Research Groups







Organic Materials for Optical Information Processing and Storage



Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica e Ingegneria dei Materiali e del Territorio

Università di Ancona

Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona - Italy

Group Leader:          

Francesco Simoni                                                        


Oriano Francescangeli                      

Liana Lucchetti

Daniele E.Lucchetta

Vesna Stanic

Luigi Gobbi

Renato Marzocchini

Alessandro Manni               (Graduate Student)

Massimo Di Fabrizio           (Graduate Student)

Luigino Criante                   (Undergraduate Student)

Contact persons:


Francesco Simoni                                              

Oriano Francescangeli                                                              

Present subjects of Research:

-         Nonlinear optical properties of liquid crystals and polymers

-         Electro-optics of composite organic materials

-         Structure and morphology of polymeric matrices with nanosized domains of liquid crystals 

-         Light-induced structural modifications in liquid crystalline materials

-         Structure of new polymeric and liquid crystalline materials

-         Real time holography for aberrations compensation

-         Recording of permanent binary and holographic images for optical storage applications

-         Optical patterning on composite materials for telecom applications

-         Spatial Light Modulation for optical information processing

Laboratories and facilities:


-    Lab1  Sample preparation : standard apparatus for preparation and control of pre-aligned LC and composite samples

-    Lab2 Laser Optics 1 : CW laser sources, Argon laser (2W@514nm), Diode pumped Nd laser (2W@532nm), He-Ne laser (35mW@632nm)

-    Lab3    Laser Optics 2 : Q-switched Nd-Yag laser (200mJ@1063nm, 4ns pulse) with SHG and THG

-    Lab4    X-Rays 1 : General Area Detector Diffraction System

-    Lab5   X-Rays 2 : Powder Diffractometer equipped with stage for Reflectometry and Grazing Angle Diffraction

-    Lab6    SEM: Scanning Electron Microscope (Department Facility)

-    Lab7 TEM: Transmission Electron Microscope (Department Facility)


Selected publications of last three years:


  • F.Simoni and O. Francescangeli – Effects of light on molecular orientation of liquid crystals – INVITED PAPER on JOURNAL of PHYSICS : Condens. Matter  11, R439 (1999)
  • I.C.Khoo, M.-Y.Shih, M.V.Wood, B.D.Guenther, P.H.Chen, F.Simoni, S.Slussarenko, O.Francescangeli, L.Lucchetti – Dye-Doped Photorefractive Liquid Crystals for Dynamic and Storage Holographic Grating Formation and Spatial Light Modulation – Proceedings of the IEEE, 87, 1897 (1999)
  • F.Simoni and O.Francescangeli – Optical Properties of Polymer-dispersed Liquid Crystals – INVITED PAPER on INT.JOURNAL of POLYMERIC MATERIALS 45, 381 (2000)
  • L.Lucchetti and F.Simoni – Coarsening and phase separation in ultraviolet cure polymer dispersed liquid crystals - JOURNAL of APPLIED PHYSICS  88, 3934 (2000)
  • E.Ouskova, D.Fedorenko, Yu.Reznikov, S.V.Shiyanovskii, L.Su, J.L.West, O.V.Kuksenok, O.Francescangeli, F.Simoni – Hidden Photoalignment of Liquid Crystals in Isotropic Phase – PHYSICAL REVIEW E 63, 021701 (2001)
  • F.Simoni, L.Lucchetti, D.E.Lucchetta and O.Francescangeli – On the origin of the huge nonlinear response of dye-doped liquid crystals – OPTICS EXPRESS, 9, 85 (2001)
  • E.Ouskova, Yu.Reznikov, S.V.Shiyanovskii, L.Su, J.L.West, O.Francescangeli, F.Simoni – Photoorientation of Liquid Crystals due to Light Induced Desorption/Adsorption of Dye Molecules on Aligning Surface – PHYSICAL REVIEW E 64, 051709 (2001)
  • L. Lucchetti, S. Di Bella and F. Simoni - Optical Storage of Hidden Images in Ultraviolet-Cured Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals - LIQUID CRYSTALS  29, 515 (2002)
  • L.Lucchetta, R.Karapinar, A.Manni and F.Simoni – Phase-only modulation by nanosized polymer dispersed liquid crystals - JOURNAL of APPLIED PHYSICS  91, 6060 (2002)
  • L.Lucchetti, D.E. Lucchetta, O. Francescangeli, and F. Simoni “SINE: Surface Induced Nonlinear Effects”, MOLECULAR CRYSTALS  AND LIQUID CRYSTALS 375, 641 (2002)








Site and full address:

(a) Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica e Inorganica

Universita' di Bologna,

Viale Risorgimento 4, I-40136 Bologna, Italy

home page: <>

(b) Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Bologna,

Via Irnerio 46, 40126 Bologna, Italy

Group Leader:          

Claudio Zannoni          


Alberto Arcioni(a)

Roberto Berardi(a)

Corrado Bacchiocchi(a)

Cesare Chiccoli (b)

Silvia Orlandi(a)

Luca Muccioli(a)

Paolo Pasini (b)

Matteo Ricci(a)

Contact persons:

Claudio Zannoni                         

Paolo Pasini                                

Present subjects of Research:

·        Computer Simulations of Liquid Crystals

o       Lattice models are used to investigate bulk systems, model displays, defects .We are now studying nanoconfined systems, in particular the effects on order and memory of silica particles or polymer fibrils dispersed in nematics.

o       Molecular resolution models are employed to study various bulk phases and their transitions. In particular we study the effect of changing molecular features (shape, dipole, quadrupole etc.) on liquid crystal properties. We use this to design molecular models for optimized or novel mesophases. Recently we have succeeded, by suitably combining repulsive and attractive interactions, in simulating a thermotropic biaxial nematic and a ferroelectric nematic designed from tapered molecules.

