Soft Matter Group – The Team

Oriano Francescangeli is Full Professor of Experimental Physics at the Polytechnic University of Marche (UnivPM), Ancona. He received his degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Ancona (UniAN) in 1984. After a one-year work experience as Project Engineer in a private company and a few years of research-fellow activity in the physics of matter, in 1988 he started his academic career as Assistant Professor at the UniAN where, in 1998, was appointed Associate Professor of Experimental Physics. In 2011 he was appointed Full Professor of Experimental Physics at the UnivPM and, since then, he has carried out research and teaching activity at the Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning (SIMAU) of the UnivPM. Since1999 he has been the Director of the Advanced Laboratory for X-ray Diffraction (LADIX) at the SIMAU Department and, from 2015 to 2021, he has served as Director of the SIMAU Department and Member of the Academic Senate of the UnivPM. His scientific interests span the field of condensed matter physics, primarily investigated by means of X-ray diffraction and (electro-)optical techniques. He is an expert of X.-ray and neutron scattering techniques and is regular user of the main european large-scale facilities for synchrotron radiation and neutron scattering. He is the author of more than 200 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and has been invited speaker at several international conferences. He has been responsible or principal investigator of many national and international research projects.

Francesco Vita is Associate Professor in Experimental Physics at the SIMAU Department, Faculty of Engineering, of the Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona, Italy).

His research activity focuses on the experimental study of soft condensed matter, with a particular interest in the structural properties of liquid crystals and polymers, primarily investigated by means of X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques. The goal is exploring the relationship between nanoscale supramolecular structure and macroscopic physical properties in different kinds of unconventional liquid crystals. Recently studied systems comprise: potentially polar and/or biaxial bent-core nematics; liquid crystalline polymer-graphene oxide composites with extraordinary mechanical properties; lipid-based lyotropic mesophases for drug delivery applications. The research activity is carried out in collaboration with several foreign groups and institutions and involves frequent experiments at large international facilities for synchrotron radiation (ESRF, Elettra, Alba). Complementary topics of interest include: the optical and electro-optical investigation of liquid crystals, the characterization and nano-patterning of thin films, holography, photonic and optofluidic devices

Daniele Eugenio Lucchetta is Associate Professor of Experimental Physics at Università Politecnica delle Marche, at SIMAU Department. He is Member of the committee of the Doctorate School, Head of the Optics and Optoacoustics reasearch group, and responsible of the relative laboratories, and Coordinator of the advanced course in Engineering of Musical Instruments. He has near to 100 publications in peer-review international journals, with a total number of citations 942 and an H index of 17.

His main research activities are addressed to: Physical characterization of polymer dispersed NLCs (PDLCs), Fabrication of phase only electrically-driven light modulators based on Nano-PDLC materials, Fabrication of holographic gratings based on photo-sensitive organic compounds to be used for high density data storage applications (holographic disks), Development of filters and light switching devices to be used in the field of integrated optics and telecommunications, Fabrication of optical-pumped organic lasers (plastic lasers) working as distributed feedback (DFB) devices or as Distributed Bragg Reflectors (DBR), Surface phenomena and Holography on Photomobile thin films.

Dr. Alessandro Mariani received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 2016 at La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). His thesis focused on the mixing behavior of protic ionic liquids with molecular cosolvents, using theoretical and experimental methods. He then spent 2 years as a Postdoc at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France) on the ID02 TRUSWAXS beamline, serving as local contact for external users and focusing on the liquid-liquid phase transition of complex systems. Between 2018 and 2022, he was employed as a Postdoc and Project Manager at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm, studying systems of electrochemical interest. At the beginning of 2022 he joined Università Politecnica delle Marche as a researcher. He is an expert in the use of SAXS, Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies, and MD and DFT simulations.

Dr. Luigi Montalto is part of the technical staff of the Università Politecnica delle Marche as research engineer. He received his Master degree in mechanical engineering at Università Politecnica delle Marche with a thesis developed in collaboration with the SAINT GOBAIN RECHERCHE company. Since April 2013, he collaborates with UNIVPM engineering research groups; He got his Ph.D. in industrial engineering carrying out a thesis on the “Inspection and characterization of birefringent materials: development of methods and systems for scintillating anisotropic crystals”. By this, He received a PhD price from MESAP industrial group (TORINO) in the “smart manufacturing challenge”. He takes part in different collaborations involving both research groups of the UNIVPM and external institution such as: CERN, INFN, Saint-Gobain Recherche (Paris), Justus Liebig University (Giessen), Crytur (Turnov, CZ), University of West Attica (Athens), Filar OptoMaterials (Sardinia, Italy), BIOEMTECH (Athens). He takes part to the Crystal Clear Collaboration group at CERN, PANDA project, Mu2e Project and ICRYS group (Ancona, IT).

His research activity is focused on material characterization and the development methods and systems for test, quality assessment and characterization of transparent and opaque materials, particularly oriented to non-invasive techniques. Optics, image processing, acoustic techniques are involved in the research in parallel with analytical methods such as XRD, SEM and Optical Microscopy.