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Igor Pugliesi - Research Interests

"There' s plenty of room at the bottom!" In this famous talk to the American Physical Society on December 29, 1959, at Caltech, R. P. Feynman explored the future of miniaturization: how to put the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica on the head of a pin, the drastic reduction in size of both biological and inanimate objects, how submicroscopic computers would become machines that not only calculate much faster but could also make judgements which is the best way to carry out a certain calculation. Since this talk advancements in chemistry enable specific functionalisations of molecules and to generate supramolecular assemblies of ever higher complexity. Nanotechnology has come a long way and the 21st century will see a whole new age of nano-materials and -machines.

My research mainly focuses on the investigation of ultrafast photo-physical and photo-chemical processes in the building bricks of these nanostructures: molecules.

Instrumental developments
A wealth of experimental tools is necessary to gain an in depth understanding of the complexity which goes with the even most simple photophysical and photochemical processes. For this reason I am involved in the following instrumental developments:
  • A sub 50 fs transient spectrometer with multichannel detection [publication]
  • A nano- and microsecond spectrometer based on a supercontinuum fibre laser [publication]
  • Two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy in the UV (was: MAP C.2.4)
Quantum computational developments
For the elucidation of ultrafast reactions quantum computational methods are an invaluable tool in the interpretation of experimental data. For this reason we both employ and develop the following techniques:
  • Ab inito calculations to understand the electronic and vibrational signatures of transient spectra [selected publication].
  • Structural assignment and interpretation of reaction dynamics in combination with isotope substitution experiments.
  • Global modelling strategies of transient spectra based on global analysis and species associated spectra. [summary]
  • Multidimensional Franck-Condon simulations with our FC-Lab II program package to model energy and time-resolved spectrsocopy.
It has been a long standing dream of scientists to bring electronic function to the molecular level. The underlying processes that could be used to achieve this are electron and energy transfer. As these processes can happen in the fs/ps regime, molecules are ideal candidates for the construction of electronic components with THz response times.
  • Naphthalene-and perylene-bisimides show ultrafast electron- and energy transfer that could be used for optoelectronic switches [selected publication].
  • Förster Resonant Energy Transfer (FRET) in perylene-dimide dyads with orthogonal chromophores [selected publication].
  • Computer aided design of functional molecules based on application specific requirements (e.g. drug for the stabilization of the PrPC prion by selective H-bonding; absorber molecules for organic solar cells).


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