DTU Kemi - Sonia Coriani

The Italian Professor

Thursday 04 May 17
by Jan Wium


Sonia Coriani
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 23 35

DTU Chemistry’s last appointed professor is Sonia Coriani.  She is a professor in physical chemistry and has a strong background in quantum chemistry, i.e. the use of quantum mechanics to solve problems of chemical interest.

In 2016, DTU Chemistry appointed four new professors from within own ranks, who were joined by a professor from Trieste University, Italy, on 1 February 2017.

“We need to have a better understanding of the properties of molecules, and that is exactly the purpose of my research”, says Sonia Coriani.

Light on the molecular World

“In my research I investigate how molecules behave when probed with different types of light. Spectroscopy, or in broader terms the study of the interaction of matter with light, is indeed one of the most powerful means of gaining information about the molecular world”.

The molecular response to light bears specific signatures of the structure and properties of the molecular systems and can be exploited in a variety of technological applications. The desired information, however, is not provided directly, but is encoded in the measured spectra, often in a complicated way.

Breaking the code

Computational simulations of the measured spectra are essential to help ‘break the code’ and obtain a deeper understanding of what is going on. They require reliable mathematical models of the underlying interactions and their implementation in efficient computational protocols.

“The general objective of my research is thus the development of quantumchemical methodologies and computer code to describe static and dynamic molecular properties and spectra”, says Sonia Coriani.

The developed methods are then applied on a broad range of contexts related to modern experiments, including those performed at last generation synchrotron and free-electron laser installations.

“My research is thus at the borderline between chemistry and physics and involves interdisciplinary collaborations between theoretical/computational and experimental chemists and physicists”.

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