Welcome to our group!

The multi-Scale ModeLing Laboratory - SMaLL - is an engineering research group launched at Politecnico di Torino with the aim to propose and promote innovative solutions for applications related to the energy sector. The lab is led and composed of young researchers with different backgrounds in engineering, mathematics and physics.

Our activities span over modeling, numerical simulations and experimental tests, mostly focusing on sea water desalination and purification using solar energy and waste heat recovery. We work on materials modeling techniques at different scales (from atomistic to continuum), model-order reduction techniques, coarse-graining (up-scaling) methods for colloidal suspensions for bio/nano-technologies, energetic efficiency and more. Check out our research and projects!


The SMaLL team

M. Fasano receives the ENI award 2017 from the Italian president

Prof. Asinari's interview on La7

P. Asinari, M. Fasano and E. Chiavazzo

SMaLL at the Researchers' night in Turin




Contact us

Prof. Eliodoro Chiavazzo


Department of Energy

Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24

10129 Turin - Italy


Mail: eliodoro.chiavazzo@polito.it

Phone: +39 011 090 4557

Fax: +39 011 090 4499


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SMaLL at a glance

Discover more on our activities on the website and on our social pages!



June 2022
Curious to know how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help with new materials for energy applications? Our article, "Minimal crystallographic descriptors of sorption properties in hypothetical MOFs and role in sequential learning optimization", shows you one way!



Here we use AI to screen a large dataset of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs), and target the best ones to "entrap" water and store thermal energy. The article, published on the Nature Partner Journal npj Computational Materials, is freely available in Open Access! See also the related news on LaRepubblica and PoliFlash magazine.
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June 2022
New article published on Journal of Energy Storage! Here we provide a comprehensive overview on the use of additives within selected Phase Change Materials (PCMs), to enhance their properties for long term Thermal Energy Storage (TES).



The article, "An overview on the use of additives and preparation procedure in phase change materials for thermal energy storage with a focus on long term applications", is freely available in Open Access!
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28 May 2021
Dr. Matteo Morciano is the winner of the ENI Award 2020 as Young Researcher of the Year! Matteo is awarded for its work on innovative technologies for sustainable water treatment using solar energy. More specifically, in collaboration with the Clean Water Center at POLITO, he has developed a low-cost and environmentally friendly system for water desalination. Congrats Matteo, ad maiora!


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September 2020
New article in collaboration with MIT published on Energy & Environmental Science about a novel approach to passive solar water desalination and effective salt rejection. Read the article Solar passive distiller with high productivity and Marangoni effect-driven salt rejection


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April 2020
Paolo De Angelis and Francesco Bellussi are granted a Class B ISCRA project entitled MODLIBAT thus securing 2.500.000 coreh and 1 TB memory on the supercomputing facility MARCONI100 at CINECA for performing innovative simulations on lithium electro-chemical batteries. Congratulations Paolo and Francesco!


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December 2019
The SMaLL group acknowledges Siemens PLM Software and BSim Engineering for providing the academic license of the Simcenter Amesim 2019 software.


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December 2019
The SMaLL group supports the Battery2030+ initiative. Check out the latest Roadmap.


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February/March 2019
New papers published on Nanoscale "Multi-scale approach for modeling stability, aggregation, and network formation of nanoparticles suspended in aqueous solutions" and on Scientific Reports "Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption".


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July 2020
New article in collaboration with CNR published on Scientific Reports about a novel approach to realize cost effective water sorbent materials for thermal energy storage applications. Read the article Cementitious composite materials for thermal energy storage applications: a preliminary characterization and theoretical analysis and the news on Materials Today!


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March 2020
New article in collaboration with INRIM published on Science Advances about a novel approach to passive cooling by only exploiting salinity gradients. Read the article Multistage and passive cooling process driven by salinity difference and the news on EurekAlert!


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5 November 2019
New article published on ACS Central Science about enhanced sampling in molecular dynamics to predict the adsorption isotherm of sodium-dodecyl-sulfate (SDS) on bare a-alumina NPs suspended in aqueous solution. Read the article "Exploring the Free Energy Landscape To Predict the Surfactant Adsorption Isotherm at the Nanoparticle-Water Interface" and check out the video below!


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18 February 2019
Our device for sustainable sea-water desalination using solar energy is protagonist on the February issue of RLab, a section in Repubblica.it dedicated to technological innovation and on Radio24 - Il Sole 24 ORE!


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14 December 2018
The new paper "Passive solar high-yield seawater desalination by modular and low-cost distillation" is published on Nature Sustainability! The article also obtained the cover page of the December issue! A readable version of the article can be found here and more info on what is "behind the paper" can be found in this blog!


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26 November 2018
Eliodoro Chiavazzo of the SMaLL team organized the seminar "Solar Fuels by Artificial Photosynthesis - An Overview" given by Prof. Leif Hammarström (Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University) at the Energy Center, Politecnico di Torino.


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6 June 2018
Our project proposal for Alta Scuola Politecnica (ASP) - iMat, empowering materials development via artificial intelligence - has been chosen by the students of the 14th ASP cycle! The students will work in cooperation with Eliodoro Chiavazzo and Luca Bergamasco of the SMaLL team!


