Ibon Santiago

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Ibon Santiago

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Ibon Santiago obtained his Physics degree at the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao) in 2008. He was a visiting student at the University of Texas at Austin and worked at the accelerator physics department at CERN prior to joining MIT. He then researched on experimental realizations of mixtures of ultracold quantum gases at the Center for Ultracold Atoms, while at MIT. He also specialised in Biological Physics completing the MIT Biophysics Graduate Program.

Ibon completed his DPhil in the Turberfield lab using DNA as a building block to create responsive self-assembled nano devices with the tools of DNA nanotechnology. He studies active matter at the nanoscale and ways in which DNA can be used to control motility of self-propelled devices. He is also developing together with the Soft Matter Photonics Group, DNA 2D surfaces to improve Liquid Crystal Devices.

A physical theory of the biological world requires that we quantitavely understand Active matter. These are systems that are maintained out-of-equilibrium and are capable of sustained motion, while they consume energy from their environment.

Molecular motors (kinesin, myosin, etc.) are examples of active matter at the nanoscale that convert ATP into mechanical energy in an environment dominated by thermal fluctuations and viscous forces. What are the physical constraints we have to overcome to manufacture devices of comparable complexity?
From first principles, we make use of simple building blocks, such as nanoparticles, enzymes and nucleic acids in order to self-assemble nanodevices capable of mimicking molecular motors, the workhorses of cells. With the tools of DNA nanotechnology we can self-assemble nanostructures from bottom-up (DNA Origami) and functionalise site-specifically these nanostructures with nanomotors. We use catalytic nanoparticles, as well as enzymes to help reach propulsion that goes beyond diffusion.

DNA self-assembled nanodevice

Please contact ibon.santiago@physics.ox.ac.uk for more information.

Mixtures of Ultracold Quantum Gases

Experimental setup of Fermi1. Two independent Zeeman slowers yield high flux of 6Li and K allowing simultaneous loading and trapping in a UHV chamber of three atomic species: fermonic 6Li, 40K and bosonic 41K

More info:
LiNaK : multi-species apparatus for the study of ultracold quantum degenerate mixtures by Ibon Santiago

Strongly Interacting Isotopic Bose-Fermi Mixture Immersed in a Fermi Sea
In the experiment Fermi1 at MIT, we created a triply quantum degenerate mixture of bosonic 41K and two fermionic species, 40K and 6Li. The boson proved to be an efficient coolant for the two fermions, giving a versatile instrument for the observation of fermionic superfluids with imbalanced masses.
PRA 84 (Rapid), 011601(R) (2011), arXiv:1103.4630

Absorption images of triply degenerate quantum gases. from arXiv:1103.4630

Bose-Fermi mixture of Na-K with widely tunable interactions
Using Fermi1, we created a quantum degenerate Bose-Fermi mixture of 23Na and 40K with widely tunable interactions via broad interspecies Feshbach resonances. This paved the way for creating ultracold fermionic molecules of 23Na-40K, which in their ground state can form a Fermi sea with strong, long-range dipolar interactions.
Phys. Rev. A 85, 051602(Rapid) (2012), arXiv:1110.4552

Ibon obtained the MIT Kaufman Teaching Certificate in 2012. He served as Teaching assistant at the MIT Physics Department.

He was assistant to Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle and Prof. Martin Zwierlein
for the courses:
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics II (8.422) Spring 2011
Classical Mechanics (8.012) Fall 2009

Ibon has demonstrated the Biophysics Practicals at the University of Oxford (TT2013, MT2014 and TT2014).
He has lectured Biophysics at the Doctoral Training Centre (TT2014).
He tutors Biophysics and Fluid, Flows & Complexity for Lady Margaret Hall and Wadham College (HT2016,2017)
He tutors Thermal and Statistical Physics at Hertford College (MT2016,HT2017, TT 2017)