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Results: 4

Elisabetta Comini

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: experimental physics

Keywords: electronics, innovation, materials, metal oxides, nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanotechnologies, optics, sensors

Region: Lombardy


Full professor and Head of the SENSOR laboratory at University of Brescia

Professional career

After achieving her degree in Experimental Physics in 1996 at the University of Pisa, she has been a Ph.D. student in Materials for Engineering at the University of Brescia. She was awarded with her Ph.D. degree in 2000. From 1999 to 2001 she was employed as a technologist at INFM (National Institute of Physics of Matter). Since 2001 she has been a researcher in Physics of Matter at the University of Brescia, where she later became associate professor and then full professor of Experimental Physics of Matter.

Scientific results

Elisabetta Comini specialises in studying the growth of metal oxides, in particular nanowires, and in measuring their electronic, functional and structural properties. She is responsible for the research line on "Metal oxide nanocrystalline quasi-1D structures" at the SENSOR laboratory (University of Brescia and National Institute of Optics). The aim of the SENSOR lab is to design and develop new materials and manufacturing processes to realise devices and systems for functional applications. The laboratory is dedicated to research in the fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), nanomedicine, food and safety. One of the laboratory's most advanced research areas is the one directed by Elisabetta Comini, which deals with quasi-one-dimensional oxide nanostructures: 1-D crystalline nanostructures are now emerging as the basis for next-generation electronics and nanoscale optoelectronic devices with superior performance. 

Editorial work and publications

Elisabetta Comini has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed papers.

Selected publications:

(2019) Nunez-Carmona E,  Bertuna A, Abbatangelo M, Sberveglieri V, Comini E, Sberveglieri G. BC-MOS: The novel bacterial cellulose based MOS gas sensors MATERIALS LETTERS, 237 10.1016/j.matlet.2018.11.011

(2018) Zappa D, Galstyan V, Kaur N, Arachchige  HMMM, Sisman O, Comini E. Metal oxide -based heterostructures for gas sensors. A review ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA 1039, 10.1016/j.aca.2018.09.020.

(2016) Kaur N, Comini E, Zappa D, Poli N, Sberveglieri G. Nickel oxide nanowires: vapor liquid solid synthesis and integration into a gas sensing device. Nanotechnology, 27(20). 

(2015) Comini E, Galstyan V, Faglia G, Bontempi E, Sberveglieri G. Highly conductive titanium oxide nanotubes chemical sensors. Microporous and Mesoporus Materials, 208:165-170.

(2013) Comini E. Integration of Metal Oxide Nanowires in Flexible Gas Sensing Devices. Sensors-Basel, 13(8):10659-10673. 

(2009) Comini E, Baratto C, Faglia G, Ferroni M, Vomiero A, Sberveglieri G. Quasi-one dimensional metal oxide semiconductors: Preparation, characterization and application as chemical sensors. Progress in Materials Sciences, 54(1):1-67.

(2007) Vomiero A, Ferroni M, Comini E, Faglia G, Sberveglieri G. Preparation of radial and longitudinal nanosized heterostructures of In2O3 and SnO2. Nano Letters, 7(12):3553-3558.

(2006) Ponzoni A, Comini E, Sberveglieri G, Zhou J, Deng SZ, Xu NS, Ding Y, Wang ZL. Ultrasensitive and highly selective gas sensors using three-dimensional tungsten oxide nanowire networks. Applied Physics Letters, 88(20).

(2004) Comini E, Guidi V, Malagu C, Martinelli G, Pan Z, Sberveglieri G, Wang ZL, Electrical properties of tin dioxide two-dimensional nanostructures. Journal of Physical Chemestry B, 108 (6):1882-1887.

(2002) Comini E, Faglia G, Sberveglieri G, Pan ZW, Wang ZL. Stable and highly sensitive gas sensors based on semiconducting oxide nanobelts. Applied Physics Letters, 81(10):1869-1871.

Awards and prizes

In September 2005 she won the prize for the best presentation at the EUROSENSORS XIX conference in Barcelona. The following year, she won the same prize at the EUROSENSORS XX conference in Gothenburg. In 2010 she won the first place in Science as Art as part of the MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco. Two years later she won the Eurosensors fellow 2012, a leading conference for the sensor community.

