I am interested in the study of structural, electronic, optical and transport properties of isolated and assembled nanostructures with the aim of developing capability to design and realize novel systems and materials with nano-engineered properties.
I am full professor in Physics of Matter at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Since 2000 I have been working on nanostructured carbon-based systems such as cluster-assembled carbon films, nanotubes and carbon atomic wires. Since 2004 I have been working on the fabrication and characterization of nanostructured films and surfaces of metal oxides and semiconductors for catalysis, biotechnology, gas sensing and energy applications (photovoltaics, thermoelectrics and water splitting). In particular, I work on material synthesis by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and on material characterization by inelastic light scattering (Raman and surface enhanced Raman scattering - SERS) and scanning probe techniques such as scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).
In 2016 I got an ERC Consolidator Grant (https://erc.europa.eu/
) for the 5-years project (2017-2022) EspLORE – Extending the Science Perspectives of Linear wires Of carbon from fundamental Research to Emerging materials, funded with about € 2.000.000. The project EspLORE aims at developing novel functional carbon coatings, films and nanocomposites based on sp-hybridized carbon-atom wires to fill the existing gap between fundamental science and engineering (www.esplore.polimi.it
). In 2019 I got an ERC Proof-of-Concept grant for the project PROTECHT which is aimed at exploiting EspLORE research outputs for possible business opportunities. PROTECHT results led to a patent filing. In 2021, with the team ENIGMA I won the Switch2Product innovation prize by PoliHub.