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Dr. Luca Bursi


Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Physics and Astronomy

luca.bursi@rice.edu 
(713) 348-2507
Office: Brockman Hall 325







Research interests:

Theoretical Quantum Nanoplasmonics, (Time-Dependent) Density-Functional Theory Atomistic Approaches, TDDFT-jellium Description of Nanoparticles, Quantum Mechanical Processes, Computational Classical Electrodynamics.

Research experience:

  • May 2019 – Current: Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Department of Physics, University of North Texas (UNT), Denton, TX 76203, USA.
    Advisor: Prof. Oliviero Andreussi. Theoretical atomistic electromagnetism.
    &
    Academic visitor, Department of Physics and Astronomy & Laboratory for Nanophotonics,
    Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.

  • May 2017 – May 2019: Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Department of Physics and Astronomy & Laboratory for Nanophotonics,
    Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.
    Advisor: Prof. Peter Nordlander. Theoretical quantum and classical plasmonics and nanophotonics.

  • Oct. 2015 – Feb. 2016: Visiting scholar
    Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.
    Advisor: Prof. Peter Nordlander. 
     Theoretical Nanophotonics.

  • Jan. 2014 – Mar. 2017: PhD student
  • Department of Physics, Informatics and Mathematics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia &
    Italian Institute of Nanoscience, CNR-NANO-S3, Modena, Italy. 
    Advisors: Prof. Stefano Corni, Dr. Arrigo Calzolari, Prof. Elisa Molinari.
    Theoretical Quantum Nanoplasmonics, Condensed Matter Physics

Education:

  • Mar. 2017: PhD in Physics and Nano Sciences (cum laude)
    Department of Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia &
    Italian Institute of Nanoscience, CNR-NANO-S3, Modena, Italy.
    Ph.D. Thesis: Quantifying the plasmonic character of optical excitations at the nanoscale.
    Advisors: Prof. Stefano Corni, Dr. Arrigo Calzolari, Prof. Elisa Molinari.

  • Oct. 2013: MSc in Physics (cum laude)
    University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
    Master Thesis: Pi-conjugated carbon-based nanosystems: optical excitations and size-effects.
    Advisors: Dr. Arrigo Calzolari, Prof. Stefano Corni, Prof. Elisa Molinari.

  • Oct. 2010: BSc in Physics (cum laude)
    University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
    Thesis: First principles investigation of the Cu(111) surface.
    Advisors: Dr. Carlo Cavazzoni, Prof. Giorgio Santoro. 

Scientific publications and communications:

Coauthor of 7 publications on international peer-reviewed journals (2 as first author). 
Citations: 95 on Google Scholar, 72 on Scopus; h-index: 4 on Google Scholar, 4 on Scopus (Jun. 4th 2019). 
Author ID on ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4530-0424. Author ID on Scopus: 56575141100.
Scientific communications include 2 seminars, 7 oral and 9 poster contributions in 17 international conferences.

Publications list:

           [7]    B. D. Clark, C. J. DeSantis, G. Wu, D. Renard, M. J. McClain, L. Bursi, A.-L. Tsai, P. Nordlander, N. J. Halas.                         Ligand-dependent colloidal stability controls the growth of aluminum nanocrystals. 
                   J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141, 1716–1724 (2019). 
        [JACS Spotlights: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141, 1393–1393 (2019)].

           [6]    K. W. Smith, L. A. McCarthy, A. Alabastri, L. Bursi, W-S Chang, P. Nordlander, S. Link. 
                   Exploiting evanescent field polarization for giant chiroptical modulation from achiral gold half-rings. 
                   ACS Nano, 12, 11657–11663 (2018).

           [5]    K. D. Chapkin, L. Bursi, G. J. Stec, A. Lauchner, N. J. Hogan, Y. Cui, P. Nordlander, N. J. Halas.
                   Lifetime dynamics of plasmons in the few-atom limit.
                   Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 115, 9134–9139 (2018).

[4]    R. Zhang, L. Bursi, J. D. Cox, Y. Cui, C. M. Krauter, A. Alabastri, A. Manjavacas, A. Calzolari, S. Corni,
        E. Molinari, E. A. Carter, F. J. García de Abajo, H. Zhang, P. Nordlander.
        How to identify plasmons from the optical response of nanostructures.
        ACS Nano, 11, 73217335 (2017).

[3]    L. Bursi, A. Calzolari, S. Corni, E. Molinari.
        Quantifying the plasmonic character of optical excitations in nanostructures.
        ACS Photonics, 3, 520525 (2016).

[2]    F. J. García de Abajo, R. Sapienza, M. Noginov,
F. Benz, J. Baumberg, S. Maier, D. Graham,
 J. Aizpurua,
        T. Ebbesen, A. Pinchuk, J. Khurgin, K. Matczyszyn, J. T. Hugall, N. van Hulst, P. Dawson, C. Roberts, M.                    Nielsen, L. Bursi, M. Flatté, J. Yi, O. Hess, N. Engheta, M. Brongersma, V. Podolskiy, V. Shalaev, E.                            Narimanov, A. Zayats.
        Plasmonic and new plasmonic materials: general discussion.
        Faraday Discuss., 178, 123149 (2015).

