Category Archives: Reports

8th School and Workshop on Time-Dependent Density-Functional Theory: Prospects and Applications

August 20th-31st, 2018
Benasque Center for Science “Pedro Pascual”, Benasque, Spain

Organizers: Angel Rubio, Eberhard K. U. Gross, Miguel A. L. Marques, Neepa Maitra, Alberto Castro

There are many alternative schemes to approach the time-dependent, out-of-equilibrium, many-electron problem. Time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) has a significant “market share” due to the same reasons that make conventional ground state density-functional theory (DFT) a successful scheme: the fairly good predictive power at a moderate computational cost. As a consequence, its use has quickly grown, and its reliability for many purposes has been sanctioned by many applications and benchmarks over the years. As the computational resources increase, however, various alternatives such as advanced post-Hartree Fock multi-configuration schemes or many-body perturbation theory techniques can be applied to larger systems, and may provide more precise results. Newer and more intriguing possibilities, such as the direct solution of the many-electron Schrödinger equation with quantum computers, and the use of machine learning techniques for the prediction of many properties, appear also in the horizon. It is therefore necessary to review the capabilities and perspectives of TDDFT. This is the main goal of the Workshop, and of the School that we organized immediately before the Workshop.

This School+Workshop event is in fact a new iteration of a series dedicated to TDDFT, that started in 2004. It takes place every two years, a periodicity that we feel that is adequate to follow the advances in the topic. However, it always takes place in Europe, and there was a strong demand for a similar event taking place in the US, due to the difficulties in the travel, specially for students and young researchers. Fortunately, the demand was met in the last year by a similar event (a school on TDDFT followed by a workshop on first principles approaches to the electronic excited states problem) that took place in Telluride, Colorado. Part of the organizers of this event were also present in Benasque, and the goal is to periodically repeat the US event, also every two years if possible. It should be noted, also, that a similar event is being planned in Asia (Tsukuba, Japan), by Prof. K. Yabana.

You can read the full workshop report here.

Photoinduced Processes in Embedded Systems (PPES)

Organizers: Claudia Filippi (University of Twente, The Netherlands),  Filippo Lipparini (University of Pisa, Italy), Benedetta Mennucci (University of Pisa, Italy)

The scientific aim of the Psi-k workshop “Photoinduced Processes in Embedded Systems” was to bring together researchers from the physics, chemistry, and biophysics communities working on the computational study of photo-physical processes in complex systems. Modelling such phenomena is challenging since they involve very different space and time scales, from the extremely fast, localized absorption of light to the collective, slow motions of the environment.

The workshop has focused on some of the most recent theoretical and algorithmic developments in the field such as:

  • DFT embedding for excited states
  • Hybrid QM/Classical approaches
  • Highly-correlated methods for excited-state dynamics
  • TDDFT outside the Franck-Condon region
  • Non-adiabatic dynamics

These methodological aspects have been framed in the context of realistic applications to materials and biosystems such as:

  • Natural photosynthetic systems
  • Photo-induced signal transduction in bio-systems
  • Bio-mimetic light-driven molecular devices
  • Photo-induced charge propagation in solar-energy devices

You can read the full workshop report here.

Emergence of surface and interface structure from friction, fracture and deformation

The workshop on Emergence of surface and interface structure from friction, fracture and deformation , held at CECAM HQ in Lausanne from 24-27th July 2018, considered the topographic, morphological and chemical structure of surfaces and interfaces that arises from mechanical processes and how this structure affect the mechanical behaviour of materials but cannot typically be systematically controlled. As well as Psi-k, the workshop received support from CECAM, the DFG and EPSRC.

You can read the full workshop report here.

8th International ABINIT Developer Workshop

Initiated in 2002, the series of ABINIT developer workshops are organized every two years (Louvain-la-Neuve 2002, Paris 2004, Liège 2007, Autrans 2009, Han-sur-Lesse 2011, Dinard 2013, Liège 2015) and plays an important role in the life of the ABINIT community. It is the occasion for the most active ABINIT developers — as well as a few expert users — and selected invitees, to gather and exchange information, and present recent developments. The future of ABINIT is also discussed, and recommendations are issued.

The workshop in Fréjus followed the spirit of preceding workshops and was particularly fruitful. This year, the number of participants reached 39 people. Workshop program, abstract and oral presentations (pdf) are permanently available on the website of the conference ( linked from
ABINIT website.

You can read the full workshop report here.

IWCE2018 — International Workshop on Computational Electrochemistry

IWCE2018, the International Workshop on Computational Electrochemistry,  was held from 9th to 12th of July 2018 at Aalto University, in the Helsinki metropolitan area (Finland).

The workshop consisted of a one-day tutorial with invited lectures followed by three days of scientific presentations and discussions. Information about the topics covered, the program and the invited speakers can be found on the workshop web site.

A detailed report of the workshop can be downloaded from here.

NOMAD Summer, a Hands-on Course on Tools for Novel Materials Discovery

The first NOMAD (Novel Materials Discovery) summer school, called NOMAD Summer, a Hands-on Course on Tools for Novel Materials Discovery was held from September 25 – 29, 2017, in Berlin, Germany. Being fully dedicated to data-driven research, it was the first of this kind world-wide and as such got a lot of attention. This workshop did not only demonstrate NOMAD’s achievements, but also taught the usage of the wide range of NOMAD tools, in order to take advantage of these developments and the large amount of data gathered by this project. The eight sessions were organized by topics, covering

  • Data repositories
  • NOMAD Encyclopedia
  • Advanced Graphics
  • High-throughput calculations & data quality
  • Data analytics (four sessions)

Each of the sessions started with talks, giving scientific insight and preparing the ground for the following hands-on sessions. The availability of on-site computing resources and many tutors ensured the best possible assistance for the attendees. The easy handling of the NOMAD tools was also strongly enhanced by relying on NOMAD’s concept for its infrastructure, which neither needs any installations or preparations on the clients’ computers, nor any other (even user-friendly) state of the art tool (like e.g. Jupyter notebooks).

