WHO WE ARE
The Research Group is born from a small nucleus of researchers who have in mind to study and develop materials and processes for electronics, with the recursive idea that the new frontiers imposed by micro and nano technology would make the difference compared to more traditional approaches. Over the years, this vision has evolved and expanded towards new research fields that now include biomedical, industrial, agri-food, environmental monitoring, energy. The philosophy remains the same, but the research topics grow exponentially and today the vision of the pioneers is shared with a group of about 40 people.As a result of this evolution, today the Group has well-established technological and fundamental competences in the growth, characterization and processing of materials at the micro and nano-scale, technological transfer and education. We develop new materials and processes for MEMS, micro- and nano-structures and devices to target different application fields.The research activities are performed in collaboration with several Industrial Partners and Academic Institutions.As regards the research activity in the biomaterials sector, The Group is intensely involved in the PolitoBIOMedLab, an interdepartmental laboratory financed by Politecnico. The mission of the Center is the integration of the multiple scientific skills present at Politecnico, promoting research on health topics and well-being of citizens during their entire life cycle.The Group is also partner of PEIC, the new Interdepartmental Center of the Polytechnic of Turin dedicated to Power Electronics, key enabling technology for the conversion of electricity. PEIC aims to become a national and international reference point for the conversion of electrical power in the areas of strategic application of transport electrification, production and efficient conversion of electricity and advanced industrial production. In this framework, the Group will make available its technological expertise for the development of materials and devices.The Research Group is involved in the activities of the Interdepartmental Center EC-L (Energy Center Lab) and in particular in the framework of the Action 2 - Models (implemented by means of software or hardware-in-the-loop) focused on the application of energy storage models in the overall description of a real case study (e.g. an energy scenario describing the City of Torino).OUR FACILITIES Our facilities are located at the Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT) of Politecnico of Torino and at the Chilab - Materials and Microsystems Laboratory of Chivasso (TO).In the labs located at DISAT, several high tech tools dedicated to materials and devices characterization (advanced microscopy and spectroscopy) and surface functionalization are located.
The Chilab - Materials and Microsystems Laboratory was founded in 1999 and it is managed by Politecnico di Torino through the DISAT Department. The activity of the Lab deals with fundamental research in material science, processes for micro and nanotechnology, design and fabrication of silicon and polymer based microsystems, microsensors and Lab-On-a-Chip.A cleanroom is available at the Chilab for the implementation of micro- and nano-scale technological processes. The cleanroom is composed of ISO 14644 Class5 (U.S Fed-Std 209D Class 100) and ISO 14644 Class6 (U.S Fed-Std 209D Class 1000) areas.
OUR NETWORKOver the years the Group has strengthened a scientific and technological Network involving several Institutions, both public and private. Common effort is to establish a profitable convergence in the domain of micro and nanotechnologies and related application fields. Through the Network, complementary shared facilities and expertise are available. The other players belonging to the Partnership Network are:
- MICROLA OPTOELECTRONICS, a spin-off of Politecnico di Torino with expertise in the field of optoelectronics, customization of laser systems, laser-assisted processes and micromachining, electronic interfaces and automation.
- The Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism (IMEM) of the italian National Research Council (CNR) which in 2010 opened an operative site at the DISAT Department of Politecnico di Torino, sharing personnel and research activities
- The Center for Sustainable Futures Technologies of the Italian Institute of Technology (CSHR-IIT@PoliTo), a private Foundation jointly established by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to promote excellence in basic and applied science.
We are also involved in the "Nanofacility Piemonte Laboratory", located at INRIM (Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica) and supported by "Compagnia di San Paolo". This facility is dedicated to nano-fabrication and characterization of materials and devices and it is shared by INRIM, PoliTo and UniTo.
HOW TO REACH US
The Group operates in two distinct locations: the metropolitan site of the Politecnico di Torino (DISAT Department) in Turin downtown, and the site at "Palazzo Einaudi" in Chivasso (Turin).
The downtown site is in Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, a strategically and convenient central location for those arriving in Turin by train from Porta Nuova or Porta Susa railway stations, both about a 15 minute walk.
- If you arrive at Torino by plane, Chivasso is easily reachable from the airport by car or Taxi in about 20 minutes.
- If you arrive by car, exit the Torino-Milano highway (A4) in correspondence of Chivasso Ovest. Then direct to the center of the town following the signposts to Chivasso.
- If you arrive at Torino by train, you may catch a local train to Chivasso. This should take about 15 minutes. The timetable can be easily retrieved at the web page www.trenitalia.com. Once you arrive at Chivasso railway station, you can reach the laboratory which is about 10 minutes walk far.
PhD Position available for candidates with a Master Degree received from a not Italian University
PhD Position available in ELECTRICAL, ELECTRONIC AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING for candidates with a Master Degree received from a not Italian University
Reference teachers at the Polytechnic of Turin:
PIRRI CANDIDO FABRIZIO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COCUZZA MATTEO (email@example.com)
PhD Program in collaboration with Université Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble INP (PHELMA), FRANCE (reference teacher THIERRY OUISSE (firstname.lastname@example.org) Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique (LMGP)
This proposal belongs to micro and nanotechnology domain and is motivated by the recent discovery of two-dimensional (2D) materials called MXenes. Their exceptional properties (high conductivity, chemical stability, hydrophilicity) and their number make them a unique family of 2D materials. Their solubility in water and organic solvents, the simplicity of surface functionalization and their stability have made possible applications as supercapacitors with record performance, measuring electrodes, etc. Their ease of use allows the implementation of low cost processes.
