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Erice Schools

spectroscopy group - department of physics - boston college


Director: Prof. Baldassare Di Bartolo


The purpose of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy is two-fold:

  1. To bring the workers in spectroscopy and related disciplines up to date on the new experimental and theoretical developments in this field of research, and
  2. To create an opportunity for the researchers in the various subfields of spectroscopy to discuss their problems in an interdisciplinary framework.

Spectroscopic investigations are concerned with phenomena observed when the radiation from a source, separated into its various wavelengths, is made to interact with the constituents of a physical system. Through the examination of particular spectra, the identification of known molecular species can be carried out; by means of spectroscopy it has been possible, for example, to identify the presence of chemical elements in distant stars.

More basic applications of the science of spectroscopy have produced a better understanding of atomic and molecular structures and of such phenomena as luminescence. Rotational, vibrational and electronic states of molecules continue to be subjects of investigation; also the important field of energy transfer between the different degrees of freedom in molecules is an object of study.

In solids, spectroscopic investigations are directed to uncover the interrelation of absorption and emission properties with the location of the constituents and the crystalline symmetry. Studies of impurity spectra have shown the usefulness of spectral data in providing information about the spectra of such collective excitations of solids as phonons and magnons. Also, on the basis of purely spectroscopic data it is possible to predict the feasibility and efficiency of solid state systems as possible laser materials.

The technique of flash photolysis has extended the usage of spectroscopy to the excited states of gases, liquids and solids with the measurement of transitions not allowed from the ground state. When used to check the evolution of a reaction, this technique has uncovered the presence of transient species, often not seen before, and existing only under particular experimental conditions.

"Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture



Erice, Italy; July 30 -August 5, 2014

Purpose of the Meeting:

Modern and innovative applications of inorganic luminescent materials currently include photo-voltaics, high resolution imaging in Biology and Medicine, high efficiency and quality lighting, state-of-the-art smart displays, nano-thermometers and many other items. These applications are in general based on the luminescence of dopant inorganic ions embedded in an inorganic or organic-inorganic host, but require the exploitation of complex phenomena implying the conversion of excitation energy in the emission of photons with desired frequency (or range of frequencies). For this reason, sophisticated mechanisms leading to tailored emission have been thoroughly investigated and/or revisited in recent years, ranging from quantum cutting, down-conversion, downshifting, up-conversion to new charge and energy transfer processes, and have been applied to an increasingly complex array of host materials, such as nano-particles, organic inorganic hybrids and thin films.

The scope of the workshop is to present and discuss recent research activities and achievements in this exciting and stimulating scientific area.

In addition to pursuing the merely scientific goals, the meeting will aim at designing initiatives that foster a closer collaboration between industrial and academic researchers and finding ways by which we may create a greater awareness on the part of faculty advisors of the great potential of luminescence spectroscopy as a theme for scientific education of graduate and undergraduate students.

The participants should plan to arrive the afternoon of July 30 and leave the morning of August 5.

No financial assistance will be available for any participant. Board and lodging for the period of the meeting will cost 750 euros that the participants will pay to the Ettore Majorana Center in Erice.

The meeting is limited to a rather small number of invited participants.

Invited Participants

  1. Giuseppe Baldacchini, Grottaferrata (Roma), ITALY
    Thermoluminescence, color centers and impurities in LiF crystals.
  2. Oracio Barbosa-Garcia, Ctr de Investigaciones en Óptica, Leon,Gto, MEXICO
    Organic solar cells and some trends to improve their power conversion efficiency
  3. Marco Bettinelli, Università di Verona, Verona, ITALY
    Luminescence spectroscopy of new coordination compounds containing trivalent lanthanide ions
  4. Georges Boulon, Université Claude Bernard- Lyon I, Villeurbanne, FRANCE
    Analysis of the distribution of Yb3+ ions in oxide solids
  5. Philippe Boutinaud, Clermont Université, Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE
    Bismuth and vanadium: what else?
  6. John A. Capobianco, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, CANADA
    Spectral modifications and DFT calculations of Foscan A second generation photosensitizer: activated using upconverting nano-particles
  7. Maura Cesaria, Università del Salento, Lecce, ITALY
    Realistic absorption coefficient of ultrathin films: algorithm, experimental procedure and applications
  8. John Collins, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, USA
    Ultrafast spectroscopy of inorganic luminescent materials: What can we learn?
  9. Baldassare Di Bartolo, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA
    White light emission by un-doped and transitional-metal doped oxides
  10. Pieter Dorenbos, Delft University of Technology, Delft, THE NETHERLANDS
    How the electron binding energy in lanthanide and transition metal impurity levels and related opto-electronic properties change with type of inorganic compound.
  11. Hans Güdel, University of Bern, Bern, SWITZERLAND
    Upconversion outside the mainstream.
  12. Małgorzata Guzik, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, POLAND
    Rare earth-doped tungstate and molybdate-based optical materials of cubic structure.
  13. Xiaogang Liu, National University of Singapore, SINGAPORE
    Lanthanide Doping in Nanoparticles: New Opportunities for Bioimaging.
  14. Andries Meijerink, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, THE NETHERLANDS
    Understanding luminescence quenchin.
  15. Martin Nikl, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague
    Eu2+ -doped ALnS2 (A=Na,K, Cs; Ln= Lu,Y,Gd) sulfides - new class of tunable-color phosphors for solid state lighting.
  16. Gonul Ozen, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, TURKEY
    Properties of erbium doped cadmium-niobate powders.
  17. Markus Pollnau, University of Twente, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
    Fast luminescence quenching and its impact on decay curves, pump absorption, optical gain, and lasing.
  18. Alok Srivastava, GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY, USA
    Optical properties of Pr 3+ in solids.
  19. Wieslaw Strek, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, POLAND
    White emission in graphene ceramics.
  20. Rafael Valiente, University of Cantabria, Santander, SPAIN
    Spectroscopic properties of transition metal ions with tetrahedral symmetry.
  21. Anna Vedda, Università di Milano Bicocca, Milano, ITALY
    Multifunctional role of rare-earth doping in nanosized Hf-based phosphors.
  22. Brian Walsh, NASA Langley Research Center MS474, Hampton, VA, USA
    Mid infrared lasers for remote sensing applications.
  23. Gary Ka-Leung Wong, Hong Kong Baptist University, HONG KONG
    Multi-functional lanthanide systems for biological applications - Imaging and inhibition of tumor.
  24. Jingwen Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology. Harbin, P. R. of CHINA
    Random lasing and weak localization of light in normally transparent gain media.
  25. Eugeniusz Zych, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, POLAND
    New emission in old phosphor. The case of SrS:Ce.
Secretary of the Workshop

