Strumenti Utente

Strumenti Sito


lmn:cristofolini

Research interest

I am an experimental physicist studying Soft condensed Matter, mainly at interfaces (soft interfaces). Examples are: photosensitive molecular films, films formed by bio-macromolecules, polymers, films of nanoparticles gels, glasses… Photosensitive polymeric systems are promising candidates for high density all-optical information storage, for command surfaces for LC displays, and as potential building elements of mechanical nanoactuators. Another class of systems I studied is formed by conducting polymers, (e.g. polyaniline) whose transport properties can be modulated by appropriate doping/dedoping processes, driven either electrochemically or by a suitable voltage applied. A number of important problems that arise in biophysics can be addressed by Soft Condensed Matter techniques: I studied the interaction of model membranes with nanoparticles, and with macromolecules such as DNA fragments or with MBP, a protein involved in multiple sclerosis. Last but not least, soft matter physics can contribute extensively to food science: examples are the problems related to the shelf life of chocolate products, or to the distribution and availability of nutrients in raw and cooked food.

A spectrum of different techniques is currently involved in this interdisciplinary research. To better characterize mechanical properties of Langmuir monolayers I built a very sensitive interfacial rheometer (inspired by that developed by G. Fuller at Stanford), the results are then combined with other micro-rheology techniques, such as particle tracking and analysis of GUV flickering. Other characterizations of Langmuir monolayers include Epifluorescence, microscopy, Quartz Crystal Microbalance, Surface Plasmon Resonance and Ellipsometry, also in imaging mode. For morphological characterizations I currently use scanning force microscopy AFM in the different operational modes, scanning electron microscopy SEM and EDX , besides Raman micro-spectroscopy. Fine details of the structure and of the dynamics can only be accessed by techniques available at the Synchrotron, namely grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, small angle scattering and fluorescence (GID, GISAXS, GIXF), x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) and inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS). Access to these techniques is normally warranted through a peer-reviewed panel system.

Publication List

See the full list on ORCID, on Google Scholar, on Research Gate, or on Mendeley

Detailed Curriculum

As a Ph.D. student in Parma, and as a Post Doc at the University of Sussex at Brighton (UK) LC studied pure and doped fullerides by diffraction, inelastic neutron scattering and by resonance techniques (NMR and Muon Spin Resonance).

More recently, LC studied complex molecular systems in confined geometry, and the physics of surfaces of soft matter, as molecular films of photosensitive polymers and of bio-macromolecules, also employing Langmuir-Blodgett, Self-Assembly, and related techniques. As an example, in some cases, the research aimed to a better understanding of glass transition phenomena in the confined geometries obtained by the LB molecular layers and the hetero-structures that can be produced with them.

Soft interfaces are mostly studied because of their many applications in different fields, including nanotechnologies: for many years LC studied different photosensitive polymeric systems (side chain, star polymers etc) which are promising candidates for high density all-optical information storage or for command surfaces or as potential building elements of mechanical nanoactuators. Another class of systems studied by LC is formed by conducting polymers, (e.g. polyaniline) whose transport properties can be modulated by appropriate doping/dedoping processes, driven either electrochemically or by a suitable voltage applied, and this has been characterized in thin films by grazing incidence X-ray fluorescence, while a novel all optical means of characterization has been proposed.

Last but not least, a number of important problems that arise in biophysics can be addressed by Soft Condensed Matter techniques. As an example, in the past LC studied the interaction with model membranes of a protein involved as an autoantigen in multiple sclerosis (Myelin Basic Protein). Also the interaction of antibiotics or of DNA fragments with model membranes can affect their interfacial mechanical moduli. LC characterized these effect by means of an Interfacial Shear Rheometer that he build in his laboratory.

A spectrum of different techniques is currently involved in this interdisciplinary research. To better characterize mechanical properties of Langmuir monolayers LC built a very sensitive interfacial rheometer (inspired by that developed by G. Fuller at Stanford), the results are then combined with other micro-rheology techniques. This research is done in collaboration with P. Cicuta at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University (UK) . Other characterizations of Langmuir monolayers include Quartz Crystal Microbalance, Surface Plasmon Resonance and null-ellipsometry, also in imaging mode. For this, in collaboration with A. Nabok, Sheffield Hallam University (UK),LC developed a particularly sensitive mode of operation, the Total Internal Reflection Ellipsometry mode (TIRE). For morphological characterizations LC currently use scanning force microscopy AFM in the different operational modes, scanning electron microscopy SEM and EDX , besides Raman spectroscopy. Besides this, LC frequently employs techniques only available at the Large Scale Facilities, namely grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, small angle scattering and fluorescence (GID, GISAXS, GIXF), x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) and inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS). Access to these techniques is normally warranted through a peer-reviewed panel system.

LC maintains strict collaborations with colleagues in the Chemistry Departments of Parma and Pisa, with colleagues at IMEM-CNR (Parma, Trento) and IPCF-CNR (Pisa, Rome, Trento), IENI-CNR (Genoa) with the group led by dr. P. Cicuta at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University (UK), with colleagues at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, F) and at the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL, Hamburg, D). Some of LC’s activities are held under the umbrella of the COST actions CM1101(Colloidal Aspects of Nanoscience) and MP1106 (Smart and Green Interfaces).

Education:

  • 1989 Summer Student at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL (USA)
  • 1990 Graduated in Physics cum laude at the University of Parma
  • 1994 Ph.D in Physics at the University of Parma

Work experience:

  • 1991-1992 Civil Service (conscientious objection, as an alternative to mandatory Military Service) served helping disabled pupils at schools
  • 1995-1996 Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry of the Sussex University (UK).
  • 1996-1997 Post Doc at the Physics Department of the University of Parma
  • 1997-2005 Research Associate in Solid State Physics at the Physics Department of the University of Parma
  • 2005-present Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Parma

Teaching Activities (in Italian!) Pagina istituzionale di Unipr

/var/www/html/dokuwiki/data/pages/lmn/cristofolini.txt · Ultima modifica: Y/m/d H:i da