Maria Lucia Curri

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: physical chemistry of materials

Keywords: environment, inorganic nanocrystals, nanomaterials for biomedicine, nanotechnologies, photocatalytic nanomaterials

Region: Apulia


Full Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”

Professional career

After graduating in Chemistry from the University of Bari in 1993, she continued her education with a PhD in Chemistry in 1996 and, between 1995 and 1996, she was a Research Assistant in the Department of Chemistry at University College London. From 1996 to 1998, back in Italy, she carried out a post-doctorate at the Centro Studi Chimico Fisici sull'Interazione Luce-Materia of the CNR, in Bari. Since 1999 she has been a researcher at the Centre for Chemical and Physical Studies on Light-Matter Interaction, the following year she became a permanent researcher and since 2010 she has been First Researcher at the Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes (IPCF) of the CNR in Bari. Since 2018 she is Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Bari.

Scientific results

Maria Lucia Curri is currently responsible for materials chemistry activities, aimed at designing, manufacturing and processing inorganic solids at the nanoscale, within the Institute for Physical Chemistry Processes in Bari. The institute carries out interdisciplinary research activities oriented towards exploitation, technology transfer and training in research fields such as soft matter, complex materials and systems, nanostructured composites, biomimetic systems, innovative methodologies and multidisciplinary applications. Maria Lucia Curri's main activities, carried out within the framework of national and international research projects, concern the synthesis of nanoparticles (i.e. particles formed by atomic or molecular aggregates with a diameter between 2 and 200 nanometres) with control over their shape, size and crystalline phase, in order to precisely regulate their chemical-physical properties and their functionalisation. In this sense, the study of the properties of manufactured colloidal nanoparticles is important in order to assess their potential use of nanostructured materials in the biomedical field, such as theragnostic systems for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, in energy conversion and in the environmental technology sector, for the abatement of pollutants and the creation of sensors. Of particular note are the results obtained in the field of environmental applications of nanostructured semiconductors by the European LIMPID project on "Nanocomposite materials for the photocatalytic degradation of pollutants", of which she was coordinator.

Editorial work and publications

She has been co-authoring more than 200 publications and over 180 papers on international peer-reviewed journals and a number of other publications, including 10 book chapters.

Here below a selection:

(2019) Truppi A., Petronella F., Margiotta V., Lasorella G., Giotta G., Giannini C., Sibillano T., Murgolo S., Mascolo G., Agostiano A., Curri M. L. , Comparelli R. Gram-scale synthesis of UV–vis light active plasmonic photocatalytic nanocomposite based on TiO2/Au nanorods for degradation of pollutants in water Applied Catalysis B, 243, 604-613.

(2016) Valente G, Depalo N, de Paola I, Iacobazzi RM, Denora N, Laquintana V, Comparelli R, Altamura E, Latronico T, Altomare M, Fanizza E, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Saviano M, Del Gatto A, Zaccaro L, Curri ML. Integrin Targeting with Peptide Bioconjugated to Semiconductor-Magnetic Nanocrystalline Heterostructures. Nano Research, 9:644-662.

(2015) Ingrosso C, Esposito Corcione C, Striani R, Comparelli R, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Curri ML, Frigione M. UV-curable Nanocomposite based on Methacrylic-Siloxane Resin and Surface modified-TiO2 Nanocrystals. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 7:15494-15505. 

(2014) Corricelli M, Depalo N, Di Carlo E, Fanizza E, Laquintana V, Denora N, Agostiano A, Striccoli M, Curri ML. Biotin-decorated silica coated PbS nanocrystals emitting in the second biological near infrared window for bioimaging. Nanoscale, 6: 7924-7933. 

(2013) Fanizza E, Depalo N, Clary L, Agostiano A, Striccoli M, Curri ML. A combined size sorting strategy for monodisperse plasmonic nanostructures. Nanoscale, 5(8):3272-82. 

(2013) Placido T, Aragay G, Pons J, Comparelli R, Curri ML, Merkoçi A. Ion-Directed Assembly of Gold Nanorods: a Strategy for Mercury Detection. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 5 (3):1084-1092. 

(2010) Ingrosso C, Sardella E, Keller D, Dohn S, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Boisen A, Curri ML. Surface functionalization of epoxy resist based microcantilevers with iron oxide nanocrystals. Advanced Material, 22:3288-3292. 

(2009) Placido T, Comparelli R, Giannici F, Cozzoli PD, Capitani G, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Curri MLPhotochemical Synthesis of Water-Soluble Gold Nanorods: the Role of Silver in Assisting Anisotropic Growth. Chemistry of Materials, 18:4192-4202. 

