Donostia International Physics Center - DIPC

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Donostia International Physics Center - DIPC

Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) is a research center located in Donostia – San Sebastián (Spain). The mission of DIPC is to perform and catalyze cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines, as well as to convey scientific culture to society. DIPC was conceived and planned based on the idea that an advanced society needs advanced scientific research.

DIPC is a research center whose main mission is to generate new knowledge in physics and related disciplines. Research topics at DIPC are in constant evolution, always looking for the frontiers of knowledge in the general fields of Condensed Matter Physics, Quantum Physics, Physics and Chemistry of Materials, Chemical Physics, and Nanoscience. Specific areas of research in which the applicants can work follow:

Simulating electron processes at the nanoscale.

Nanoscale systems, such as molecules or graphene-based structures, exhibit unique properties that are extremely important for developing new nanoelectronic devices. We contribute to the understanding of the electronic processes occurring in such nanosystems, by means of ab initio simulations of electronic and/or transport properties. The calculations are mostly performed using powerful using computational tools based on density functional theory (DFT). These tools allow to study different effects at the atomic scale, such as the influence of the geometry or the magnetic and spin dependent properties. The theoretical project described here will benefit from our close collaboration with experimental groups working in the field.

Surface-supported chemical reactions under ultra-high vacuum

"On-surface synthesis" is appearing as an extremely promising strategy to create organic nanoarchitectures with atomic precision. Molecular building blocks holding adequate functional groups are dosed onto surfaces that support or even drive their covalent linkage. The surface confinement and the frequent lack of solvents (most commonly being performed under vacuum conditions) create a completely new scenario fully complementary to conventional chemistry.

We try to contribute to the development of this novel research field, addressing fundamental reaction mechanisms, synthetic strategies to influence the reactions according to our needs, as well as attempting to use it for the ultimate growth and characterization of functional materials. The characterization is performed dominantly by cryogenic scanning probe microscopies.

Astronomy and Cosmology:

Using supercomputer numerical simulations, we will investigate how different dark matter candidates (e.g. sterile neutrinos, axions) affect the formation of structure in the universe. We will then make predictions for their signatures in future gamma-rays and gravitational lensing experiments and quantity their ability to constrain dark matter properties.

First principles simulations of condensed matter

We work in the simulation of solids and liquids (including nanosystems) from first-principles, i.e. using quantum mechanics and a series of well characterised approximations, most notably density-functional theory. We are interested in nano-confined water, thin oxide films and simulations of radiation damage of materials by high-speed ions as found in cosmic rays or ion radiotherapy.

Conformational dynamics of proteins

Using computational models trying to understand protein folding mechanisms via a quantitative comparison of theory, simulation and experimental observables. Protein folding is the process by which polypeptide chains are able to rearrange into their regular three dimensional structures, which allow for them to undertake their functions. A lack in proper folding may result in disease, as in the case of Parkinson's, type II diabetes or Alzheimer's. The fundamental tool used are molecular dynamics simulations, combined with state-of-the-art analysis methods.

 

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