·        Development of Theories and Data Analysis Methodologies for the study of order and dynamics of liquid crystalline materials, including polymers and membranes with Fluorescence Depolarization, ESR, NMR, Dielectric Relaxation. E.g.

o       Energy Transfer experiments are modeled using computer simulations for rodlike and discotic systems to study the effect of phase organization on Forster transfer..

o       ESR is used to study probes in nematic with dispersed aerosils and examine changes in order and dynamics.

Laboratories and facilities:


Group computational facilities:

·        Silicon Graphics (SGI) Origin 200 system (12 processors (PE)): 4 R10000, 180 MHz PE, 512 Mb, 9Gb HD; 4 R10000, 220 MHz PE, 1024 Mb, 9Gb HD; 4 R12000, 270 MHz PE, 2048Mb, 36Gb HD.

·        Silicon Graphics Origin 3800 (6 processors of the Cineca installation totalling 128 R14000 500 Mhz, 1Gb memory PE)

·        cluster Linux (20 CPU AMD Athlon 1200MHz),

·        cluster Linux (9 CPU AMD Athlon 700MHz),

External computational facilities: access to the resources of CINECA Supercomputing Centre (http:/ based in Bologna: SGI Origin 3800 (128 CPU MIPS R14K 500Mhz), IBM SP4 (512 CPU POWER4 1100MHz), cluster Linux (128 CPU Intel Pentium III 1133MHz)

Instrumental facilities:

·        ESR: Bruker ESP300E spectrometer,

·        Fluorescence: static (Perkin Elmer) and nanosecond time scale dynamics (Edinburgh Instr.) Single Photon Counting apparatus.

Selected publications of last three years:

·        P. Pasini, C. Chiccoli and C. Zannoni - Liquid crystal lattice models I. Bulk systems, in Advances in the Computer Simulations of Liquid Crystals - P. Pasini and C. Zannoni eds., Kluwer, Dordrecht, 99 - 119 (2000)

·        P. Pasini, C. Chiccoli and C. Zannoni - Liquid crystal lattice models II. Confined systems, in Advances in the Computer Simulations of Liquid Crystals - P. Pasini and C. Zannoni eds., Kluwer, Dordrecht, 121 - 137 (2000)

·        Brognara, P. Pasini and C. Zannoni - Rototranslational diffusion of biaxial probes in uniaxial liquid crystal phases - J. Chem. Phys. 112, 4836-4848 (2000)

·        R. Berardi, S. Orlandi and C. Zannoni - Columnar phases and field induced biaxiality of a Gay-Berne discotic liquid crystals - PCCP 2, 2933-2942 (2000)

·        T. Bellini, M. Buscaglia, C. Chiccoli, F. Mantegazza, P. Pasini and C. Zannoni - Nematics with quenched disorder: what is left when long range order is disrupted? - Phys.Rev.Lett. 85,1008-1011 (2000)

·        R. Berardi and C. Zannoni - Do thermotropic biaxial nematics exist? A Monte Carlo study of biaxial Gay-Berne particles - J. Chem. Phys. 113, 5971-5979 (2000)

·        Chiccoli, P. Pasini, G. Skacej, C. Zannoni and S. Zumer - Dynamical and field effects in polymer dispersed liquid crystals: Monte Carlo simulations of NMR spectra Carlo simulations of PDLC - Phys. Rev. E 62, 3766-3774 (2000)

·        E.E. Burnell, R. Berardi, R. T. Syvitski and C. Zannoni - Monte Carlo simulations of zero electric field gradient liquid crystal mixtures - Chem. Phys. Lett. 331, 455-464 (2000)

·        Arcioni, C. Bacchiocchi, M. D’Elia, R. Tarroni and C. Zannoni - Order and Mobility of the Fluorescent Probe 1,6-Diphenylhexatriene in a Polyester Liquid Crystal Polymer - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 362, 279-288 (2001)

·        Bacchiocchi, M. Brunelli and C. Zannoni - Energy transer and orientational dynamics in isotropic and nematic phases. A computer simulation approach - Chem.Phys.Lett. 336, 253-261 (2001)

·        Chiccoli, P. Pasini, S. Guzzetti and C. Zannoni - Computer Simulations of Nematic Displays - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 360, 119-129  (2001)

·        R. Berardi, M. Ricci and C. Zannoni - Ferroelectric nematic and smectic liquid crystals from tapered molecules – Chem.Phys.Chem. 2, 443-447 (2001)

