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Assistant Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University Belfast

Dr Elton Santos was educated at Harvard University and Stanford University where he was an advanced graduate student and postdoc. He obtained his initial training in materials science with honour from the Danish Technical University and the University of the Basque Country where he received a European M.Sc. (2008) and a European Ph.D. (2011) in nanoscience and theoretical condensed matter physics, respectively.

Dr. Santos' research interests span a range of topics in the physics and chemistry of solids and molecules and the use and development of first-principles simulations to address problems such as: the electronic and optical properties of crystalline materials and their dependence on the atomic structure, chemical composition and applied external driving forces (e.g. strain, electric fields, temperature, etc.); photochemistry and light-driven chemical reactions; the nature of electronic states, dielectric properties and epitaxial relationships of 2D-nanomaterials, in particular studying the interactions between organic crystals and heterostructures; the microscopic control of graphene nanopores for DNA sequencing. Recent applications of the computational models that he developed focus on discovering new materials and processes for solar energy conversion and energy fuel storage, for instance in photocatalysis and photovoltaics.


  • 2015–present
    Assistant Professor, Queen's University
  • 2015–2017
    Visiting associate scientist , Slac National Lab, Stanford University
  • 2013–2015
    Associate research scientist, Stanford University
  • 2011–2013
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Harvard University
  • 2006–2011
    Research assistant, University of Basque Country