[Research] - Introduction


[Research] - Materials Section Title

[Research] - Materials list

Scalable synthesis of high-mobility graphene on insulators

At present, graphene with high carrier mobilities (those needed for most optoelectronic, photonics, spintronics and sensing applications) is synthesized on metals. This require a transfer step to a target substrate which causes graphene deterioration. Moreover, metal contaminations are not compatible with CMOS integration flow and is problematic for back-end-of-line (BEOL) integration. Following recent promising results demonstrated by IIT, growth on insulators of high-mobility graphene will be targeted over wafer-scale. Collaboration with WP8, WP10, WP15.

Synthetize and explore novel vdWh heterostacks with specific azimuthal orientations

Hetero- and homostacks of graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) with slightly different rotation angles (yielding long-period moiré superpotentials) will be synthesized and/or realized via deterministic transfer. Structural, electronic and optical properties will be studied. IN particular, investigations of superconductivity and anomalous electronic properties will be carried out. Collaboration with WP1, WP8, WP10, WP12.

Synthesis and stabilization of monolayer ditellurides

These materials are currently under the spot-light as they are expected to turn from Weyl insulators (in bulk form) to 2D topological insulators (TI) (at the monolayer limit) and are therefore an appealing platform for realizing the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect. The synthesis of monolayer ditellurides is not trivial and has been for the most elusive. Demonstration of a growth approach for their synthesis and encapsulation (as their air stability is extremely limited) will be instrumental to study the intrinsic nontrivial band structure and investigate predicted room temperature superconductivity. Collaboration with WP1, WP10.

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[Research] - Enabling Science Section Title

[Research] - Enabling Science list

Plasmonics and non-linear optics of novel 2D materials (Polini)

Theoretical investigations of the plasmonic and non-linear optical properties of novel 2D materials, with particular attention to twisted van der Waals heterostructures and magnetic materials. The target is to provide theoretical guidance towards the realization of i) novel Terahertz photodetectors based on plasmons and phonon polaritons and ii) compact integrated photonic devices exploiting the strong nonlinear optical response of layered materials. Collaboration with WP3 and WP8.

Density functional theory-based modeling of magnetic 2D materials and of TMD/rocksalt heterostructures (Calandra)

Studying the electronic, structural and magnetic properties of magnetic 2D crystals (e.g., CrBr3 CrBr3, CrI3) and how these features will be modified under field-effect of doping or strain. Investigation of the crucial role of non-perturbative anharmonicity on the structural and charge density wave deformation of 2D materials (mainly TMDs). Also, heterostructures such as NbSe2/LaSe that are extremely promising for achieving ultrahigh doping of NbSe2 monolayer and optimal control of Ising superconductivity and charge density wave instabilities. Collaboration with WP3.

Stability, structural characterization and physical properties of multilayer graphene with rhombohedral stacking (Mauri, Calandra, Coletti)

Properties and applications of ABC-stacked graphene multilayers hosting superconductivity and magnetic ordering. Collaboration with WP3.

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[Research] - Health and Biomedical Technologies Title

[Research] - Health and Biomedical Technologies list

Neuro-nanotechnology (Benfenati)

Graphene is bound to become the material of choice for engineering environmentally friendly devices including neuroprostheses. However, the small size and unique properties of graphene pose potential risks to human health. Nanosafety is crucial to translate any future development of graphene into action, especially for bio-medical applications.

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Bioanalysis and OMICS (Armirotti)

The aim of our research is to explore at the highest analytical detail the chemical space (metabolome and proteome) of living organisms exposed to Graphene, investigating changes associated to the biological responses to this material. We obtained interesting results on the effects of the exposure of primary neurons (Bramini et al, 2016) and astrocytes (Bramini et al. 2019) to Graphene. Our results show substantial changes in the lipid and protein composition of these cells. Particularly interesting is the dysregulation of calcium metabolism we observed. Our role in the Flagship is to conduct omics research activities by means of high-resolution mass spectrometry, in close collaboration with other groups (NSYN mostly). Our expertise in this field is generating useful data for a better understanding of the biological response to Graphene. We are also currently exploring new analytical protocols to investigate the orientation of corona proteins of Graphene nanomaterials, also in view of their in-vivo applications. The Lab is now launching a new MALDI-Imaging based workflow, with the aim to expand the analytical options available for the Flagship. This techinque also proved to be a important option to directly detect graphene oxide in biological tissues, without the need of radiolabeling (Cazier et al. 2020).

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[Research] - Energy Section Title

[Research] - Energy list

Full cells prototype (Hassoun, Pellegrini, BeDimensional)

The target is TRL5 by exploiting S-graphene composite cathode with high S loading and either Li metal or lithiated Si as anode. Target performances are capacity >700 mAh/gS @ 1C for >200 cycles in cells with a S loading >5mg/cm2. Different electrolyte formulations will be addressed to control the polysulfide solubility, address safety, obtain tailored SEI etc. To screen for novel SEI- and CEI-forming electrolyte additives and determine solubilities of elemental S and PSs in the electrolytes modeling and operando spectroscopy and imaging will be applied. Coating on the Li metal will be investigated to further protect Li anode surface to improve cell performance and stability. Collaboration with WP3 and WP16.

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[Research] - Photonics and Optoelectronics Section Title

[Research] - Photonics and Optoelectronics list

Wafer-scale integration of graphene and TMDs for photonics (Coletti)

Ultra-high mobility graphene matrixes will be processed over wafer scale (300 mm) to obtain performing photonic components for next generation Datacom and Telecom communications. Interface engineering with photonic platforms and oxides, contacts and device design will be optimized to obtain photodetectors and modulators operating at record data rate while saving on energy consumption and footprint. 2D TMDs will be integrated on 300 mm wafers as active and/or passive layers to improve the performance of photonic building blocks. Collaboration with WP3, WP15 and WP16.

Graphene-enabled coherent Raman microscope for tumor diagnostics (Scopigno)

Develop a prototype of Coherent Raman Scattering (CRS) microscope up to the stage of demonstration in a relevant healthcare environment, for application in tumor diagnostics. CRS is a label-free and non-invasive biomedical imaging technique, which makes it possible to obtain objective and quantitative information on the tissue, by measuring its detailed molecular composition, and has a proven capability to discriminate between healthy and tumor tissue and to identify the type and grade of tumor. By introducing an ultrafast graphene-enabled laser the main hurdle preventing the adoption of this technique (i.e., the complication and cost of the required laser system) will be solved. The laser concept is simplified with respect to existing commercial solutions. It is turn-key, thanks to the fiber architecture and can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost, thus removing the main technical hurdle towards the commercialization of CRS microscopy, fostering its broad adoption in biomedicine as well as in materials science. Collaboration with WP4, WP5 and WP16.

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