(2009) Kim JY, Ingrosso C, Fakhfouri V, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Curri ML, Brugger J. Multi-color inkjet printing of highly luminescent nanocrystal based nanocomposites. Small, 5:1051-1057. 

(2007) Ingrosso C, Fakhfouri V, Striccoli M, Agostiano A, Voigt A, Gruetzner G, Curri ML, Brugger J. Luminescent nanocrystal modified epoxy photoresist for the fabrication of 3-D high aspect-ratio microstructures. Advanced Functional Materials, 17:2009-2017.

(2005) Comparelli R, Curri ML, Fanizza E, Cozzoli PD, Mascolo G, Agostiano A. UV-induced Photocatalytic Degradation of Azo Dyes by Organic-Capped ZnO Nanocrystals Immobilized onto Substrate. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 60:1-11.

Awards and prizes

Maria Lucia Curri has received numerous awards for her scientific posters.

In 2000,  "L. Senatore" (Italian Chemical Society) award for the poster ”Chemical and physical characterization of hybrid structures based on in organic nanocrystalline semiconductors and semiconducting polymer for opto-electronic applications”

In 2002, best poster at E-MRS Spring Meeting Strasbourg June 2002: “Colloidal oxide nanoparticles for the photocatalytic degradation of organic dyes”

In 2003, best poster at E-MRS Spring Meeting Strasbourg E-MRS Spring Meeting Strasbourg 2003: "TiO2 nanocrystals -conjugated -polymer thin film for photovoltaic application"

In 2004, best poster at E-MRS Spring Meeting Strasbourg May 2004: “Hybrid organic nanocomposites based on semiconducting colloidal quantum dots in polymers”.

In 2006, "L. Senatore" award Italian Chemical Society for the poster “Optical and morphological properties of hybrid nanocomposite based on colloidal TiO2nanocrystals in polymer”.

In 2017, best Poster Nomination at IEEE NEMS 2017 Los Angeles (CA, USA): “Drug Delivery Nanovectors Based on SPIONS for Targeted Therapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma”

Paola Prete

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: experimental physics

Keywords: crystallography, graphene, materials, nanoelectronics, nanofotonics, nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanotechnologies, optics, renewable energies, semiconductors

Region: Apulia


Researcher at CNR, responsible of the Epitaxial Growth Laboratory (MOVPE and MBE) of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (IMM), Lecce Unit. Scientific responsible for IMM of the research activity for the “Rete di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca PHASHYN”.  

Professional career

After graduating in Physics in 1991 at the University of Lecce, she continued his education through a PhD in Physics at the University of Bari, obtaining her degree in 1996. In September 1996 she won a post-doctoral position for one year in Wales, Great Britain, at the North East Wales Institute (NEWI), now Glyndwr University. Since March 1998 she has been a researcher in Physics of Matter at the IMM (Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems) of the CNR, Lecce section. In 1996/97 she was lecturer at several foreign institutions in Great Britain, in October 1998 Visiting Scientist at Chiba University, Chiba, Japan and from 1997 to 2011 Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Salento. She is the author of numerous degree and doctoral theses.

Scientific results

Her expertise includes the study of the semiconductor compound crystal growth, specially nanowires, and their optical morphological and functional properties. In particular, the study of the synthesis of semiconductor materials through epitaxial technologies (Vapour Phase Epitaxy, MOVPE and Molecular Beam Epitaxy, MBE), the study of the physical, chemical and morphological properties through optical spectroscopy techniques (luminescence and absorption) and microscopy (FE-SEM, cathodoluminescence). 
She has more than twenty five-years experience in the material science research field. She started by studying the optical and structural properties of low dimensional structures for optoelectronic applications. At present she works in the field of nanotechnology by studying and applying bottom-up approaches for the fabrication of the 1D nanostructures for application in nano- /opto- electronics, sensing and photonics.  Among her recent activities, Paola Prete is working on third generation photovoltaics for the project “Rete di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca PHASHYN”. This research could create a breakthrough in the area of renewable energy sources by using the nanotechnology: it focuses to the fabrication to and high efficiency III-generation solar cells made by nanowires, i.e. semiconductor nanocrystals of the dimension of a virus, i.e. of the order of few tens of millionth of a millimeter, each of them being a solar cell capable to convert in electricity an enormous amount of solar radiation. The technologies under developments at Lecce by Paola Prete will allow to pack tens of billions per square centimeter. A far-reaching technology which, in a close future, will ensure jump in cell efficiencies and low production costs opening up to unimaginable scenarios. Inside this topic, there is also the study of the van der Waals epitaxial growth of 2D layers (graphene and graphene-like materials)

Editorial work and publications

Since 2011 she is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the open access scientific journal “Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology”, SAGE, USA (2017 Impact Factor 1.730). Since December 2016, she is also Associate Editor of the renowned journal “Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials”, Elsevier (2017 Impact Factor 3.147). She is editor of books and Guest Editor of several international volumes and Special Issue on peer-reviewed journals such as Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials (Elsevier), Crystal Research and Technology (WileyVCH), Applied Physics A: Material Science and Processing (Springer).  