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1-2 February 2018
The SMaLL group, within its activities for the European Materials Modeling Council (EMMC), organized an Expert Meeting on the promotion of discrete materials models in industry! The goal of the workshop is to bridge industrial research and academic model development, that is: When model developers and industrial researchers meet! Find more info on the webpage of the event of the EMMC website!


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24 October 2017
Presentation video of the SALTLESS project about water desalination and purification using waste energy recovery


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6 October 2017
Congrats to the students of the team SUNFLOWER, winner of the Maker Competition 2017 @POLITO! The team wins a ticket for the Maker Faire 2017 in Rome! Good job also for the other teams (FLEGO, FREEZE, PINGU and PARABOLIC), for their excellent prototypes for water desalination!


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3 October 2017
Matteo Fasano wins the "Young Researcher of the Year" prize of the ENI Award 2017! Congrats Matteo from the SMaLL group! Matteo gives a Lectio Magistralis on "Heat and Mass Transfer of Water at Nanoscale Solid-Liquid Interfaces" on Tuesday 3 October at 10:30h in Sala Consiglio di Facoltà, Politecnico di Torino. Come and assist with us!


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20 September 2017
Matteo Morciano, Matteo Fasano, Eliodoro Chiavazzo and Pietro Asinari published an experimental paper on Scientific Reports about "Efficient steam generation by inexpensive narrow gap evaporation device for solar applications". Read the article!


Schematics and section of the solar steam generator
M. Morciano et al. Scientific Reports 7 11970 (2017)
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21 June 2017
Eliodoro Chiavazzo published a paper on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America about "Intrinsic map dynamics exploration for uncharted effective free-energy landscapes". Read the article and see the news on the Poliflash Magazine and on the Italian press...


iMapD exploration procedure for molecular dynamics
E. Chiavazzo et al. PNAS 2017 114 (28) E5494-E5503.
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21 March 2017
Prof. Pietro Asinari presents the NANOSTEP project - NANOfluid-based Solar absorption for Thermal Energy and water Purification - at the research @polito day (giornata della ricerca). Check out more on this and other projects!


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3 October 2016
Matteo Fasano, Eliodoro Chiavazzo and Pietro Asinari published a paper on Nature Communications about the "Interplay between hydrophilicity and surface barriers on water transport in zeolite membranes" in collaboration with the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT). Read more...


Water intrusion in silicate pore
M. Fasano et al. Nature Communications 7 (2016) 12762.



3 August 2018
Prof. Pietro Asinari, has been just appointed member of the OpenKIM Advisory Board! The Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models (OpenKIM) is an online framework for making molecular simulations more reliable, reproducible, and portable.


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16 April 2018
Our paper Efficient steam generation by inexpensive narrow gap evaporation device for solar applications is in the Top 100 most-read Scientific Reports in 2017!


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5 December 2017
The clean water center (CWC) @POLITO is at the kick-off! The aim of this center is to gather different expertises to promote research on innovative technologies for water purification. The SMaLL group is part of this multi-disciplinary collaboration!


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2 December 2017
Elio and Matteo partecipate to the 5th Edition of the Maker Faire Rome with the students of the team SUNFLOWER, winner of the Maker Competition 2017 @POLITO!


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11 November 2017
The SMaLL group goes on the national TV! Prof. Pietro Asinari explains our activities on sustainable water treatment at the TV show MeravigliosaMENTE on La7, with Enrico Bertolino! If you lost it, the full video is available here!


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5 October 2017
Matteo Fasano receives the ENI Award 2017 from the Italian president at the Quirinale in Rome! Matteo wins the "Young Researcher of the Year" prize for its work on heat and mass transfer effects at the nano-scale, with particular focus on water diffusion in nano-confined environments.

Congrats Matteo, ad maiora!


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29 September 2017
The SMaLL team presents experimental activities on water desalination and purification at the European Researchers' night "Notte Europea dei Ricercatori" in Turin: find out photos and videos of the event on our Facebook page!


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22 August 2017
The SMaLL team, in collaboration with Ale Strachan's Group at Purdue University, published an online tool for computing thermal conductivities of carbon nano-tubes on the NanoHub platform. Two versions of the tool are available: a "scientific" version for fast computations and a tutorial version for students interested in learning molecular dynamics. Find out more and try the tool on NanoHub!


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7 April 2017
In the framework of the EMMC-CSA project, Pietro Asinari and Luca Bergamasco took part in the organization of the first International Workshop of the European Materials Modeling Council (EMMC) in Vienna (Austria). Read more...


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10 October 2016
Politecnico di Torino hosts the first edition of the Maker Competition, where four selected groups of students from the master courses "Applicazioni Avanzate di Fisica Tecnica" and "Accumulo e trasporto di energia" present their prototypes for water desalination devices. The winners will get a ticket for the Maker Faire 2016 in Rome!


Engineering students present their prototypes for desalination at the Maker Competition
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18 November 2015
The SMaLL team installed at Politecnico a brand-new solar concentrator with double-axis sun-tracking system for studying the behaviour of water and nanofluids under concentrated solar radiation Discover more...


The new solar concentrator on the rooftop at Politecnico di Torino
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6 February 2014
Eliodoro Chiavazzo, Matteo Fasano and Pietro Asinari published a paper on Nature Communications about the "Scaling behaviour for the water transport in nanoconfined geometries". Read more...


Confined water molecules (molecular dynamics)
Image copyright - SMaLL 2017