Read the full workshop report here.

Meeting report: workshop and hands-on school on the full-potential linear muffin-tin orbital method and dynamical mean-field theory


Abruzzo is the wildest region of Italy, covered by several national and regional parks. The landscape is mostly mountainous and dominated by the Gran Sasso massif, hosting the highest peak of the peninsular Apennines. In this area one can find several medieval towns that attract tourists from all over Europe. Among those, Santo Stefano di Sessanio stands out as an ideal spot for a scientific meeting. It is located at 1250 meters above the sea level and offers a relatively fresh weather, with respect to the hot Italian summers. It is not easy to reach, but this is not a negative feature. Being far from any distraction makes it easier for researchers to focus on science, favoring exchange and collaborations. Finally, Santo Stefano is also located at a close distance from the Universities of L’Aquila, Chieti, Rome and Camerino, therefore easy to reach for local participants. In these settings, we held the “Workshop and hands-on school on the full-potential linear muffin-tin orbital method and dynamical mean-field theory”, from Monday, June 4th to Friday, June 8th. A total of 30 participants attended this event, leading to a very interesting discussion on various topics of computational physics. A brief overview of the scientific discussion is presented below, including also links to all available presentations. The most organic discussion was focused on spectroscopy, whose computational theory for solids has significantly advanced in the last few years. In parallel to the afternoon sessions, hands-on tutorials to learn the full-potential linear muffin-tin orbital code RSPt were held. Several students, as well as a few senior scientists, attended the tutorials. Non-scientific activities included an evening trip to Rocca Calascio on Tuesday, just after the end of the afternoon session. Rocca Calascio is a mountaintop fortress, which was also featured in the Hollywood movie Ladyhawk.

Continue reading Meeting report: workshop and hands-on school on the full-potential linear muffin-tin orbital method and dynamical mean-field theory

Many-body response functions in the Questaal code

Daresbury Laboratory, UK, 21-25 May 2018

Organizers: Mark van Schilfgaarde, Jerome Jackson, Martin Lueders, and Leon Petit

Splendid sunshine greeted the 29 participants of the second Daresbury Questaal school, which took place between 21 – 25 May 2018.  The focus for the school was the application of the all-electron, full-potential linearized-muffin-tin (LMTO) code Questaal ( to the calculation of response functions with many body perturbation theory and dynamical mean field theory.  The highlight of the school was providing a clear description of these methods alongside practical training in performing such advanced calculations for real material problems and experiments.  The school was sponsored by the CECAM Daresbury node, the UK’s CCP9 collaboration and the Psi-k network.

The aim of the school was to enable the participants to derive optical and magnetic responses of materials by training them in the relevant theories an instructing them in the operation of the different codes in the Questaal package.  The need for advanced theories for calculating response functions was made clear in a talk by Toby Perring (ISIS Neutron and Muon Source) who gave a detailed introduction into the capabilities and relative merits of modern neutron and x-ray scattering techniques. Continue reading Many-body response functions in the Questaal code

School on Electron-Phonon Physics from First Principles

School on Electron-Phonon Physics from First Principles

19-23 March 2018, Miramare, Trieste, Italy

From 19th to 23rd March 2018 the first school entirely devoted to first-principles calculations of electron-phonon interactions was held at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics on the Miramare seafront in Trieste. This school welcomed 72 participants from 28 countries, and 14 staff members among lecturers, teaching assistants, and organizers. The event was sponsored jointly by the ICTP, the Psi-k organization, and the UK JC Maxwell Node of CECAM.

The purpose of this school was to offer training into ab initio calculations of many properties relating to the electron-phonon interaction, with a focus on  applications in condensed matter physics, materials physics, and nanoscience. As the accuracy, efficiency, and predictive power of ab initio computational methods keep improving steadily, calculations of electron-phonon interactions are becoming more accessible, and the number of groups moving into this field has been increasing rapidly during the last five years. Furthermore, as materials genomics and  high-throughput materials discovery expand towards ever more realistic calculations  of materials at finite temperature, it is expected that this field will continue  to grow and will eventually become a core component of materials design. In this broad context  it was felt that the time was ripe for introducing advanced training courses on  electron-phonon physics and the most recent ab initio approaches in this area. Continue reading School on Electron-Phonon Physics from First Principles

Workshop on Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Photoinduced Electronic Excitations

From the 8th to the 12th May, over 100 scientists from over 30 countries have gathered at the Abdus Salam ICTP in Trieste, Italy, to attend the Workshop on Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Photoinduced Electronic Excitations. This workshop had the goal to put together experts in investigation of photoinduced electronic excitations in real materials. This field has experienced tremendous progress recently, mainly thanks to developments in experimental techniques, like ultrafast spectroscopy, and in theoretical methods, like many-body perturbation theory and time-dependent density functional theory. Processes of interest include photoabsorption, exciton dynamics, and charge transfer. These issues are of interest for fundamental research, but are also relevant for applications in photovoltaics, optoelectronics, and photocatalysis. The workshop consisted of lectures from leading experts in both theoretical and experimental research, and seminars on career development. Continue reading Workshop on Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Photoinduced Electronic Excitations