ISSPIC XIV, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain, 15-19 September 2008

Rideal Travel Bursar Lauro Oliver Paz Borbon reports from Spain

The International Symposium on Small Particles and Inorganic Clusters (ISSPIC) covers such interdisciplinary topics as physics, chemistry, materials science and computer simulation which all have a bearing at understanding the nanoscale.

By attending ISSPIC XIV, I was able to get a broader understanding of my research area, which as part of my doctoral studies, has been focusing on the computational simulations of metallic nanoclusters. I was attended lectures on state-of-the-art methods in computational chemistry, and also on the experimental techniques related to nanoclusters production and characterisation. I also had the opportunity to interact with other top international research groups, both experimental and theoretical, which highlighted the importance that computational modelling plays on the design of novel nanostructures. This allowed me to understand the importance of unifying theory and experiment in order to gain a better understanding of the major challenges in the nanoscience field. As part of this meeting, I contributed to the general discussion session by presenting two posters, one of them related to computational simulations on Pd-Au clusters, and a second one on the chemisorption of CO and H on Pd-Pt clusters, work that I have been carrying out along with our collaborators in the last few months.

I also took the opportunity, after ISSPIC XIV, to attend a satellite meeting at Tirrenia, Italy. The International Workshop on Computational Nanoalloys (WCA), organized by Professors Alessandro Fortunelli (IPCF-CNR) and Marc Hou (ULB), focused mainly on the discussion of different theoretical methodologies used by different research groups (e.g. density functional theory, molecular dynamics and semi-empirical methods) in order to simulate and predict electronic, magnetic and catalytic properties of nanoalloys. I presented and discussed the two posters at this meeting, I also had the chance to meet some of our collaborators again. This allowed us to define and to plan future work on some aspects of nanoclusters that have not been studied yet.

Finally, I would like to thank SCI for funds given to attend these conferences.

Lauro Oliver Paz Borbon
University of Birmingham

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