She is author of more than 120 publications in peer reviewed journals, among which the following ones:  

[2018] Wolf D, Huebner R, Niermann T, Sturm S, Prete P, Lovergine N, Buechner B, Lubk A, Three-Dimensional Composition and Electric Potential Mapping of III-V CoreMultishell Nanowires by Correlative STEM and Holographic Tomography. Nano Letters, 18 (8) 4777-4784.   

[2017] Di Carlo V, Prete P, Dubrovskii V G, Berdnikov Y, Lovergine N, CdTe nanowires by Au-catalyzed Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy. Nano Letters, in stampa (pubblicato on-line 14 giugno, 2017), DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00719.

[2015] Bianco GV, Losurdo M, Giangregorio MM, Sacchetti A, Prete P, Lovergine N, Capezzuto P, and Bruno G, Direct epitaxial CVD synthesis of tungsten disulfide on epitaxial and CVD graphene. RSC Advances, 5:98700-98708.

[2015] Chen G., McGuckin T, Hawley C J, Gallo EM, Prete P, Miccoli I, Lovergine N, Spanier J E, Subsurface imaging of coupled carrier transport in GaAs/AlGaAs core-shell nanowires. Nano Letters, 15 (1):75-79.

[2015] Miccoli I, Prete P, Lovergine N, A mass-transport limited model describing the MOVPE growth of III-V shells around dense free-standing nanowire arrays. CrystEngComm, 17 (31): 5998-6005.

[2014] Lubk A, Wolf D, Kern F, Roeder F, Prete P, Lovergine N, Lichte H, Nanoscale three-dimensional reconstruction of elastic and inelastic mean free path lenghts by electron holographic tomography. Applied Physics Letters, 105 (17):173101.

[2013] Chen G, Sun G, Ding Y J, Prete P, Miccoli I, Lovergine N, Shtrikman H, Kung P, Livneh T, J. E. Spanier J E, Direct measurement of band edge discontinuity in individual core-shell nanowires by photocurrent spectroscopy, Nano Letters, 13:4152−4157

[2012] Persano A, Taurino A, Prete P, Lovergine N, Nabet B, Cola A, Photocurrent properties of single GaAs/AlGaAs core-shell nanowires with Schottky contacts. Nanotechnology 23 (46):465701 (6pp).

[2011] Chen G, Gallo E M, Leaffer O D, McGuckin T, Prete P, Lovergine N, Spanier J E, Tunable hot-electron transfer within a single core-shell nanowire. Physical Review Letters, 107:156802 (1-5).

[2011] Gallo E M, Chen G, Currie M, McGuckin T, Prete P, Lovergine N, Nabet B, Spanier J E, Picosecond response times in GaAs/AlGaAs core/shell nanowire-based photodetectors. Applied Physics Letters 98 (24):241113 (3pp).

[2011] Wolf D, Lichte H, Pozzi G, Prete P, Lovergine N, Electron holographic tomography for mapping the three-dimensional distribution of electrostatic potential in III-V semiconductor nanowires. Applied Physics Letters 98 (26): 264103 (3pp).

Awards and prizes

She was winner of the Italian Association of Crystallography (AIC), Young scientists Award for the 2000 year, reserved to young scientists working in the field of crystallography who have obtained innovative results of both theoretical and applicative crystallographic interest, prize conferred with the following motivation: "for the innovative results obtained in the study of semiconductor growth and the determination of their optical and structural properties". She was the winner of the Best Oral presentation Prize at the Nanophotonics and Micro/Nano-Optics (NANOP) 2018 International Conference, Rome 30 Sep-3 Oct 2018. 
 Member of the Italian Crystal Growth Commission inside the Italian Association of Crystallography (AIC) during the 2006-2011 and 2015-2017 years. Coordinator of the Crystal Growth Section of AIC, 2012-2014. Italian Councillor of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (IOCG), 2012-2014. Chair of the European School on Crystal Growth (ESCG2015), Bologna 5-8 September 2015. Member of the Advisory and Scientific Board of several International Conference.  Project monitor in the field of research, pre-competitive development and technological transfer of the Regional Agency for Technology and Innovation (A.R.T.I.) Apulia Region, Italy. 

