· Born in Firenze-Italy , July, 9th, 1963
· married, one daughter, one son
TITLES and PROJECTS
* Actual position : full Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, Università degli studi di Milano (Italy)
* He belongs also to Consorzio INSTM-Unit of Milano, CNISM (National Inter-Universitary Consortium of Materials’ Science and Technology) - Unit of Milano (Italy) INFM-CNR (National Institute of Matter Physics – National Research Council) - Unit of Milano (Italy) and CNR-Nanoscience Institute (Modena, Italy), included in the following european and national projects:
* FIRB project RINAME (Integrated Network for Nanomedicine), national responsible prof. D. Gatteschi, 2012-2015
- European project NANOTHER, “Integration of novel NANOparticles based technology for THERapeutics and diagnosis of different types of cancer”, 2008-2012. Responsible of local INSTM sub-Unit
- eUROPEAN Network of Excellence “MAGMANET” (Molecular Approach to Nanomagnets and Multifunctional Materials, 2005-2009), European FP6, “Nano-technologies and nano-sciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials, and new production processes and devices – ‘NMP’ “, European manager prof. D. Gatteschi, Univ. of Firenze and INSTM, national manager INFM-CNR prof. Affronte, Univ. of Modena
- European responsible and manager of INFM-CNR Italian node, for the sub-project MAGHYP (Magnetic nanomaterials for hyperthermia therapy, in situ release of cytotoxic drugs and MR contrast agents) inside Magmanet
- European RTN (Research Training Network QUEMOLNA, Quantum Effects in Molecular Nanomagnets, 2004-2008), Marie Curie Actions, European manager prof. D. Gatteschi, national manager INFM-CNR prof. Affronte
- National FIRB (2003-2007) – manager Prof. Gatteschi [local manager, prof. Borsa], “NANOORGANIZZATION OF INORGANIC/ORGANIC HYBRID MOLECULES WITH MAGNETIC AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES”
- European INTAS (european manager prof. Barbara, CNRS-Grenoble (France) , Pavia manager prof. Borsa, pavia scientific manager A. Lascialfari)
- Referee of the Journals : Physical Review Letters, Physical Review B, Solid State Communication, International Journal of Modern Physics, J. of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, J. Materials Science, Journal of Chemical Physics, Journal of Nuclear Materials, Materials Chemistry and Physics; referee of Israeli Science Foundation, research proposals
- ResponsIBLE OF MORE THAN 15 proposals (accepted) c/o large scale facilities [ RAL-ISIS (UK), PSI (Svizzera), LCMI (Grenoble), ESRF (Grenoble) ]
- pI/ Local responsible of 3 National projects CARIPLO (2006-2010 and 2009-2012)
- Responsible of National project of Banca del Monte di Lombardia (2006-2008)
· More than 45 invited talks and seminars c/o national/international congresses and Research Institutes
· Teacher of Thermodynamics, University of Milano, degree course in Physics
· Teacher of Physics’ Basic Course, University of Milano (Italy), Faculty of Pharmacy, since 2005/2006 a.y.
