ICTP Research Highlights

ICTP scientists' publications in prominent journals

Papers by three ICTP scientists and one Diploma Programme student--all affiliated with the Centre's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics section--have appeared recently in prominent science journals.

A paper titled 'Structural properties and phase transitions in a silica clathrate' (J. Chem. Phys. 134, 074506 (2011); doi:10.1063/1.3532543) by Sandro Scandolo and collaborators was chosen as a research highlight featured on the Journal of Chemical Physics website home page. The paper studies the structural properties and phase transitions in melanophlogite (a silica polymorph).

Scandolo and his co-authors used molecular dynamic simulations to study the behaviour of melanophlogite under high pressure and predict that a partial crystalline and amorphous sample of the polymorph can be obtained at a pressure of approximately 12-16 GPa. The authors argue that their conclusions provide an alternate interpretation of the recent experimental results obtained on silicate.

'Nanofriction in cold ion traps', a paper by Erio Tosatti and others that appears in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1230), focusses on understanding sliding friction between crystal lattices by using the physics of cold ion traps.

Bridging the two fields, Tosatti and his co-authors have used simulations and shown that under specific conditions trapped ion chains can be used to better understand the details of friction by sliding.

Markus Müller, along with former ICTP Diploma Programme student Chau Hai Nguyen, published Nguyen's diploma thesis work in the New Journal of Physics (New J. Phys. 13 035009 doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/13/3/035009). The article, titled 'Collision-dominated spin transport in graphene and Fermi liquids', was also chosen for IOP Select, a special collection of journal articles chosen by the editors based on substantial advances or significant breakthroughs, a high degree of novelty, or significant impact on future research. The article appeared with other selected articles under the theme 'Focus on strongly correlated quantum fluids: from ultracold quantum gases to QCD plasmas'.