Antonino La Francesca, Medfield, MA, USA

Directors of the Workshop

Baldassare Di Bartolo and Marco Bettinelli

Director of the School

Baldassare Di Bartolo

Director of the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture

Antonino Zichichi


Interested participants should send a letter to the Director of the School:

Professor Baldassare Di Bartolo
Department of Physics – Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA

Additional information about the school can be found at:

Applications can be done by e-mail or by regular mail. The applicants should provide the following information:

i) Date and place of birth, together with their present nationality,
ii) Degree and other academic qualifications,
iii) Present position, place of work, and current research activities,
iv) A letter of recommendation from their research group leader or from a senior scientist active in the field
v) A list of graduate courses attended (if the applicant is a graduate student)

The total fee, covering full board and lodging, arranged by the School, is 1,600 Euros. The sponsorship received will allow the support of some deserving students in need of financial assistance; this need must be specified and justified in the application.

The International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy organized past advanced study institutes and workshops on the following subjects:

  • 2013 – Nano-Structures for Optics and Photonics
  • 2012 – Workshop on New Developments in Inorganic Luminescent Materials
  • 2011 – Nano-Optics for Enhancing Light-Matter Interactions on a Molecular Scale
  • 2010 – Workshop on Luminescence of Inorganic Materials and Bioimaging: Metal-to-Metal Energy and Electron Transfer
  • 2009 – Bio-Photonics: Spectroscopy, Imaging, Sensing, and Manipulation
  • 2008 – Workshop on Advances in Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 2007 – Frontier Developments in Optics and Spectroscopy
  • 2006 – Workshop on Advances in the Study of Luminescence Materials
  • 2005 – New Developments in Optics and Related Fields: Modern Techniques, Materials and Applications
  • 2004 – Workshop on Advances in Luminescence Research
  • 2003 – Frontiers of Optical Spectroscopy. The book, sponsored by NATO, has been published by Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • 2002 – Workshop on the Status and Prospects of Luminescence Research
  • 2001 – Spectroscopy of Systems with Spatially Confined Structures
  • 2000 – Workshop on Advanced Topics in Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1999 – Advances in Energy Transfer Processes
  • 1998 – Workshop on Advances in Solid State Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1997 – Ultrafast Dynamics of Quantum Systems: Physical Processes and Spectroscopic Techniques
  • 1996 – Workshop on Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1995 – Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Collective Excitations in Solids
  • 1993 – Nonlinear Spectroscopy of Solids: Advances and Applications
  • 1991 – Optical Properties of Excited States in Solids
  • 1989 – Advances in Nonradiative Processes
  • 1987 – Disordered Solids: Structures and Processes
  • 1985 – Spectroscopy of Solid-State Laser-Type Materials
  • 1983 – Energy Transfer Processes in Condensed Matter
  • 1981 – Collective Excitations in Solids
  • 1979 – Radiationless Processes
  • 1977 – Luminescence of Inorganic Solids
  • 1975 – The Spectroscopy of the Excited State
  • 1974 – Optical Properties of Ions in Solids.


These events have taken place in Erice, Italy at the "Centro di Cultura Scientifica Ettore Majorana." (CCSEM). For a list of other Institutes offered by the CCSEM see:


Court yard of San Rocco Hall, by the Dining Hall and the Computer Room