·        Zannoni - Molecular design and computer simulations of novel mesophases - J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2637 - 2646 (2001)

·        Chiccoli, P. Pasini, G. Skacej, C. Zannoni and S. Zumer - Inhomogeneous translational diffusion in polymer dispersed liquid crystals: Monte Carlo simulations of NMR spectra - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 367, 2987-2997 (2001)

·        Chiccoli, I. Feruli, P. Pasini and C. Zannoni - Computer simulations and defects in confined liquid crystal lattice models, in Defects in Liquid Crystals: Computer Simulations, Theory and Experiments - O. Lavrentovich, P. Pasini, C. Zannoni, S. Zumer eds., Kluwer, Dordrecht, 87-112  (2001)

·        C. Chiccoli, Y. Lansac, P. Pasini, J. Stelzer and C. Zannoni - Effect of surface orientation on director configurations in a nematic droplet. A Monte Carlo simulation - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 157-165 (2001)

·        R. Berardi, S. Orlandi, D. J. Photinos, A. G. Vanakaras and C. Zannoni - Dipole strength effects on the polymorphism in polar smectics - PCCP 4, 770-777 (2002)

·        C. Chiccoli, P. Pasini, G. Skacej, C. Zannoni and S. Zumer - Polymer network-induced ordering in a nematogenic liquid: A Monte Carlo study - Phys. Rev. E 65, 051703-1, 051703-7 (2002)

·        T. Bellini, M. Buscaglia, C. Chiccoli, F. Mantegazza, P. Pasini and C. Zannoni - Nematics with quenched disorder: how long will it take to heal? - Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 245506-1 - 245506-4 (2002)

·        Arcioni, C. Bacchiocchi, L. Grossi, A. Nicolini and C. Zannoni - ESR studies of order and dynamics in a nematic liquid crystal containing a dispersed hydrophobic aerosil - J.Phys. Chem. (2002)







Site and full address:

Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna

Dipartimento di Chimica Organica “A. Mangini”

Via S. Donato 15, 40127 Bologna (Italy)

Group Leader:          

Giovanni Gottarelli                                                       


Gian Piero Spada, Professor

Stefano Masiero, Research Associate

Silvia Pieraccini, Post-Doc

Tatiana Giorgi, Graduate Student

Riccardo Lobruto, Graduate Student

Stefano Lena, Graduate Student

Contact persons:

Giovanni Gottarelli                              

Gian Piero Spada                                 

Present subjects of Research:

Our group is interested in many subjects concerning the study of molecular and supramolecular chirality. In the field of Liquid Crystals we are interested in:

a) the study of the induced cholesteric mesophases to obtain information about the chirality of the inducer; in most favourable cases, this type of research allows to obtain information about the absolute configuration and/or the preferred conformation of a chiral dopant dissolved in nematic phases;

b) the self-recognition and self-assembly of guanine derivatives; these compound self-assemble to give different supramolecular objects whose structure depends on the nature of the compound, the solvent used, the temperature and the presence of salts; these supramolecular objects may form lyomesophase in organic solvents;

c) the synthesis of chiral bis(azo) derivatives as potential molecular wires and photosensitive liquid crystals.

Laboratories and facilities:


Organic Syntesis Lab; Instrumental facilities (including 400 MHz NMR, FT-IR, Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimeter, Optical Microscopy).

Selected publications of last three years:


·        G. Proni, G. Gottarelli, P. Mariani and G. P. Spada - The Chirality of the Cholesteric Phase of DNA and G-Wires: Its Connection to Their Molecular Structures - Chem. Eur. J. 6, 3249 (2000)

·        G. Gottarelli, S. Masiero, E. Mezzina, S. Pieraccini, J. P. Rabe, P. Samorì and G. P. Spada - The self-assembly of lipophilic guanosine derivatives in solution and on solid surface - Chem. Eur. J. 6, 3242 (2000)

·        G. Proni, G. P. Spada, P. Lustenberger, R. Welti and F. Diederich - Conformational analysis in solution of C2-symmetric 1,1'-binaphthyl derivatives by circular dichroism spectroscopy and cholesteric induction in nematic mesophases - J. Org. Chem. 65, 5522 (2000)

·        S. Pieraccini, G. Gottarelli, P. Mariani, S. Masiero, L. Saturni, and G. P. Spada - Columnar Lyomesophases Formed in Hydrocarbon Solvents by Chiral Lipophilic Guanosine-Alkali Metal Complexes – Chirality  13, 7 (2001)

·        E. Mezzina, P. Mariani, R. Itri, S. Masiero, S. Pieraccini, G. P. Spada, F. Spinozzi, J. T. Davis and G. Gottarelli - The Self-Assembly of a Lipophilic Guanosine Nucleoside into Polymeric Columnar Aggregates: the Nucleoside Structure Contains Sufficient Information to Drive the Process Towards a Strikingly Regular Polymer - Chem. Eur. J. 7, 388 (2001)

·        S. Zahn, G. Proni, G. P. Spada and J. W. Canary - Supramolecular Detection of Metal Ion Binding: Ligand Conformational Control of Cholesteric Induction in Nematic Liquid Crystalline Phases - Chem. Eur. J. 7, 94 (2001)