Through the work of the PhD student and the collaboration between the aforementioned Institutes, we intend to demonstrate the feasibility of applications not yet exploited for the MXenes: (1) MXene-polymer composites obtained by 3D Printing and Electrospinning techniques and (2) gas sensors and biosensors (detection of low concentration circulating markers specific for cancer). These applications belong to very different domains, but actually involve common processes. The advantages of applying MXenes in terms of costs and performance will be demonstrated.
MXenes are synthesized from nanolamellar materials called MAX phases, with the formula Mn + 1AXn. M is a transition metal, A an element of columns 13-16 and X = C or N. In 2011 at Drexel Univ., M. Barsoum (participant in the project) and co-inventors discovered that the immersion of the phases containing Al in HF leads to the elimination of aluminum atoms and a 3D-2D transformation. These 2D materials were called MXenes to identify the loss of element A and by analogy with graphene. They are now recognized as members of the 2D material family. They stand out because they are: (1) good metallic conductors, (2) have very different compositions and easily modifiable by means of a suitable surface chemistry, (3) they are exceptionally rigid, (4) they can be hydrophilic or hydrophobic after suitable surface functionalization, (5) they are stable. They are easily managed in solution (including water), which favors low-cost applications and environmentally friendly processes.
About six years after their discovery, about twenty compounds have been synthesized. Unlike graphene, their exfoliation produces unsaturated bonds that allow surface functionalization through T terminations, and their stoichiometry is therefore Mn + 1CnTx.
The MXenes constitute the fundamental basic elements of various applications: thanks to the large surface/volume ratio, supercapacitors with practically record values (> 1000 F/cm3), exceptional electromagnetic shielding in aqueous solvent-based paints, electrodes for lithium-ion batteries, transparent conductors, sensors, etc. Research is growing exponentially. Useful applications not covered in previous works will therefore be developed, having as a guideline the systematic search for low-cost processes and the choice of applications with high social impact:
1) applications for hostile/extreme environmental conditions and high added value (oil, aeronautics and aerospace industry) through additive manufacturing and/or nanostructuring of MXenes/polymeric composite materials to print complex 3D objects with thermal, electrical, electrochemical, electromagnetic shielding,…
2) gas sensors and biosensors: functionalizable electrodes for the selective detection of low concentration and cancer specific circulating markers (such as miRNA, exosomes and oncosomes), functional filters and electrodes with a high active surface in the form of polymer composite nanofibers/MXenes obtained by electrospinning.
Our main objective is to develop the appropriate technological processes to establish the feasibility of applications based on MXenes not covered by previous works, keeping as a guideline the systematic search for low cost processes and the choice of high social impact applications.
The geographical proximity between PoliTo and INPG will facilitate the organization of short stays for the PhD student, according to the needs of the project.
In addition to the basic scientific interest related to the properties of the MXenes, the proposed project will also explore some technical-scientific applications with potentially disruptive results. Some of the applications identified represent a totally virgin territory (3D printing of composite materials), others have been the subject of preliminary research (electrospinning of composite materials), others have been widely studied (energy storage applications) but only to identify the limits of efficiency and performance of materials and not the most challenging niche applications (hostile environmental conditions and high temperatures), while others have seen the publication of relatively simple technological exercises.
Finally, the combination of MXenes with polymers to create composite materials with completely new and widely modular properties, will open the way to contribute to the development of new ideas and applications, therefore going beyond the examples identified in this project.
- the net year salary is about 17000 euros
- the PhD thesis will be performed at Polytechnic of Turin (Italy), with a possible visiting period of max 6 months in Grenoble INPG
- the master degree should be obtained before October 30th, since the Phd will start November 1st
- the candidate must submit his/her candidature to the PoliTo Scudo site before the deadline, that is to say September 9th (all details at http://dottorato.polito.it/en/call_for_applications).
- Documents to be prepared for the application: Bachelor and Master Degree title documents, list of exams, grades and dates, abstract of Master Thesis, Short Statament Of Purpose (SOP), publications, two referees names (all details at http://dottorato.polito.it/en/call_for_applications).
- Foreign applicants must have already obtained a valid GRE® (Graduate Record Examinations) General Test by the application deadline (September 9th).
- All candidates are required to prove their knowledge of the English language by showing one of the following English language certificates. Certificates are valid regardless of when they were obtained. Certificates which are not listed below will not be accepted as proof of knowledge of the English language.
- IELTS: minimum score 5.0;
- one of the language certificates accepted in substitution for IELTS 5.0 by Politecnico di Torino and listed in the table “B2 English language level during a transitional period” available at https://didattica.polito.it/cla/en/certificates
Applicants with a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree awarded by a university where English is the medium of instruction are exempted from presenting any English language certificate. In this case, the university must specify that “The medium of instruction is English”.
Also applicants who do not have an English language certificate can submit their application, but in this case they will be admitted to the selection process “with condition” and must present one of the above-mentioned certificates upon enrolment and absolutely no later than 31 October 2020. Failure to do so entails that they will not be admitted to the PhD program.