Every object, every device, every material that we commonly use is 3-D. We can schematize it or think about it as 1D or 2D, but his thickness will still be thousands of atomic layers. That’s why the study and realization of materials with fewer dimensions is of great interest for science, as can be easily understood by reading the motivation for the 2010 Nobel prize in physics to Geim and Novoselov, that is: “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene“. Therefore the main goal of the group (and of my PhD) is to realize and analyze 2-D materials, who share with graphene similar structure and properties. With 2D materials we simple refer to a group of atoms arranged on a plane. This can seems easy, but sometimes the easiest things are the hardest. In fact it turned out that also if you are able of think and synthetize molecules that can form bond only in one plane, is really tricky to obtain a planar 2-D material only one atom thick. That’s because is energetically unfavorable. A solution is to let these Graphene-like structure grown on a flat template, like a surface, and then peel them or etch the template, in order to use them. The applications for those materials are too many to be cited and vary from organic electronics to separation membranes to nano-mechanical devices. The goal of a free standing flat 2-D materials with tailored properties is still not reachable, but giant steps have been made in the last 20 years, with the development of new experimental and theoretical techniques, and the birth on the nanotechnology science, and interestingly at every step we found more and more questions but also more potential applications. In the 50’s Feynman said “it’s plenty of room at the bottom”, and well, after 60 years, it still is.
My current research is focused on STM, LEED and XPS study of on-surface polymerization of aryl halides on metal surfaces by Ullman reaction, a coupling reaction that has an organometallic intermediate states. Right now I’m studying both 1-D and 2-D polymers, doing targeted studies with different molecules and substrates in order to get a deeper understanding of basic interactions between molecules, and to enlighten the role of both the byproducts and the intermediates in the final polymeric structure. Other study are instead focused on the realization of long range ordered 2-D polymers, on-surface polymerization on non-metallic surfaces and to characterize the properties of those materials.
Other scientific interest and works:
Plenty of them. Most of all I’m interested in interdisciplinary researches, who needs interactions from different scientific fields in order to advance. I’m extremely passionate in bioengineering and artificial muscle, who mix together material science with biology, especially in the material class of soft matter. Right now I’m getting an insight in the field of bioengineering with a project I just started with Luis Cardenas about biocompatible coating on metals for biomedical applications.
F. Ronci, R. Gatti, G. Caponi, S. Colonna, G. Galeotti, D. Catone, S. Turchini, T.Prosperi, N. Zema, A. Palma, P. Gori, G. Contini, ”Organizational Chirality Expression as a Function of the Chirality Measure for Simple Amino Alcohols on Cu(100)”, Surf. Sc., 629, 41-47 (2013)
– Bachelor degree in Material Science, University of Rome Tor Vergata 2010, with an average mark of 27.1
– Master of Science in Material Science at Technology, University of Rome Tor Vergata 2013 with an average mark of 28.0/30, and a final mark of 110/110.