· Teacher of the course “Diagnostical techniques II” (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique, MRI), since a.y. 2004/2005, Physics laurea, Universita’ degli studi di Pavia
· Teacher of the course for PhD in Physics – Universita’ di Pavia : “Imaging techniques”
· Teacher of the course for PhD in Physics – Università degli studi di Milano – “Magnetism and related experimental techniques”
· PhD in Physics - 1999/2004 – Universita’ di Pavia (Italy) – 6 lectures on “Magnetic techniques and their applications”
· PhD in Physics - 2004 – Universita’ di Pavia (Italy) – Lectures on “Imaging Techniques and MRI”
· Lectures for the course (degree in Physics) : “Structure of Matter” (6 hrs., 2000/2001), Universita’ di Pavia, prof. A. Rigamonti responsible
· International School “5th intensive program on Advanced Materials”, 1999/2000 (Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica, Universita’ di Pavia, Italy) - 6 lectures on: “Calorimetry and SQUID magnetometry”
· “European School of Advanced studies”, 2000/2002, (Dip. Chimica/Fisica and Dip. Fisica, Universita’ di Pavia, Italy), 6 lectures on : “Susceptibility measurements: theory and applications with SQUID device”
· For the School “Materials Sciences”, Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita’ di Pavia, Italy, laboratory lectures on “Specific heat and laboratory”, 1991-1993, 1998-2004
Theses’ tutoring and others
· Co-tutor / tutor / scientific tutor of 13 laurea thesis (Universita’ di Firenze (3, D. Procissi, L. Ammannato, L. Ninci), Pavia (8, R. Ullu, I. Zucca, E. Micotti, E. Bernardi, F. Palesi, A. Vultaggio, M. Mangiarotti, M. Pasin), Milano (1, Michael Quintini), Torino (1, L. Martignetti), Italy), 3 bachelor laurea “breve” (Sara Ferretti, Matteo Mangiarotti, Claudia Cutaia)
· Scientific tutor of 3 Ph.D. student (P. Tedesco, E. Micotti, M. Mariani), 1999-2002, Tutor of 7 PhD students (I. Zucca, E. Bernardi, T. Kalaivani, H. Amiri, F. Palesi, L. Bordonali, F. Adelnia), University of Pavia (Italy)
· Tutor of 9 postdoc students (J. Lago, P. Arosio, M. Belesi, E. Bernardi, M. Bonora, A. Gianella, M. Grandi, P. Khuntia, Sonia Pin), and 2 predoc (David Hajny, QUEMOLNA, and Massimo Marinone, MAGMANet)
· Materials’ culturer (cultore della Materia) of Matter Structure (Physics course degree) and General Physics (Biology course degree), since 1998
· Examinating committee for Matter Structure Course (Physics course degree) and Physics Course (Biology course degree), since 1998
· Scientific responsible of two post-doc students (J. Lago, M. Belesi), one inside RTN-QUEMOLNA project, one inside Magmanet project
· Research on magnetic systems at the Dept. of Physics, Iowa State University (Ames - Iowa - USA), January-March 1993, November 1998, December 1999
· Muon Resonance Experiments (1993-current year) , RAL (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) - Chilton (Oxford – United Kingdom).
· Nuclear Magnetic Resonance experiments, LCMI-CNRS, Grenoble (France), 1998-current year
· Muon Resonance experiments (2000-current year), PSI (Paul Scherrer Institute) - Villigen (Switzerland).
· X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) experiments, ESRF-Grenoble (February 1999, February 2000) and LURE (Universite’ de Paris Sud, France, June 2000)
Congresses and publications
· More than 160 publications on international journals and about 140 participations at national and international congresses.
· Spectrometers for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Quadrupolar Resonance (NQR), for Muon Spin Resonance (mSR), for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), for MR Imaging (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
· Adiabatic Calorimeter
· Atomic Force Microscope
· SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) for magnetic measurements
· Mutual Inductance Bridge for AC susceptibility measurements
· Apparatus for resisitivity measurements.
· Superconducting magnets and electromagnets
· Electronic and cryogenic apparatuses (4He flux cryostat , 3He cryostat , dilution cryostat and so on).
RESEARCH : ACTUAL ACTIVITY
a) Magnetic Resonance Imaging on animal models for studying : (1) the blood perfusion and cerebral ischemia on rats; (2) the rheumatoid arthritis pathology; (3) new contrast agents (characterization by magnetometry and relaxometry)
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique is currently exploding due to its non-invasive character and continuosly increasing performances for clinical applications. A crucial role is played by Molecular Imaging, a term which refers to MRI used in conjuction with specific contrast agents able to reach specific molecule inside the tissues and to target them during (or hopefully before) a pathology evolution.
