The research activity covers the study of atomic-scale phenomena both from the structural and dynamical point of view. The aim is to complement experiment by providing a realistic description of the mechanisms occurring on the atomic and nanometer scale. This is achieved by accurately accounting for the interactions between atoms within a quantum mechanical description of the electronic structure, based on density functional theory. Such approaches, sustained by high performance computers, permit the visualization of atomic processes, acting as genuine microscopes. With the advent of nanotechnologies, the spread of these techniques is nowadays growing worldwide, reaching research areas in physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science. Specific research projects concern the study of disordered materials and of oxide-semiconductor interfaces, which currently find applications in glass manufacturing and in microelectronic technology, respectively.