·        P. Samorì, S. Pieraccini, S. Masiero, G. P. Spada, G. Gottarelli and J. P. Rabe - Controlling the Self-Assembly of a Deoxyguanosine on Mica - Colloids and Surfaces B 23, 283 (2002)

·        G. Proni and G. P. Spada - Doped Nematic Phases: a Tool for Amplifying and Detecting Chirality – Enantiomer 6, 171 (2001)

·        I. Manet, L. Francini, S. Masiero, S. Pieraccini, G. P. Spada and G. Gottarelli - An ESI-MS and NMR Study of the Self-Assembly of Guanosine Derivatives - Helv. Chim. Acta 84, 2096 (2001)

·        A. di Matteo, S. M. Todd, G. Gottarelli, G. Solladié, V. E. Williams, R. P. Lemieux, A. Ferrarini and G. P. Spada - Correlation Between Molecular Structure and Helicity of Induced Chiral Nematics in Terms of Short-Range and Electrostatic-Induction Interactions - J. Am. Chem. Soc. 123, 7842 (2001)

·        R. Rinaldi, E. Branca, R. Cingolani, S. Masiero, G. P. Spada and G. Gottarelli - Photodetectors Fabricated From a Self-Assembly of a Deoxyguanosine Derivative - Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 3541 (2001)

·        T. Giorgi, F. Grepioni, I. Manet, P. Mariani, S. Masiero, E. Mezzina, S. Pieraccini, L. Saturni, G. P. Spada and G. Gottarelli - Gel-like Lyomesophases Formed in Organic Solvents by Self-Assembled Guanine Ribbons - Chem. Eur. J. 8, 2143 (2002)







                                   LIQUID CRYSTALS GROUP



Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica and INFM COSENZA- Università della Calabria, Ponte P. Bucci cubo 33B – 87036 Rende (CS) - Italy

Group Leader:          

Roberto Bartolino


Cesare Umeton (full professor)

Lev M. Blinov (full professor)

Andrei Th. Ionescu (full professor)

Riccardo Barberi (associated professor)

Gabriella Cipparrone (associated professor)

Nicola Scaramuzza (associated professor)

Carlo Versace (associated professor)

Alfredo Mazzulla (contract researcher)

Giuseppe Strangi (contract researcher)

Michele Giocondo, (Researcher - Spin Off)

Federica Ciuchi, (Researcher - Spin Off)

Maria Iovane (Post Doc)

Vincenzo Bruno (PhD student)

Roberto Caputo (PhD student)

Giovanni Carbone (Ph.D student)

Antonio Checco (Ph.D student)

Antonio De Luca (PhD student)

Giuseppe Lombardo (Ph.D student)

Marco Morabito (PhD student)

Pasquale Pagliusi (PhD student)

Grazia Russo (PhD student)

Alessandro Veltri (PhD student)

Bruno Zappone (Ph.D student)

Stefano D’Elia      (graduate student)

Manuela Malara (Graduate student)

Salvatore Marino (graduate student)

Clementina Provenzano (graduate student)

Massimo Sposato (Technician - Spin Off)

Alfredo Pane  (Technician - Spin Off)

Bruno De Nardo (Technician)

Carmine Prete (Technician)

Contact persons:


Roberto Bartolino

Tel. +39-098449-3902/6122

Fax +39-0984 494401


Cesare Umeton

Tel. +39-098449-6117/6152

Fax +39-0984 494401


Riccardo Barberi

Tel. +39-098449-6118/6150

Fax +39-0984 494401


Gabriella Cipparrone

Tel. +39-0984 496148

Fax +39-0984 494401


Nicola Scaramuzza

Tel. +39-098449-6113/6151

Fax +39-0984 494401


Carlo Versace

Tel 39+098449/6147 /6116

Fax 39+098449/4401 /6149

Mobile 3333048546


Present subjects of Research:

Photorefractive effects in liquid crystalline and polymeric materials.

Materials for optical storage: PDLC, dye doped systems, azo compound. Photo-addressable materials. Surface relief grating formation.

Switchable holographic gratings in composite materials (PDLC) using alternative recording techniques

Polarization and intensity holography.

L.-B. films and thin films for polarimetric applications.

Nonlinear dynamics and transition to chaos by means experiments in liquid crystals - Techniques for the control of the chaos.

Diffraction gratings in multicomponent LC

Spatial solitons in LC

LC based devices for opto-electronics

Picosecond optics in LC

Optics and elasticity of liquid crystals

Electrohydrodynamics of liquid crystals

Dynamic light scattering

Interation between liquid crystals and mixed conductors.

Piro- and piezo-electricity in composite materials.

Flexoelectricity in liquid crystals.

