I am an industrial chemist, working since twenty years on the production and characterization of nano-materials. I started my studies in this field during my Ph.D., using different techniques of scanning probe microscopy to correlate the electrical and structural characterization of materials at the nanoscale. With a combination of experimental and modelling work, I used scanning probe microscopy to visualize the generation and transport of charges in different types of organic nanostructures. This work was awarded in 2006 by the Italian Society for Microscopic Sciences.
Since 2004, I expanded my activities to the production of nano-materials in solution, using new approaches based on supramolecular chemistry, electrostatic interactions and solvent annealing. Thanks to this work I received in 2012 an award of the federation of the European Material Societies (FEMS), given to selected young materials scientist who contributed significantly to emerging topics of materials science.
In 2008 (after an inspiring talk of A. Geim, future Nobel Laureate) I began to study graphene chemistry, developing new methods to produce and functionalize this exceptional material. I described in different works the interaction of graphene and graphene oxide with small molecules, polymers or living cells by a combination of microscopic, spectroscopic and modelling techniques.
This work was awarded by the Italian Society of Chemistry (SCI) with the 1st prize for young scientists in materials science.
In last years I have been involved in science management, coordinating different EU science projects and working within the Graphene Flagship project, first as work package leader, then as vice-director of the flagship.
Beyond scientific research, I have a strong passion for science dissemination, giving seminars, publishing books and articles for the general public on the interplay between Science and History.
MAIN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TOPICS
|SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY FOR ORGANIC ELECTRONICS
Develop innovative techniques to assemble small molecules and polymers using weak, reversible interactions, to obtain hierarchical functional materials for energy conversion and microelectronics applications.
Produce innovative graphene-organic hybrids for optoelectronics, energy storage or mechanics, using covalent and supramolecular functionalization of graphene. In particular, use the high affinity of organic dyes and semiconducting polymers with graphene to obtain solutions, transistors or sensors.
|ELECTROCHEMISTRY FOR GRAPHENE PRODUCTION AND FUNCTIONALIZATION
Study the use electric fields to exfoliate graphene and process it into thin layers and foams. Main applications in energy storage, composites and catalysis.
Also, use SPM to measure and modify the electrochemical properties of 2D sheet at the nanoscale.
Find new techniques for the electrical and structural characterization of organic materials at the nanoscale using Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM). In particular, use electrostatic interactions in Kelvin Probe-SPM to map quantitatively charge generation and charge transport in organic materials with lateral resolution below 10 nm and potential resolution below 1 mV.
|COMPOSITES FOR MECHANICAL AND BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS
Study the interaction of 2D nano-objects such as graphene and graphene oxide with biological polymers and human cells. In particular, study the effect of sheet lateral size on biotoxicity and the mechanical improvement of biopolymers using graphene oxide.
Total ISI publications =125 (of which 7 Advanced Materials, 6 Advanced Functional Materials, 6 Journal of Materials Chemistry, 6 JACS, 2 Nanoscale, 1 Accounts Of Chemical Research, 1 Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 1 Nature Materials...)
Total citations >2800
2003, E-MRS conference, Strasbourg, “Graduate Student Award”.
2005, 8th European Conference on Molecular electronics, Best Ph. D. Thesis.
2006, Italian Society for Microscopical Sciences (S.I.S.M.), 1st prize young scientist in materials science.
2012, FEMS LECTURER AWARD
Prize awarded by the Federation of the European Material Societies (FEMS) to selected young materials scientists who have contributed significantly to a recently emerging topic of materials science and engineering to lecture throughout Europe as “ambassadors” of the materials community. The lectures serve two purposes: (i) to disseminate knowledge on important subjects; and (ii) expose the work of young researchers in Europe.
2013, Research Award of the Italian Society of Chemistry (SCI)
Prize awarded to an emerging scientist by the SCI Division of Organic Chemistry, for brilliant results obtained in the past years.
2003, Premio “Coop for Words” per racconti brevi.
2003, Premio “Il calice e la Spada” per racconti brevi.
2004, Premio “Coop for Words” per racconti brevi.
2003, Premio “Racconti di...vini” per racconti brevi.