279 (2017); G. Brancolini et al. ACS Nano 9, 2600 (2015)
[4] B. Mennucci & S. Corni, Nat Rev Chem 3, 315 (2019)
[5] S. Caprasecca et al., Chem Sci 9, 6219 (2018)
[6] J. Fregoni et al., Nat Commun 9,  4688 (2018); Chem 6, 250 (2020)

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. 


Seminars@DIFI, codice di accesso: hzo4tgo 

Dipartimento di Fisica
Doctoral school
Santa Margherita Ligure

The school, organized within the ‘Dipartimento di Eccellenza MIUR’ project, is primarily aimed to Ph.D. students and early stage researchers interested in the different aspects of topological condensed matter physics, both in and out of equilibrium. Theory, experiments, and applications will be addressed in the following lectures

  • Topological insulators and semimetals, by Björn Trauzettel (Universität Würzburg)
  • Topological superconductors, by Tobias Meng (Technische Universität Dresden)
  • Topological spintronics, by Allan MacDonald (University of Texas Austin)
  • An experimental view on topological superconductors, by Erwann Bocquillon (Ecole Normale Supérieure)
  • Challenges in Majorana quantum wires, by Sebastian Heedt (Microsoft)
  • Time dependent engineering of topological states of matter, by Dante Kennes (RWTH Aachen University)
  • TeraHertz devices for topological quantum computation, by Stefano Lupi (Università la Sapienza)
  • Topological phases of open quantum systems, by Thomas Schmidt (University of Luxembourg)

A poster session, where all participants will have the chance to show their work, will also take place.

The venue is Hotel Regina Elena, in Santa Margherita, Genova (Italy).

The location is most easily reached by train from Genova or from Milan (train station Santa Margherita) and then walking or by bus.

The fee (excluding VAT), for the accommodation in double room, is 400€ if paid before 31/12/2020, or 450€ if paid later. Upon availability, the fee for the single room is 600 € if paid before 31/12/2020, or 650€ if paid later.

The accommodation for up to 5 nights, all dinners (starting on Monday), lunches, breakfasts, coffee breaks, and a social event are included. A limited amount of grants will be available.

The fee should be paid in advance by bank transfer (details will follow)

The application deadline is 15/02/2021.

To apply, send a brief CV to Note that we will be able to accept around 40 participants only.

The organization committee, composed by Dario Ferraro, Niccolò Traverso Ziani, Daniele Marré and Maura Sassetti, will be happy to help in case of any doubt. For any question, please feel free to contact us at

Dipartimento di Fisica
Dipartimento di Fisica
Via Dodecaneso 33
16146, Genova
Lun -Ven
08:30 - 19:00
Tel: +39 010 353 6267