The study of stable ultrathin film assemblies with specific ordering at the supramolecular level and anisotropic microemulsion. Control of organisation at nanoscale, in fact, can lead to smart materials with unique physical properties. A wide class of low molecular mass and polymer materials will be used, like liquid crystals, side-chain polymers, azo-dye derivatives, hybrid block copolymers. Films and microemulsions of these materials are of fundamental importance in the context of the physics of low-dimensional and self-organising systems. Such highly ordered organic systems are of major interest in areas like information storage, non-linear and integrated optics, display applications. Prepared as thin films these materials may serve as smart command surfaces and anisotropic coatings for electro-optical devices based on liquid crystals re-alignment and the breakdown of the continuous rotational symmetry of nematic liquid crystals in microemulsion may induce interesting optical, electro-optical and mechanical properties;

The development of bistable nematic devices working with surface bifurcations. We are here in a domain where academic research on modelization combined with basic experiments can lead to very important results to master the mechanisms implied on the proposed new family of surface controlled bistable displays. For all nematic electro-optical devices which use anchoring bifurcation, the "write" and "erase" mechanisms imply a delicate coupling of the surface anchoring bifurcation with shear flow: They are still not well-understood, thus an effort is necessary to model the surface bifurcation dynamics in presence of shear flows. The common previous experimental studies of Orsay and Cosenza on surface bifurcation of nematic anchoring have lead to two main patents on new surface controlled electro-optical devices [1,2]. These patents take full benefits of the fast surface relaxation dynamics. Their characteristic address time is very fast, in the range of 1-10 microseconds.

Laboratories and facilities:


Two Argon Ion  lasers

laser Nd-Yag Q-switched (II e III harmonics)


Half leaky guided mode set-up.

Nd:YAG picosecond laser

Ar+ laser with UV lines

Light beating spectroscopy (Brookhaven instruments)

Photopolarimetry (home built four detector polarimeter)

Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (Wollam M2000F)

UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometer CARY 5E with LABSPHERE

I and II harmonic spectrometric apparatus

Laboratory for fundamental researches with polarizing optical microscopes with video acquisition, temperature control and fotometric acquisition; fast electronics for electro-optics; 2 SPM microscopes (AFM contact and non contact, STM, EFM); fast spectrofotometer with optical fibers for real time observations; equipped optical benches; He-Ne laser sources.

Technological laboratory with a large clean room equipped with surface treatments for liquid crystals alignment (Langmuir-Blodgett films, polymer coating, SiO evaporations, spin coating, rubbing machine, ...); photolitography on glass plates-, facilities to build very thin cells down to 1.5 micron thickness.

Selected publications of last three years:


·        G. Cipparrone, A. Mazzulla and G. Russo - Diffraction grating in PDLC recorded by means of polarization holographic technique - Appl. Phys.Lett. 78, 1186 (2001)

·        G. Cipparrone, A. Mazzulla P. Pagliusi A.V. Sukhov and R.F.Ushakov - Transient photoinduced current in dye-doped polymer and PDLC -  J.O.S.A. B 18, 182 (2001)

·        V. Carbone, G. Cipparrone and G. Russo - Homoclinic Gluing bifurcations during the light induced reorientation in Nematic Liquid Crystal films - Phys. Rev. E 63, 051701 (2001)

·        L.M. Blinov, S. P. Palto, S.G. Yudin, M.P. De Santo, G. Cipparrone A. Mazzulla and R. Barberi - Polar diffraction gratings made by spatially periodic phoyopoling Langmuir-Blodgett films - Appl. Phys.Lett. 80, 16 (2002)

·        P. Pagliusi and G. Cipparrone - Surface-induced photorefractive-like effect in pure liquid crystals - Appl. Phys.Lett  80, 168 (2002)

·        G. Cipparrone, A. Mazzulla and L. M. Blinov - Permanent polarization gratings in photosensitive Langmuir-Blodgett films for polarimetric applications - J.O.S.A. B 19, 1157  (2002)

·        G. Cipparrone, G. Russo, C. Versace, G. Strangi and V. Carbone - Polarimetric study of the optically induced dynamical behavior in nematic liquid crystal films - Optics Communications 173, 1 (2000)

·        G. Strangi, C. Versace and N. Scaramuzza - Surface Anchoring Energy Modulation in Liquid Crystal Cells With Mixed Conductor Boundary Layers - Applied Physic Letters. 78, 2455 (2001)

·        S.Peruzzi, E.Bontempi, C.Versace and L.E.Depero - Liquid Crystal/ITO/Glass System Characterization Obtained by X-Ray reflectivity Measurements - Mol.Cryst.Liq.Cryst. 372, 339 (2001)

·        N. Scaramuzza, G. Strangi and C. Versace - Electro-Optic Behavior of a Non Polar Nematic Liquid Crystal and Its Mixture - Liquid Crystals  28(2), 307 (2001)

·        A.L. Alexe-Ionescu, A. Th. Ionescu, N. Scaramuzza, G. Strangi, C. Versace, G. Barbero and R. Bartolino - Liquid-crystal/electrochromic interface: A p/n-like electro-optic junction - Physical Review E 64, 011708-1 (2001)

·        V. Bruno, N. Scaramuzza and U. Zammit - Study of Critical Behavior of the Thermal Parameters in the Phase Transition in Mesogenic Materials - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 201 (2001)

·        N.V. Tabiryan and C. Umeton - Measurement of Energy Density and Duration of Ultrashort Incoherent Light Pulses with the Aid of Liquid Crystals - Optics Comm. 175, 425 (2000)