Greta Radaelli

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: nanotechnologies, physical engineering

Keywords: bedimensional, bedimensional crystals, graphene, innovation, smart materials, startup, technological transfer

Region: Lombardy


McKinsey & Company Associate Partner

Professional career

After graduating in Physical Engineering, she continued her studies with a PhD in Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, during which she spent a year at the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She then moved to France for a post-doc. In 2014, back in Italy, she puts the skills and experience gained abroad at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa. In 2016 she is co-founder and sole director of BeDimensional, a start-up born from the IIT laboratories. In March 2017 she became a Partner at McKinsey & Company.

Scientific results

During her PhD she dealt with oxide electronics and in particular focused on the study of the phenomena that characterize the interface between ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials. The objective of these studies is the development of new electrically controlled memory devices based on tunnel effect junctions. At the Italian Institute of Technology she initially devoted herself to the development of intelligent materials for industrial applications. Subsequently, she dedicated herelf to the technology transfer project of new two-dimensional materials, in particular graphene, born in IIT, becoming sole administrator of BeDimensional startup. Inside the Italian Institute of Technology, in the Graphene Labs, we study two-dimensional crystals, the new family of "smart" materials born in 2004 with the isolation of the first and most famous of these materials - graphene - and which possess unique characteristics from the mechanical, electrical, thermal and optical point of view. Graphene, defined as a wonder material, has a mechanical resistance about 200 times greater than steel and an extraordinary thermal conductivity. 

It is biocompatible, biodegradable, capable of sustaining a higher electric current density than copper and is an almost impermeable barrier to the vast majority of chemical elements, while maintaining the characteristics of flexibility and lightness. In IIT's Graphene Labs, a process has been developed for the production of these materials that can be scaled at the industrial level. Two-dimensional crystals (including graphene) can also be appropriately mixed in plastic matrices, in carbon / glass fibers or in metals creating composites with high performance. These opportunities open up a new industrial scenario that was unimaginable until a few years ago. The idea is therefore to revolutionize and facilitate national and international manufacturing industry.


Editorial work and publications

She has authored numerous publications in national and international scientific journals, including:

(2016) Pesquera D, Barla A, Wojcik M, Jedryka E, Bondino F, Mangano E, Nappini S, Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Strain-Driven Orbital and Magnetic Orders and Phase Separation in Epitaxial Half-Doped Manganite Films for Tunneling DevicesPhysical Review Applied 6(3):034004. 

(2016) Radaelli G, Heredia-Guerrero JA, et al. Highly Effective Antiadhesive Coatings from pH-Modified Water-Dispersed Perfluorinated Acrylic Copolymers: The Case of Vulcanizing Rubber. Advanced Materials Interfaces 3(13).

(2015) Asa M, Baldrati L, Rinaldi C, Bertoli S, Radaelli G, et al. Electric field control of magnetic properties and electron transport in BaTiO 3 -based multiferroic heterostructures. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 27(50):504004.

(2015) Bertacco R, Radaelli G, et al. Switching magnetic order at an Fe/BaTiO3 interface on and off: Impact on hybrid magnetic-ferroelectric tunnel junctions.

(2015) Liu F, Fina I, Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Selecting Steady and Transient Photocurrent Response in BaTiO3 Films.

(2015) Radaelli G, Gutiérrez D, et al. Large Room-Temperature Electroresistance in Dual-Modulated Ferroelectric Tunnel Barriers. Advanced Materials 27(16). 

(2014) Radaelli G, Petti D, Cantoni M, et al, Absence of strain-mediated magnetoelectric coupling at fully epitaxial Fe/BaTiO3 interface (invited). Journal of Applied Physics 115(17).

(2014) Radaelli G, Cantoni M, et al. Two dimensional growth of ultrathin Fe films on BaTiO. Journal of Applied Physics 115(6):063501.

(2014) Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Bandwidth-limited control of orbital and magnetic orders in half-doped manganites by epitaxial strainPhysical Review B 89:075107

(2014) Radaelli G, Petti D, et al. Electric Control of Magnetism at the Fe/BaTiO3 Interface. Nature Communications 5:3404.