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Domains of Application

It is unanimously recognised the crucial role of fundamental science in underpinning and generating future technology. The ability to invent new functionalities for nanoscale systems and advanced materials, such as quantum dots, biomolecules, and carbon nanowires, and of designing new devices for specific applications depend heavily on our understanding of the excitation under irradiation by light, electron beams or modern photon sources (synchrotrons, ultra-fast lasers), and also of the reaction of the environment to the electronic response.

The interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter is of fundamental interest. It creates excitations in the materials leading to phenomena with enormous consequences in domains such as technology, chemistry or biology. These consequences can be desired (like photosynthesis) or not (as in the case of radiation damage due to nuclear waste), but are in most cases complicated to describe. The unprecedented availability of new large-scale computational resources makes it possible to realistically address the challenging world of excited-state physics of complex materials.

Through the powerful combination of quantum-based theories with computer simulation, applied to electronic excitations (theoretical spectroscopy), researchers are now able to:

  • analyse and explain experimental data (ellipsometry, EELS, Raman, IR, NMR, X-Ray, ARPES, STS, I/V transport, etc.)
  • achieve remarkable technological and fundamental breakthroughs, such as new functionality (optoelectronics) or biological applications

For a more detailed explanation of the work of the ETSF we give a few striking examples as well as an overview following four areas of research, corresponding to 0-dimensional, 1-dimensional, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional systems.