·        R. Caputo, A.V. Sukhov and C. Umeton - Experimental studies of initial stage of PDLC curing caused by UV interference pattern - Mol. Materials 12, 169 (2000)

·        R. Caputo, A.V. Sukhov, C. Umeton and R.F. Ushakov - Formation of a Grating of Submicron Nematic Layers by Photopolymerization of Nematic-Containing Mixtures - J.E.T.P. 91, 1190 (2000)

·        M. Peccianti, A. De Rossi, G. Assanto, A. De Luca, C. Umeton and I.C. Khoo - Electrically assisted self-confinement and waveguiding in planar nematic liquid crystal cells - Appl. Phys. Lett. 77,  7 (2000)

·        R. Caputo, A. V. Sukhov, C. Umeton and R. F. Ushakov -  Dynamics of Mass Transfer Caused by the Photoinduced Spatially Inhomogeneous Modulation of Mobility in a Multicomponent Medium - J.E.T.P. 92,  28 (2001)

·        R.Caputo, A.V.Sukhov, N.V.Tabiryan, C.Umeton and R.F.Ushakov - Mass transfer processes induced by inhomogeneous photo-polymerisation in a multycomponent medium - Chem. Phys. 271, 323 (2001)

·        R.Caputo, A.V.Sukhov, N.V.Tabiryan, C.Umeton and R.F.Ushakov - A new kind of photo-polymerisation induced diffraction gratings in liquid crystalline composite materials - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 263 (2001)

·        L.M.Blinov, R.Barberi, M.V.Kozlovsky, V.V.Lazarev and M.P. De Santo - Optical anisotropy and four possible orientations of a nematic liquid crystal on the same film of a photochromic chiral smectic polymer - J. Nonlinear Opt. Phys. & Materials 9, 1-10 (2000)

·        L.M. Blinov, R.Barberi, S.P. Palto, M.P. De Santo and S.G. Yudin - Switching of a ferroelectric polymer Langmuir-Blodgett film studied by Electric Field Microscopy - Journal of Applied Physics 89, 3960 (2001)

·        M. Iovane, A.L. Alexe Ionescu, R. Barberi, J.J. Bonvent and M. Giocondo - A tool to control the nematic surface alignment: anchoring competition -  Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 360, 61 (2001)

·        S. Soria, D. Schuhmacher, G. Marowsky, R. Barberi, F. Ciuchi, S. Paus and T. Rasing - Probing Alignment of Liquid Crystals on Silane Derivatives by Second Harmonic Generation - J. Nonlinear Opt. Phys. & Materials 10, 133 (2001)

·        A.L. Alexe-Ionescu, R. Barberi, M. Iovane and A.Th. Ionescu - Statistical approach on the orienting photopolymer - nematic liquid crystal anchoring energy - Phys. Rev E  65, 11703 (2001)

·        L. M. Blinov, S. P. Palto, S. G. Yudin, M. P. De Santo, G. Cipparrone, A.Mazzulla and R. Barberi - Polar diffraction gratings made by spatially periodic photopoling Langmuir-Blodgett films - Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 16 (2002)

·        V. V.Lazarev, R. Barberi, M. Iovane,L.Papalino and L.M.Blinov - Dynamics of liquid crystal azimuthal anchoring at a poly(vinylcinnamate) interface neasured in situ during polarized UV light irradiation - Liquid Crsytals 28, 273 (2002)







Site and full address:

Università della Calabria, Dip. Chimica

I-87030 Arcavacata (CS) - Italia

Group Leader:          

Mauro Ghedini


Prof. Alessandra Crispini

Prof. Daniela Pucci

Dott. Iolinda Aiello

Dott. Giovanna Barberio

Dott. Anna Bellusci

Dott. Davide Dattilo

Dott. Anna Rita Grisolia

Dott. Massimo La Deda

Contact persons:

Prof. Daniela Pucci                                    

Present subjects of Research:

-         Coordination chemistry in metal-mediated formation of liquid crystals Synthesis and thermal, diffractometric and spectroscopic characterization of luminescent metallomesogens.

-         Studies of supramolecular mesogenic associations.

Laboratories and facilities:


-         NMR Spectrometer

-         X-Ray single crystal and powder diffractometers

-      Optical Polarizing Microscope with microfurnace

-         IR and UV/VIS Spectrophotometers

-         Spectrofluorimeter

-         CHNS Elemental Analyzer

-         Differential Scanning Calorimeters

-       Spinner for spin coating

Selected publications of last three years:

