Computational research on hard, soft, and biological matter at atomic and molecular resolution

Physics Department, University of Genoa, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16146 Genoa, Italy


Our research group is based at the Physics Department of the University of Genoa, in Italy.

We use computational tools to investigate the properties of organic, inorganic, synthetic, and biological matter. We are interested in understanding how the physicochemical characteristics of matter, such as size, composition, phase, and structure, can drive functionality at the nanoscale.

We adopt this approach to study systems with different applications: for instance, metal nanoalloys as cost-effective catalysts, monolayer-protected metal nanoparticles as biomedical therapeutic and diagnostic agents, colloidal suspensions for ceramic processing.

We develop new potential interaction models with atomistic or coarse-grained resolution. We also develop new algorithms to solve global optimization problems, and to study dynamics in more and more realistic conditions.

News and Events

20/7/2021 Can nanoplastics alter lipid membrane physical properties?

It has become urgent to assess the potential harm that nanoplastics pose to living organisms. Our new paper in press in JCIS contributes to the fundamental understanding of nanoplastics-bio interactions.

With a combined computational&experimental approach, we show that short polystyrene chains, at doping doses, perturb the physical properties of model lipid (DPPC) membranes.

In collaboration with Elena Del Favero and Laura Cantù (University of Milan, Italy), Francesca Natali (ILL, Grenoble, France) and Luca Monticelli (CNRS, Lyon, France).

28/6/2021 Summer has arrived... and we are having fun!

Greetings from Monte Roncalla, 1683 mt above sea level

16/6/2021 What a soccer match!

Here we are, from the left:
Federica, former Nanobiocomp member and now official goalkeeper; top row: Yakout, Cesare, Riccardo (our referee...), Alberto, Davide; bottom row: Sonia, Diana, Giulia, Enrico, Leonardo

11/6/2021 An article on the growth of PtPd octahedra has been published

In collaboration with Dr. Chloe Minnai (OIST, Okinawa), and with the group of Prof. Marcel Di Vece (University of Milan), Diana, Cesare and Riccardo published this article in Catalysts.

7/6/2021 h 10.30 - 12.30 Group meeting

Today Dr. Chloé Minnai, from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, will be our guest!

2/6/2021 Our new article on the growth of platinum tetrahedra has been selected as Editors' Highlight in Nature Communications

See the Highlight Page in Nature Communications, and this blog entry in the Nature Portfolio Device & Materials Engineering.

In collaboration with the experimental groups of Yu Xia and Ziyou Li (University of Birmingham), and of Jun Yuan (University of York).

12/5/2021 - The SUNSHINE project website is online!

You can also check out the SUNSHINE overview video on Youtube

11/5/2021 - A new article on shape changes in AuPd nanoalloys is now published

In collaboration with Dr. Chloé Minnai of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST, Japan), Diana, Cesare and Riccardo published this paper in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

3/5/2021 - h 11:00-13:00 Group meeting
Nanobiocomp remote group meeting

31/3/2021 - A new article on AgCo nanoalloy growth is now published
In collaboration with groups in Orléans and Paris, Diana and Riccardo just published this paper in Nanoscale. The paper has been selected for the 2021 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection

30/3/2021 - open Ph.D. and post doc positions at Nanobiocomp!
1 Ph.D. position and 1 post doc positions are now open, please help us to spread the word!

29/3/2021, h 9:00-12:00 - Group meeting
Nanobiocomp remote group meeting

1/3/2021, h 9:00-12:00 - Group meeting
Nanobiocomp remote group meeting

13/1/2021 - two new joint computational-experimental papers on NP-membrane interactions!

Congratulations to our students Ester, Sebastian, Federica, Anna and Davide! Our collaboration with the experimental groups of Annalisa Relini, Fabio Canepa, Silvia Dante and Francesco Stellacci is flourishing, check it out on Nanoscale and Scientific Reports

1/1/2021 - H2020 SUNSHINE project has started

The H2020 SUNSHINE project has started! The main goal of SUNSHINE is to develop and implement safe and sutainable-by-design strategies for products enabled by multi-component nanomaterials (MCNM). Nanocomp will contribute by evaluating the most common interactions of MCNM components with other components, nanomaterials and/or chemicals as well as with surrounding media and biological systems.

Past news and events

16/2/2021, h14:30 on Teams - DIFI Colloquium
DIFI Colloquium in Physics: The interaction of (bio)molecules with gold nanoparticles and surfaces: insights from multiscale simulations, by Prof. Stefano Corni (University of Padua, Italy)

12/1/2021, h 15:00 on Teams - Seminar at DIFI
DIFI seminar, title: Time meets super-resolution towards live-cell imaging at the nanoscale, by Prof. Alberto Diaspro (DIFI)

9/12/2020, h 9:00-12:00 - Group meeting
Nanobiocomp group meeting

1/12/2020 - New students joined the group
Welcome to our new master students Sonia Cambiaso, Leonardo Palchetti and Alberto Querci