Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Research projects started in 2016

The available positions for 2016 are:

Differential geometry and applications to modern physics

1 scholarship - Student: Antonio Michele Miti
Joint research project between Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and KU Leuven

The project proposes the following mutually intermingled research paths mostly focussed towards symplectic geometry and its multisymplectic generalisations, together with applications to modern physics issues, both classical and quantum mechanical, with an emphasis on topological aspects.

Research topics: Geometric fluid mechanics. Homotopy moment maps and multimoment map reduction. Geometry of knot spaces. Geometric quantization and reduction.

Solid background in differential geometry and topology and in the mathematics of classical and quantum mechanics is required.

Prof. Mauro Spera
UCSC tutor
Prof. Marco Zambon
KU Leuven Tutor

Cooperative Effects in quantum systems

1 scholarship - Student: Francesco Mattiotti
Joint research project between Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and University of Notre Dame du Lac

Research topics: Open Quantum systems. Quantum transport in mesoscopic system. Disordered systems. Superconductivity. Superradiance. Long range interacting systems.

The aim is to elaborate a common theoretical framework able to explain the emergence of  cooperative phenomena, such as superradiance and superconductivity.  Application to quantum transport in different realistic systems  will  be also considered. The candidate should have a strong background in quantum mechanics, open quantum systems and numerical simulations.

Prof. Fausto Borgonovi
UCSC tutor
Dr. Luca Celardo
UCSC tutor
Prof. Boldizsar Janko
ND tutor

Ultrafast dynamics

1 scholarship - Student: Jessica Zinna
Joint research project between University of Notre Dame du Lac and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Research topics: Ultrafast Dynamics of single Perovskite Nanostructures".

The properties of nanomaterials often depend on the size and shape of the structure, as well as the density of trap sites.  Because samples of nanomaterials have a distribution of these parameters, it is important to study single structures.  In this project ultrafast transient absorption microscopy will be used to interrogate charge carrier dynamics in single Perovskite nanostructures.  These measurements will provide detailed information about how charge carrier diffusion and trapping depend on size and shape, as well as the surface chemistry of the nanostructure.  This information is important for optimizing these materials for applications, such as solar cells or light emitting diodes.

Dr. Francesco Banfi
UCSC tutor
Dr. Claudio Giannetti
UCSC tutor
Prof. Masaru Kuno
ND tutor
Prof. Greg Hartland
ND tutor

Exotic structures in light nuclei through resonant reactions

1 scholarship - Student: Maxime Renaud
Joint research project between KU Leuven and University of Notre Dame du Lac

Research topics: Fundamental nuclear physics and solid-state physics using nuclear physics methods.

The research programme at the "Instituut voor Kern- en Stralingsfysica" concentrates on fundamental nuclear physics and solid-state physics using nuclear physics methods. The experimental research combines local work at the detector and laser laboratories at KU Leuven with campaigns at various large international facilities.

The structure of light nuclei exhibits peculiar features, such as halos, clusters, and configurations reminiscent of molecules. Because of the small number of nucleons, these systems are test grounds for ab-initio or few-body cluster models, while average-potential models often struggle to reproduce their characteristics. The experimental study of the exotic properties of light nuclei is a challenging task, requiring the use of dedicated instruments for their production and detection.

In this project we intend to use a novel kind of detector, an “active target”, in combination with the light beams available at the TwinSol facility of the Notre Dame University. Of particular interest is the use of a rare beam of 8B ions to study the properties of selected exotic systems using resonant reactions.

Prof. Dr. Riccardo Raabe
KU Leuven Tutor
Prof. Dr. Tan Ahn
ND tutor

Study of the surface chemistry and the electronic properties of Pd1-XRuX and Ag1-XRhX cluster films

1 scholarship - Student: Katiuska Coello
Joint research project between Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and KU Leuven

We study the surface chemistry and the electronic properties of films made from the deposition of clusters of Pd-Ru and Ag-Rh. We will explore required conditions to obtain a solid solution of the two metals in the alloy nanoparticle (metals which are immiscible in bulk) using laser vaporization. Our interest in these systems originated in prior reports indicating that clusters of this type obtained by wet chemistry display unusual physical and chemical properties. The clusters will be produced in a dual laser vaporization source and deposited at low energies on transparent substrates. These cluster films will be examined with SEM, TEM and XRD to determine their structure and UPS and optical transmission to determine electronic properties. Surface chemistry will be studied in ultra-high vacuum using chemisorption probe techniques in combination with XPS.

Prof. Dr. Alejandro Cabrera
PUC Tutor
Prof. Dr. Peter Lievens
KU Leuven tutor