Skip to Main Content

Optical data storage and rewritable DVDs

DVDPhase change materials are a class of alloys characterized by a very fast structural change and a pronounced optical/electrical contrast between the crystalline and the amorphous phase. These materials are at the basis of the present technology of rewritable DVDs and are promising candidates for future non-volatile memories. To understand the microscopic mechanism that allows for such peculiar electronic properties is essential for a systematic material optimization of phase change alloys. Calculations performed by ETSF groups have made a link between the strong optical contrast and local structural changes. (Read more)

A biological marker: the Green Fluorescent Protein

green fluorescent proteinThe study of the optical properties of biochromophores has developed into an important and active field of research. The rationale is clear, as the absorption and emission of light by biomolecules are at the center of crucial biophysical processes -- such as vision or photosynthesis, and has led to various important technological applications. Among photo-active proteins, and due to its unique photophysical properties, the family composed by the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its mutants has attracted a considerable amount of attention during the last decade. (Read more)

Nano Electronics

nanotube logic
IOP publishing

The miniaturization process in the integration scale of modern Electronics according to Moore's law will attain in 2015 its ultimate limit: that one of Electronic Devices at the Atomic and Molecular scale of a Nanometer. The theory faces now the challenge to understand and model the Quantum Mechanisms governing the Electron Transport at such scale and, as a last issue, to predict from First Principles the I/V Electronic Characteristics of Nanodevices. The ETSF is actively involved into all these tasks. (Read more)

New materials for solar cells

solar cellsSolar (or photovoltaic) cells are the symbol of clean and safe energy production, as they convert into electric power the prime source of renewable energy, the sunlight. The present technology of solar cells is based on silicon. However, this solution is not satisfactory as it does not allow a good compromise between cost production and efficiency. New materials with interesting electronic properties are now under study in search for new candidates for future commercial cells. Simulation of the optical properties of promising materials for photovoltaic applications is work in progress in ETSF groups. (Read more)

Surface Reconstruction Puzzle

bucklingThe structure of the surfaces of Ge, Si or GaAs, with varying composition and reconstruction, can be established thanks to the comparison of measured spectra to high level calculations. (Read more)