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Advances in nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, theoretical modelling, and applications

Recent advances in the synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) and in atomic-scale characterization, coupled with insights from theoretical modelling, have opened exciting possibilities to tailor knowledge-based NPs for many applications, such as catalysis, plasmonics, sensors, magnetism, nanomedicine.


The number of scientific papers with “nanoparticle” as keyword has increased almost linearly in the last ten years from ~13000 in 2006 to ~46000 in 2016. This impressive worldwide interest stems from the striking scientific appeal of nanoparticles (NPs), which constitute a bridge over the troubled waters between the atomic and bulk worlds, as well as from their actual or potential applications in fields as diverse as catalysis, optics, magnetism, drug delivery. The preparation of NPs is a crossroad of materials science where chemists, physicists, and engineers frequently meet, leading to a continuous improvement of existing techniques and to the invention of new methods. This symposium will bring together leading experts on advanced techniques for nanoparticle synthesis, in order to promote cross fertilization and to inspire progresses in the control of nanoparticle size, shape, composition and functionalization as well as in the fabrication of NPs with complex morphologies. Characterization techniques with high spatial resolution, spectroscopic capability and chemical sensitivity are an essential tool not only to investigate the output of the synthesis procedures but also to elucidate the structure-property relationships of the NPs. For this reason, this symposium will also attract leading experts in state-of-the-art (or beyond) characterization techniques for NPs structural/chemical analysis. This interdisciplinary forum will be completed by the participation of renowned experts in theoretical modelling and simulation of NPs structure and properties, which is of paramount importance both for understanding atomic and electronic structure and to predict non- trivial unexpected behaviors and new phenomena. The symposium will pay particular attention to new directions in technological applications. Given the “hot topic” nature of the symposium and the unique interdisciplinary discussion opportunities it will provide, we expect a numerous and high quality attendance.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

1. Recent development in nanoparticle synthesis techniques

  • Chemical 
  • Lithographic
  • Bottom-up 
  • Combinatorial

2. Structural / chemical analysis of nanoparticles

  • Spectroscopic techniques
  • High resolution microscopy/chemical mapping
  • Advanced scattering techniques

3. Theoretical modelling of nanoparticles

  • Atomic ordering and electronic structure
  • Dynamical processes, excitations, reactions
  • New algorithms and calculation strategies

4. Technological applications of nanoparticles

  • Structure-property relationships
  • Theoretical predictions vs experiment

Confirmed invited speakers:

  • Patricia Abellan, Uni. Leeds (UK)
  • Petra De Jongh, Uni. Utrecht (NL)
  • Graeme Henkelman, Uni. Texas (US)
  • Björgvin Hjorvarsson, Uni. Uppsala (SE)
  • Torben R. Jensen, Uni. Aarhus (DK)
  • Christoph Langhammer, Uni. Chalmers (SE)
  • Yong Lei, Uni. Ilmenau (DE)
  • Antonio Miotello, Uni. Trento (IT)
  • Richard Palmer, Uni. Swansea (UK)
  • Luca Prodi, Uni. Bologna (IT)
  • Abhishek Sarkar, KIT (DE)
  • Mukhles Sowwan, OIST Okinawa (JP)
  • Petra Szilagyi, Queen Uni. London (UK)
  • Narayanan Theyencheri, ESRF Grenoble (FR)
  • Tejs Vegge, DTU (DK)

International scientific committee

  • Rajeev Ahuja (SE)
  • Jaakko Akola (NO)
  • Lucia Amidani (FR)
  • José-Ramón Ares (ES)
  • Tomasz Ciach (PL)
  • Asunción Fernández (ES)
  • Cesare Franchini (AT)
  • Horst Hahn (DE)
  • Joseph Kioseoglou (GR)
  • Giovanni Mattei (IT)
  • Amelia Montone (IT)
  • Alberto Naldoni (CZ)
  • Claudia Zlotea (FR)

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Symposium organizers
Bjørn C. HAUBACKInstitute for Energy Technology

Instituttveien 18, NO-2007 Kjeller, Norway
Hannes JÓNSSONUniversity of Iceland

VR-III, Hjardarhagi 2-6, Iceland

Luca PASQUINIDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna

Viale C. Berti-Pichat 6/2 I-40127 Bologna Italy

+39 051 2095149