[1]    L. Bursi, A. Calzolari, S. Corni, E. Molinari.
        Light-induced field enhancement in nanoscale systems from first-principles: the case of polyacenes.
        ACS Photonics, 1, 10491058 (2014).

Grants awarded:

  • Dec. 2018: 2018 Innovative Collaborative Grant Award
    Department of Nanomedicine, Houston Methodist & Rice University.
    Project entitled: Implantable continuous-mode device for early-stage detection and treatment of inflammation state caused by any implanted foreign body.

  • 2013 – 2018: 5 ISCRA Grants for supercomputing resources (4 as PI; 1 as Co-PI)

    Menthorship and teaching:

    2019                Teaching Assistant (to graduate students) for the Course of Multiphysiscs Modeling (ESEL 677 002, 26231),                          ECE Department, Rice University, held by Prof. Alessandro Alabastri (3 credit hours).

    2016                Teaching Assistant for the Course of Quantum Mechanics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, funded                          by the Italian Government (35 hrs.).

    2014 – 2015    Teaching Assistant (to undergraduate students) for the Course of Quantum Mechanics, University of                                      Modena and Reggio Emilia (70 hrs.). 

    Referee for the following journals:

    Physical Review B, ACS Nano, Nature Physics, Nanoscale, Physical Review X, Chemical Communications, Chemical Physics Letters, Sensors, Coatings, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids.

    Publons verified records: https://publons.com/a/1582985

    Brief description of research activity:

        My research activity focused on the introduction, development and implementation of original microscopic approaches specifically designed to quantify the plasmonic character of optical excitations in (small) nanostructures. They provide simple and physically sound tools for the identification of plasmon-like excitations, starting from the simulations of the optical properties of nanosystems. This involved both the reformulation at the microscopic level of existing concepts, such as the plasmonic electric field enhancement [1], and the introduction of new descriptors, based on rigorous theoretical derivations, called plasmonicity indexes [3,4]. Such approaches have been implemented in atomistic first principles methods based on time-dependent density-functional theory [3], spherical jellium descriptions of nanoparticles, and Classical Electrodynamics [4]. They have been applied to analyze the plasmonic behavior of metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles, prototypical C-based molecules, paradigmatic hybrid systems, as well as nanospheres described within the jellium model and larger nanoparticles modeled through classical electrodynamics [3,4].
        The excited-states decay dynamics of molecular plasmons in selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, both in their charged and neutral configurations, have been probed – with special emphasis on de-excitation pathways – and their collective character have been theoretically investigated [5].
        By exploiting the distinct polarization properties of evanescent waves, large modulation of the scattering from gold half-ring and pinwheel nanoantennas excited through total internal reflection of left- and right-handed circularly polarized light have been produced [6]. The polarization properties of evanescent waves were shown to be required for observing intense polarization-dependent responses. This result provides a fundamentally different mechanism for chiroptical responses requiring a phase delay between transverse and longitudinal electric field oscillations, not found in free-space light, whereas traditional mechanisms of circular dichroism only require structural sensitivity to a relative phase difference between transverse-field oscillations [6].
        Through careful analysis of the colloidal synthesis of Al NCs through EPR and 1H NMR spectroscopies, a mechanism for the reactions by which titanium(IV) isopropoxide Ti(OiPr)4 mediates the polymerization of AlH3 into Al NCs has been elucidated. AlH3 is a single-source precursor for Al metal with hydride oxidation into H2, catalyzed by Ti3+(OiPr)3, providing the electrons required to produce metallic Al clusters. These clusters are colloidally unstable and coalesce and grow until they reach sufficiently large size to become colloidally stable. This essentially demonstrates a method to tune the size of metallic aluminum NCs over a 100 nm range by changing the reaction solvent [7]. 

    Selected international conferences:

    • Jul. 2018: L. Bursi, R. Zhang, K. D. Chapkin, A. Alabastri, N. J. Halas, P. Nordlander.
      Universal metric for “plasmonicity” of excitations at the nanoscale.
      Plasmonics and Nanophotonics Gordon Research Conference
      Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River, Newry, ME, USA. Poster Presentation.

    • Aug. 2017: L. Bursi, A. Calzolari, S. Corni, E. Molinari, P. Nordlander.
      Towards quantitative Quantum Nanoplasmonics.
      Smalley-Curl Institute 3rd Annual Summer Research Colloquium
      Smalley-Curl Institute, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA. Oral Presentation.

    • Aug. 2016: L. Bursi, A. Calzolari, S. Corni, E. Molinari.
      Quantifying the plasmonic character of optical excitations in nanostructures.
      Quantum Plasmonics (QUPLA) Workshop
      Imperial College London, Royal School of Mines, South Kensington, London, UK. Poster Presentation.

    • Jul. 2016: L. Bursi, A. Calzolari, S. Corni, E. Molinari.
      Towards a quantitative description of the plasmonic character of optical excitations in nanostructures.
      META 2016, the 7th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics,
      Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain. Oral Presentation.