  • M. Ghedini, D. Pucci, A. Crispini, G. Barberio, Oxidative Addition To Cyclometalated Azobenzene Platinum(II) Complexes: A Route To Octahedral Liquid Crystalline Materials, Organometallics 18, 2116 (1999)
  • F. Barigelletti,  M. Ghedini, D. Pucci, M. La Deda, A Mercurated Azobenzene Complex For Photoswitching Between Trans And Cis Form, Chem. Lett., 297 (1999)
  • M. Ghedini, D. Pucci, A. Crispini, I. Aiello, F. Barigelletti, A. Gessi, Dinuclear Cyclopalladated Azobenzene Complexes: A Comparative Study On Model Compounds For Organometallic Liquid Crystalline Materials, Appl. Organometal. Chem. 13, 565 (1999)
  • I. Aiello, M. Ghedini, M. La Deda, D. Pucci, O. Francescangeli, Synthesis, Mesomorphic And Spectroscopic Properties Of Bis-[(P-Tetradecylphenylazo)(N-Alkoxy)]-Substituted N,N'-Salicylidenediaminato Nickel(Ii) Complexes, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 1367 (1999)
  • A. Crispini, D. Pucci, I. Aiello and M. Ghedini - Syntehsis And Crystal Structure Of Dinuclear Cyclopalladated 1,2- And 1,3-Bridged Squarato Complexes - Inorg. Chim. Acta. 304, 219 (2000)
  • M. Ghedini, D. Pucci and G. Barberio - Coordinatively Saturated Cyclometalated Platinum(IV) Azobenzene Complexes: Synthesis And Mesomorphic Behaviour - Liq. Cryst. 27, 1277 (2000)
  • D. Pucci, O. Francescangeli and M. Ghedini - Heteroligand Palladium Complexes With One Or Two Chiral Centres -  Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 00 (2002)
  • O. Francescangeli, C. Ferrero, D. Pucci and M. Ghedini -  Variable Temperature Exafs Investigations In The Liquid Crystalline Phase Of The Cyclopalladated 4-4’-Bis(Hexyloxy)Azoxybenzene Acetylacetonate Complex -  Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 00 (2002)









Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Chimica

Università della Calabria

Via P. Bucci, 87036 Rende

Group Leader:          

Attilio Golemme                                                           


Roberto Termine                      PhD Student   

Mara Talarico                          Research Fellow

Contact persons:

Attilio Golemme                                           

                                    Tel. +39 0984 492016  - Fax +39 0984 492044

Present subjects of Research:

-   Photorefractivity in liquid crystals

Laboratories and facilities:

-   Set-up for Multiwave-mixing

Selected publications of last three years:


  • B. Kippelen, A. Golemme, E. Hendrickx, J.F. Wang, S.R. Marder and  N. Peyghambarian - Photorefractive Polymers and Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystals - In “Field Responsive Polymers”, I.M. Khan and J.S. Harrison Eds., ACS , Washington (1999)
  • R. Aloe, I. Nicotera and A. Golemme - Azimuthal Anchoring Energy of a Chiral Nematic in Cylindrical Cavities - Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 343 (1999)
  • A. Golemme, B. Kippelen and N. Peyghambarian - On the Mechanism of Orientational Photorefractivity in Polymer Dispersed Nematics - Chem. Phys. Lett. 319, 655 (2000)
  • R. Termine, B. C. De Simone and A. Golemme - Photorefractive Chiral Smectic A Phases - Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 688 (2001)
  • R. Termine and A. Golemme - Polymer-Dispersed Chiral Smectic A with Photorefractive Properties - Opt. Lett. 26, 1001 (2001)
  • R. Termine and A. Golemme - Photorefractive Index Modulation in Chiral Smectic Phases - J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 4105 (2002)









Site and full address:

University of Calabria, Department of Chemistry

Via Pietro Bucci, Cubo 15C, Arcavacata di Rende, 87036 CS

Group Leader:          

Prof. Giuseppe Antonio Ranieri                                                            


Prof. Mario Terenzi

Prof. Luigi Coppola

Dott. Raffaella Gianferri

Dott. Isabella Nicotera

Dott. Cesare Oliviero

Contact persons:

Prof. Giuseppe Antonio Ranieri                                                          

E-mail address:

Phone number: 0984/492021

Present subjects of Research:

The research field of the Group is the structural characterization and the study of physical-chemical properties of Liquid Crystal systems. The NMR methods and particularly the PFG-NMR and rheological techniques are used to this purpose.

Recently the systems Gemini (16-4-16)/water, STDC/water, Pluronic L64/p-xylene/water, C12E5/water and CTAB/water were investigated by NMR and rheology techniques. Additionally the study of the mechanical and conductivity properties of the electrolytes gel membranes based on PAN, ethylene carbonate and Lithium perclorate was performed with the support of the CIPE Project.

Laboratories and facilities:


NMR 80 MHz, NMR 15 MHz, DSC, Optical microscopy, Conductimeter, Tensiometer, strain controlled Rheometer.