Our MRI activity concentrated on several research lines :
(a) project, desing and development of coils for low-field Imagers (0.2 Tesla, E-SCAN, Esaote SpA), used for pathologies of ostheo-articular system (e.g. : acute inflammation (IA), rheumatoid arthritis (AR) );
(b) optimization of sequences devoted to the study of AR and IA, in low-field systems (0.2 Tesla) and high-field systems (e.g. 7 Tesla, Pharmascan, Bruker SpA);
(c) individuation iof a MRI protocol (e.g. T2 maps, dynamic MRI, etc.) to study the precursor effects and the evolution of AR, IA and, in near future, tumours;
(d) analysis of the contrast agents (CA) effects on images for specific pathologies , in the framework of “targeted-MRI” projects (e.g. CA that tend to link to macrophages)
(e) studies about MRI protocols able to better describe the devlopment and evolution of cerebral damages and to distinguish different kinds of damages, with and without CA; we are trying also to search for the better CA to study cerebral ischemia;
(f) study of the nuclear spin-spin relaxation curves in terms of multiexponential components to access to the microscopic mechanisms responsible for the cerebral damages.
b) NMR-NQR and susceptibility measurements to study superconducting (SC) fluctuations and spin and charge-gap in YBa2Cu3O7-d , YBa2Cu4O8, YBa2Cu3O7:Ca, La2-XSrXCuO4, MgB2, YNi2B2C, zero-dimensional SC nano-particles
This research field regards the study of superconducting fluctuations (SF) and of the precursor diamagnetism (PD) in conventional and high-Tc superconductors (HTSC), in forms of orientend powders, bulk or nano-particles. In general terms, by following the phenomenological theory of phase transitions Ginzburg-Landau (GL) the behaviour of the fluctuations of the order parameter y(r), linked to the number of Cooper pairs, can be followed for T>Tc (Tc=transition temperature). For T>Tc the Cooper pairs are metastable and SF arise. Sf can give direct information on the mechanism of superconductivity and the role of eventual charge and spin “gap”, possibly opening for T>>Tc.
In BCS-like system, a special role is played by the recently discovered MgBs that presents a relatively high Tc~40K. For the first time we studied the magnetization curves M(H) at constant temperature T®Tc+ and experimentally was individuated a magnetic upturn field Hup , theoretically predicted, whose presence is due to the Cooper pairs breaking generated by the applied field itself.
In HTSC like i.e. YBa2Cu3O7-d , YBa2Cu3O7:Ca, La2-XSrXCuO4 , the effect of the magnetic field depends on the hole doping. In the case of optimally doping (maximum Tc) the M(H) curves for T®Tc+ can be explained in the framework of anisotropic GL theory. If the sample is “underdoped” or “overdoped”, for T>Tc mesoscopic regions (not chemically trivially disordered) with |y(r)|¹0 are formed ; the phase q(r) is site-dependent. This situation favours the formation of couples vortex-antivortex that induce an upturn field in M(H) of different nature with respect to standard BCS SC. In the system YBa2Cu4O8 , this upturn field is never present and the data can be explained in terms of scaling laws and the Lawrence-Doniach functional. The existence of SF and their effect on the nuclear relaxation parameters (spin-spin and spin-lattice relaxation times) was confirmed by means of NMR-NQR measurements at different applied fields.
In the systems YNi2B2C and MgB2:Al , again an upturn field is displayed by M(H) but its origin resides in chemical disorder or distribution of Tc’s.
Finally , to verify the GL analytical solution in zero-dimension (diameter of SC particles d<x , x=coherence length) , preliminary experiments on Pb nanoparticles of different dimensions were performed. From M(H) and c(T) behaviour the theoretical predictions seem verified while the crossover toward the critical zone T~Tc+ will be studied. This study is possible in nano-particles because the extension of the critical zone is sizeable, differently from other SC systems.
c) NMR, mSR, XMCD and susceptibility measurements on mesoscopic magnetic molecules, powders, films and single crystals, with properties similar to ferritin and on low-dimensional magnetic clusters.
