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Personal profile


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. 

He was awarded the highly prestigious and competitive SEAS Fellowship from the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University to perform postdoctoral research in computational materials science in energy and functional materials. In particular, he had focused on four main areas:  i) method development for the real-time simulation of electron-hole dynamics in energy materials; ii) the simulation of dielectric and optical response properties of vdW compounds, and iii) new ways to control magnetic order using no magnetic-field means. His research at Harvard has been awarded three different prizes from the American Physical Society (APS), which include the 2012, and 2013 APS March Meeting Image Gallery Awards, and the 2013 APS March Meeting Cover Award. The latter has appeared worldwide in the promotion of the APS 2013 March Meeting in Baltimore, MD. 

He moved to Stanford University in 2013 to be named SunCat Research Fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering and SLAC National Laboratory.  The focus of his research at Stanford had been on i) the study of photocatalysis and photoreaction using in-silico search for new catalysts and energy materials; ii) modeling of graphene growth experiments in collaboration with Honda Research Laboratories; and iii) investigation of heterointerfaces based on organic and inorganic semiconductors for device and electronic applications. He was awarded the 2014 Interfolio Scholar Gallery Prize from Interfolio Inc., and the 2015 Stanford MRS Gallery for his multiscale simulations on the interplay between defects and strain on energy materials. Dr. Santos is part of the editorial board of Graphene journal. 

He was appointed as a Lecturer at the School of Maths and Physics in 2015 at Queen's University. At Queen's, he is a group leader on energy materials with focus on method development, multi-scale approaches, magnetism and nanoelectronics. He leads a research group with 6 PhD students, 2 MSc students and 1 postdoc funded externaly by research councils from UK (EPSRC, DfE), EU (Marie-Currie-COFUND) and USA (NSF). He was elected a Queen's Fellow in 2015. Further details are on our research group website.



Research Interests

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.); nano magnetism and spin ordering; the nature of electronic states, dielectric properties and epitaxial relationships of 2D-nanomaterials, in particular studying the interactions between organic crystals and heterostructures. Recent applications of the computational models that he developed focus on discovering new materials and processes for solar energy conversion, 2D crystals, vdW junctions, and strongly correlated systems. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Elton Santos is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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graphene Physics & Astronomy
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electronics Physics & Astronomy
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2007 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

Approaching the Intrinsic Limit in Transition Metal Diselenides via Point Defect Control

Edelberg, D., Rhodes, D., Kerelsky, A., Kim, B., Wang, J., Zangiabadi, A., Kim, C., Abhinandan, A., Ardelean, J., Scullion, D., Embon, L., Zu, R., Santos, E. J. G., Balicas, L., Marianetti, C., Barmak, K., Zhu, X., Hone, J. & Pasupathy, A. N., 05 Jun 2019, In : Nano Letters.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Point defects
point defects
Transition metals
transition metals

Criticality, anisotropy and dimensionality in the van der Waals ferromagnet CrI3

Navarro-Moratalla, E., Augustin, M., Abdul Wahab, D., Vera Marun, I., Novoselov, K., Evans, R. F. L. & Santos, E. J. G., 2019, In : APS March Meeting 2019. 64, 2

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

crystal optics

Exfoliation of Centimetre-sized Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayers

Velický, M., Hendren, W., Scullion, D., Santos, E., Bowman, R. & Huang, F., 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Fabricating and strongly coupling graphene quantum dots in plasmonic nanocavities

Katzen, J., Tserkezis, C., Cai, Q., Chen, Y., Hua Li, L., Santos, E. & Huang, F., 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

4 Citations (Scopus)

High thermal conductivity of high-quality monolayer boron nitride and its thermal expansion

Cai, Q., Scullion, D., Gan, W., Falin, A., Zhang, S., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Chen, Y., Santos, E. J. G. & Li, L. H., 07 Jun 2019, In : Science Advances. 5, 6, 8 p., eaav0129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
boron nitrides
thermal expansion
thermal conductivity
electrical insulation

Activities 2019 2019

  • 1 Oral presentation

Nanopolaritons of single graphene quantum dots

Fumin Huang (Speaker), Joel Katzen (Contributor), Christos Tserkezis (Contributor), Qiran Cai (Contributor), Lu Hua Li (Contributor), Jun Min Kim (Contributor), Gaehang Lee (Contributor), Gi-Ra Yi (Contributor), William Hendren (Contributor), Elton Santos (Contributor), Robert Bowman (Contributor)
24 Sep 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation