The Scientific
Group (Moments with Collaborators and Friends)



 Maria Helena Braga

Assistant Professor (Engineering Physics Department, Universidade do Porto - FEUP)

Physicist, Solid State and Materials Science

Doctor, Materials Science and Metallurgy

Her main interests include experimental characterization and computational modeling of materials' properties, namely batteries' materials and metal hydrides.

The experimental techniques include synthesis and characterization by means of neutron and x-ray scattering (spectroscopy and diffraction), performing Rietveld refinement and pair distribution function (PDF) and other characterization techniques like ionic and electrical conductivity measurements, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), etc.

The computational modeling includes density function theory (DFT), phonon, molecular dynamics, electrical and mechanical properties, and phase field calculations. Including thermodynamic and phase diagram modeling.

2008-2011 was Research Scholar and Long Term Visiting Staff Member at the Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center (LANSCE, LANL, USA.

Training highlights, among more than 45 training courses

Complete training courses, at LANL, including radiation, chemical, hydrogen work, etc.

LANSCE 2007 Neutron Scattering School on Hydrogen in Materials - Los Alamos, NM, EUA, from 12th - 20th Jul., with the duration of 60 hours. This course was sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy.

SDPD Internet Course on: Advanced Studies in Structure Determination by Powder Diffractometry, given by University of Maine, Le Mains, France, under the orientation of the Profs. Armel Le Bail, Yvon Laligant and Alain Jouanneaux, from  2001-2003.

Scientific Practical Training on the ambit of the PhD work, on the Laboratory of Thermodynamics and Metallurgical Physical-Chemistry of the Polytechnic National Institute of Grenoble (France), under the orientation of the late Prof. Ibrahim (Himo) N. Ansara - “Directeur de Recherche C.N.R.S.”, during 6 months.

 Joana Espain Oliveira

Assistant Professor (Engineering Physics Department, Universidade do Porto - FEUP)


Doctor, Physics

Her mains interests include theoretical physics, computational physics. Cosmology and Material Sciences. Scalar fields in cosmology and material science.

Phase field models for interface dynamics in material systems; dynamics of immiscible liquids formed at miscibility gap of lead free solders materials; topological defect networks in liquid crystals;
viscoelastic microfuidics

Testing fundamental physics in the early universe; the evolution and consequences of defect networks and their role as dark energy candidates; dark energy toy models associated with the variation of fundamental parameters of nature.

Sandra Regina Costa

Engineering Physics Department


Manages our projects. How lucky we are!