I have studied fundamental properties as spin dynamics, quantum tunneling of the magnetization (QTM) , topological spin structure, level crossing problem and basic magnetic interactions. The investigated systems are constituted by molecules containing a “core” of metallic ions (till 30) and magnetically isolated one each other by organic screens. This allows to study the properties of the single molecule (single molecule magnets, SMM, or molecular nanomagnets, MNM) with bulk quantitiy of sample.
The most famous examples are high-spin molecules like Mn12 and Fe8, theoretically useful for magneti storage due to their bistability in the ground state. In thse systems, an axial anisotropy (easy-axis z) due to the crystal field, determines a preferential direction of the magnetization M. The spin topology is complex and variable from one compound to the other; the excahbnge interactions are antiferromagnetic (AF), the dominant one being >100K . At low T, Mn12 and Fe8 are superparamagnetic with total ground state spin S=10 and an energy barrier (for M reorientation) ~ 60K and 27K, respectively. The energy levels has a double well with degenerate ±MS levels. By applying an external magnetic field, level crossings are induced for different Ms. For T<10K QTM is present. This process is thermally activated for T>1K (Mn12) and T>0.4K (Fe8) while is pure for the lowest T.
The low-dimensional nano-molecules (MNM) have spin topology of different kinds. We will give as example the magnetic rings. In these compounds the exchange interactions in the ground state (GS) are AF (total GS spin S=0). The spectrum of levels is discrete and follows approximately the Lande’s rule, the lowest energy gap being of the order of some tenths of K. Even here level crossings can be induced. For low temperatures , some anisotropic parts of the Hamiltonian (anisotropic exchange, Dzyaloshinki-Moriya interaction, etc.) determines the main physical properties.
By NMR-NQR , susceptibility and mSR measurements, we studied the spin dynamics of all the above systems in the different temperature regions. Novel information on microscopic parameters (like energy levels broadening, spin-phonon interaction, QTM paths, local spin arrangement, level crossing properties, etc.) were obtained.
d) Magnetic measurements on molecular 1-D magnetic chains containing rare earth ions (Gd,Eu) or metals (Co) alternated to radicals (Et,iPr,Ph,Me ; PhOMe) for the study of peculiar phase transitions and/or slow-relaxation of magnetization (nano-wires)
In the rare-earth chains, the molecular magnetic 1D system is formed by Gd(3+) s=7/2 spins alternating to radicals R s=1/2. The intrachain interactions are AF and the system is frustrated by the presence of competing nearest-neighbour (Gd-R) and next-nearest-neighbour (Gd-Gd and R-R) interactions. The interchain interaction is negligible (Jinter ~ 10-4 Jintra). As a final result one has a XY system that at low T presents an effective spin Seff arrange in a helicoidal scheme. In these systems the Villain’s conjecture was verified, thus demonstrating that at high T the system is paramagnetic, at intermdiate T has a transition to a chiral phase and at low T a transition to a 3D ordered helicoidal system.
Particularly, by the use of mSR measurements coupled to specific heat, one has observed the absence of an anomaly in the 2-spin correlation function in Gd-iPr compound at T~2K, where a transition to a chiral phase was suggested.
In the transition metal based chains, the system is constituted by Co(II) (S=1/2 for T<80K) ions alternated to radicals (s=1/2); the chains are not interacting (Jinter ~ 10-4 Jintra). The g-factor of the Co(II) ion is ~7.4 while the one of radical is ~2; in this way a ferrimagneti chain is obtained with just one effective intrachain AF exchange interaction (Jintra~200K). The peculiarity of these systems is that at low The magnetization M relaxes slowly (nanowires) and they can be suggested as bistable units for memory storage. The relaxation time of M follow an Arrhenius law t=t0 exp(D/T), with a barrier ~150K.
