Ignacio joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Rochester in July, 2013. Ignacio received his B.Sc. in chemistry from the National University of Colombia in 2001. In 2002, after completing the diploma program in condensed matter physics at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, he moved to the University of Toronto to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical chemical physics under the guidance of Paul Brumer. Ignacio’s Ph.D. work was in the field of Quantum Control and focused on investigating the use of lasers to induce ultrafast controllable currents along nanoscale junctions. In 2008 he joined Northwestern as a postdoctoral fellow in the groups of Mark A. Ratner and George C. Schatz where he worked on the theory and simulation of single-molecule pulling experiments. He then moved to Berlin to take a position as group leader and Humboldt research fellow in the Theory Department of the Fritz Haber Institute in 2011, where he worked on electronic decoherence processes in molecules.
Research in the Franco group focuses on theory and computation as it applies to dynamical processes occurring at the nanoscale. We are particularly interested in new methods to probe and control the behavior of matter by means of external stimuli, a topic that we like to refer to as “Molecules Under Stress”. We tackle emerging problems at the interface between Chemistry, Physics and Nanoscience.
Problems that are currently of interest in our group include:
Laser control of electronic properties and dynamics
Electronic decoherence in molecules
Theory and simulation of single-molecule pulling processes
Novel spectroscopies and control in single-molecule junctions
Pirrotta, A., Solomon, G.C., and Franco, I. “Hydrogen-bonding in tight environments: simulated force spectroscopy of nanoconfined hydrogen bonded complexes” J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120, 19470.
Kar, A., Chen, L., Franco, I. “Understanding the fundamental connection between electronic correlation and decoherence” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016, 7, 1616.