Research [English]


“Io stimo più il trovar un vero, benché di cosa leggiera, che ‘l disputar lungamente delle massime questioni senza conseguir verità nissuna”
– Galileo Galilei –

“I value more finding some truth, although on a light subject, than having long discussions about the greatest questions without achieving any truth”

Last revised: October 12, 2020

Research statement 

My theoretical and computational research is mainly focussed on novel (nano)materials for energy production & harvesting, nanoelectronics, biomedical applications, information technology (phononics and neuromorphic computing). I am also interested in developing/applying new computational methods and algorithms for large-scale atomistic simulations.

Current research interests:

  1. Nanoscale thermal transport
    • in nanostructured semiconductors (mainly SiGe-based systems) for thermoelectric applications and thermal devices
    • in low-dimensional systems
    • non-Fourier phenomena (second sound)
  2. Disordered and hybrid systems
    • nano-granular metallic films for neuromorphic computing
    • ultra-stable organic glasses
    • hybrid organic/inorganic interfaces for solar energy harvesting
  3. Graphene
    • microstructure evolution and transport phenomena in amorphous grafene and reduced graphene oxides
  4. Simulation methods
    • non-equilibrium molecular dynamics techniques
    • effective medium theories
    • first principles calculations
  5. Full publication list (source IS WoS):

Ongoing collaborations

  • Laboratoire de Thermique et Energie de Nantes – CNRS (France)
  • Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), Barcelona (Spain)
  • Institut de Ciéncia de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) – CSIC, Barcelona (Spain)
  • Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona (Spain)
  • University of California, Davis (USA)
  • Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano (Italy)

Ongoing projects

  1. Call EU FLAG-ERA, “MECHANIC” project “Modelling Charge and Heat transport in 2D-materials based Composites“: a multi-scale approach spanning from the nano- to the macro-scale, aimed at (i) providing meaningful and trustworthy insights on the transport physics and (ii) serving as design guides for graphene (and related materials) composites. The ultimate goal is to accurately predict and control charge and heat transport in graphene oxides (GO) and reduced graphene oxides (rGO) samples and GO/rGO interfaces. This project is framed within the EU “Graphene” Flagship initiative. My role is leader of the research unit @ Dept. of Physics, UniCa.
  2. Call PON R&I 2014-2020 “Attraction&International Mobility”, project “Theoretical design of SiGe nano-structures for efficient thermoelectric conversion“: a full theoretical-computational investigation on SiGe-based nano-strutures, aimed at the predictive modelling and engineering of their morphological and compositional features to achieve the best thermoelectric performace. More generally, we are developing a through re-addressing of the fundamental transport physics in condensed matter nano-systems. My role is project leader.
  3. Call “Brains to South”, project “Granular materials for neuromorphic computing” (GRANECO): granular materials are the basic building blocks for novel bio-inspired computational devices. This project is aimed at developing new fundamental knowledge about their electric transport properties by a multi-scale, experiment-tailored approach. The P.I. of this research, funded by “Fondazione con il sud”, is dr. W. Tarantino; the project is hosted in my research group and benefits of the partnership with the CIMAINA center at the University of Milano (I).
  4. Fondazione di Sardegna, Progetti di Ricerca di Base, project “ADVAnced Nanoporous materials for Cutting-edge engineerING”: nanoporous solids exhibit an intriguing combination of thermo-mechanical performances, electric transport, electromagnetic shielding, sound absorption and energy dissipation. Focusing on the challenges issued by structure-property relationships, the project aims at fostering a definite progress in the field through a suitable combination of experiments and multiscale modeling. More specifically, experimental microstructural information will be used as input for atomistic simulations aimed at providing insight into the observed physical and chemical properties. My role is leader of the research unit @ Dept. of Physics, UniCa.

Group members

Role Email
Luciano Colombo Full professor (tenured) email
Claudio Melis Associate professor (tenured) email
Konstanze Regina Hahn Researcher (non tenured) PON-AIM project email
Walter Tarantino Senior post-doc GRANECO project email
Miquel López Post-doc GRANECO project email
Antonio Cappai Ph.D. student email



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