With NMR and mSR measurements we determined the existence of a second kind of relaxation mechanism, not detected by macroscopic techniques.
e) mSR and susceptibility measurements on high-Tc superconductors, Nd1.85Ce0.15CuO4+d
For many years, the magnetic phase diagram of high-Tc superconductors (HTSC) was debated as a fundamental step toward the comprehension of the superconducting micrioscpic mechanism and the understanding of the role of the elementary magnetic excitations. In the system La2-xSrxCuO4+d, studied by means of NMR-NQR, mSR and susceptibility, for very low doping (x<0.02) the system at low T (T<20K) has a transition to a spin-glass (SG) phase; for intermediate doping (0.02<x<0.08) cluster-SG phase is formed while for x>0.08 the transition to the supeconducting phase is verified , with a maximum Tc~35K. In the region 0.08<x<0.12, a possible coexistence of magnetism and superconductivity (classically forbidden) was inferred and partly demonstrated.
The described phase diagram was shown to be “universal” for all hole-doped HTSC and we confirmed it also in electron-doped HTSC like Nd2-xCexCuO4+d by means of mSR and susceptibility measurements. This superconductor has a maximum Tc~25K and can vary its phase with proper oxygen doping at fixed content of Ce (x=0.15). The result is a third line in the phase diagram, in correspondence of Ce doping =0.15, that confirms the existence of a SG phase for oxygen content d>0.06.
a) Characterizing low temperatures magnetization measurements on low-Tc superconduting wires NbTi and Nb3Sn.
b) AC and DC magnetization and susceptibility measurements on high- Tc superconducting wires , silver coated
· Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche, Universita’ degli studi di Milano, Prof. R. Paoletti, Prof. E.Tremoli, Dr.U.Guerrini, Dr.G.Sironi
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli studi di Milano, Prof. E. Ranucci, P. Ferruti
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Universita' di Firenze, gruppo prof. D.Gatteschi
· Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica, Universita’ di Pavia, gruppo prof. P. Ghigna
· Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita’ di Firenze, gruppo prof.A.Rettori
· Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita’ di Modena, gruppo prof. M. Affronte
· Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita’ di Parma, gruppi Prof. Amoretti, Prof. De Renzi, Dr. L.Romano’
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Roma, gruppo prof. G. Ortaggi
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Cagliari, Dr. M.F. Casula
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Universita’ di Modena, gruppo prof. A. Cornia
· Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Milano Bicocca, gruppo prof. C. Riccardi
· Dipartimento di Scienze Morfologiche-Biomediche, Università di Verona, Dr.ssa P. Marzola
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Bologna, Prof. M. Comes Franchini
· Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Pisa, Prof. E. Chiellini
· National Nanotechnology Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dr. T. Pellegrino
· INFM-CNR , Unita’ di Roma , prof. A.A. Varlamov
· IEQ - CNR, Firenze, dr. M.G.Pini
OTHER COUNTRIES AND COMPANIES
· CNRS, Laboratorio Campi Intensi di Grenoble (France), gruppo prof. C.Berthier, Dr. M.Horvatic, Dr. M.H. Julien
· Laboratoire Louis Neel, Grenoble-CNRS (France), prof. B. Barbara
· Dept. Chemistry, Manchester University (UK), prof. R. Winpenny
· Dept. Chemistry, Karlsruhe University (Germany), prof. A. Powell
· Dept. of Physics, Hokkaido University (Japan), gruppo Prof. Kumagai, Prof. Y. Furukawa (now Ames Lab- Iowa-USA)
· Dept. of Physics (Boston-USA), Prof. M. Graf
· Dept. Of Physics, University of Zaragoza (Spain ), Prof. F. Palacio e Dr. A. Millan
· Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Universidad de Granada (Spain), Dr. J.M. Dominguez-Vera
· Inorganic Chemistry Department, University of Bucarest (Romania), prof. M. Andruh
· CNRS and University of Montpellier (France), Dr. J. Larionova, Dr. Y. Guari
· Sharif University (Iran), Prof. M. Mahmoudi
· University of Bordeaux (France), Prof. S. Lecommandoux
· Bracco SpA, Milano (Italy), dr. V. Lorusso
Colorobbia, Vinci (FI) (Italy), Dr. G. Baldi, Dr. D. Bonacchi, C. RavagliCentro Ricerche