- Theory of first order Mott transitions All Mott transitions observed in real materials are first order. The simplest explanation could be that this is just accidental and occurs because the lattice is inevitably bound to the electrons and turns first order a transition that by its own might have well been continuous. However, Dynamical Mean Field Theory (DMFT) suggests that even an ideal Mott transition, not contaminated by any side effect like a lattice distortion or magnetic ordering, is inherently first order with a region of metal-insulator coexistence. My interest in this field is to understand how the unavoidable side effects intrude within the ideal Mott transition and how they affect the metal-insulator coexistence.
- Out-of-equilibrium phenomena in correlated systems
Correlated materials often have rich equilibrium phase diagrams with a wealth of different phases, insulating, conducting and even superconducting. It is conceivable that the same richness should emerge also when an external perturbation drives the system in out-of-equilibrium conditions, eventually revealing new phases metastable at equilibrium, as indeed found in several experiments. My interest here is to consider case-studies where to explore non-equilibrium pathways to metastable phases, and more generally to investigate how strong correlations affects the non-equilibrium dynamics.
- Kondo effect in magnetic nano-contacts
Zero-bias anomalies of Kondo origin are very often observed when magnetic atoms or molecules are contacted to metal leads. Because of the spatial shape of the contacts and of the magnetic orbitals, these set-ups may realize Kondo-like situations that are not encountered in conventional diluted magnetic alloys. My research activity in the field consists in studying theoretically these cases, and more generally exotic Kondo phenomena.
Post-Doc position openings
The unexpected 1st order nature of dielectric breakdown in Mott insulators and its poorly explored but important conceptual and practical consequences are the scope of the theoretical project FIRSTORM.