Selected publications of last three years:


·        R.Muzzalupo, G.A.Ranieri, G.Golemme and E.Drioli - Self-Diffusion Measurements of Organic Molecules in PDMS and Water in Sodium Alginate Membranes -  J. Appl. Pol. Science 74, 1119 (1999)

·        L.Coppola, C.Oliviero, U.Olsson and G.A.Ranieri - Characterization of a Reverse Hexagonal Lyomesophase by a PGSE-NMR Water Self-Diffusion Study -  Langmuir 16(9), 4180 (2000)

·        G.Gente, C.La Mesa, R.Muzzalupo and G.A.Ranieri - Micelle Formation and Phase Equilibria in Water-Trifluoroethanol-Fluorocarbon Mixtures - Langmuir 16(21), 7914 (2000)

·        L.Coppola, C.Oliviero, L.Pogliani, G.A.Ranieri and M.Terenzi - A Self-Diffusion Study in Aqueous Solution and Lyotropic Mesophases of Amphiphilic Block Copolimers - Colloid Polym. Sci. 278(5), 434 (2000)

·        L.Coppola, A. Gordano, A. Procopio and G. Sindona - Phase equilibria and Physical-Chemical Properties of Sugar-Based Surfactants in Aqueous Solutions - Colloids and Surfaces A, 196 (2/3), 175 (2001)

·        G.A. Ranieri, L.Coppola, G.Celebre and C.Oliviero - The Structural Fingerprint in Lyotropic Mesophases by the Use of Inverse Laplace Transform Applied to PGSE-NMR Data - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 371, 121 (2001)

·        C.Oliviero, L.Coppola, C.La Mesa, G.A.Ranieri and M.Terenzi - Gemini Surfactant-Water Mixtures: some Physical-chemical Properties - Coll. and Surf. A 201, 247 (2002)

·        I.Nicotera, G.A.Ranieri, M.Terenzi, A.V.Chadwick and M.I.Webster - A study of stability of plasticized PEO electrolytes - Solid State Ionics  146,143 (2002)













Complex Fluids Laboratory c/o L.I.T.A.



Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Chimica e Biochimica Medica, Università di Milano

Via Fratelli Cervi 93, 20090 Segrate (Milano)

Group Leader:

Tommaso Bellini                                                        


Francesco Mantegazza

Marco Buscaglia            

Marco Caggioni             

Contact persons:

Tommaso Bellini                              

                               Tel: +39-02-503 30353  - Fax: +39-02-503 30365

Present subjects of Research:

-  Liquid crystal in disordered systems

-  Optical waveguides with liquid crystalline core

Laboratories and facilities:

Experimental set up for measurements of time resolved electric birefringence, operating in a wide range of electric field frequency.  He-Ne laser source and remote control of the whole set up.

Experimental set up for measurements of static and dynamic scattered light.  Optical fiber collection of the light diffused at various angles.  Remote control of temperature and electric field applied to the sample.

Microscopy system with temperature controlled cell.  Polarized microscope for transmission measurement.  Inverted microscope for reflection measurements.  Remote control of ccd acquisition of images, temperature, and applied electric fields.

Selected publications of last three years:

  • M. Buscaglia, T. Bellini, V. Degiorgio, F. Mantegazza and F. Simoni - Non-linear dynamics of the electro-optic response of confined liquid crystals - Europhysics Letters 48, 634 (1999)
  • T. Bellini, M. Buscaglia, C. Chiccoli, F. Mantegazza, P. Pasini and C. Zannoni - Nematics with quenched disorder: what is left when long range order is disrupted? - Physical Review Letters 85, 1008 (2000)
  • C. Chiccoli, P. Pasini, C. Zannoni, T. Bellini and F. Mantegazza - Computer simulations of nematic ordering with random disorder - Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals 352, 217 (2000)  
  • T. Bellini, L. Radzihovsky, J. Toner and N.A. Clark - Universality and scaling in the disordering of a smectic liquid crystal – SCIENCE 294, 1074 (2001)









Optics of Liquid Crystals


Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Complesso di Monte S. Angelo

Via Cintia 80126 Napoli

Group Leader:

prof. Enrico Santamato, prof. Giancarlo Abbate


Lorenzo Marrucci

Domenico Paparo

Bruno Piccirillo

Angela Vella

Gabriella Cerrone

Carlo Manzo

Antigone Marino

Contact persons:

Enrico Santamato                                 

Giancarlo  Abbate                                                               

Present subjects of Research:

Angular momentum transfer; anisotropic optical tweezers; photosensitive materials and ultra-high nonlinearity; surface and interface investigation with SHG; microscopic and chemico-physical investigation of dye-host interaction; opto-electronic devices and integrated optical devices using LC; LC in confined systems, waveguides and optical fibres; photonic band-gap crystals and nanostructures with LC.

Laboratories and facilities:

Pulsed laser lab (ps laser and OPG); CW lasers lab (nonlinear optics, polarimetry, interferometry); electro-optics and integrated optics lab (at visible and IR C band wavelengths); sample preparation room.

Selected publications of last three years:


·        M. Kreuzer, F. Hanisch, R. Eidenschink, D. Paparo and L. Marrucci - Large deuterium isotope effect in the optical nonlinearity of dye-doped liquid crystals - Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 013902 (2002)

·        G. Cerrone, L. Marrucci, D. Paparo, S. Santamato and S. Solimeno - Probing Interfacial Properties by Optical Second Harmonic Generation -  Optics and Lasers in Engineering  37/5, 601-610 (2002)

·        B. Piccirillo, C. Toscano, F. Vetrano and E. Santamato - Orbital and spin photon angular momentum transfer in liquid crystals - Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 2285 (2001)

·        L. Marrucci, D. Paparo, M. Vetrano, M. Colicchio, E. Santamato and G. Viscardi - Role of dye structure in photoinduced reorientation of dye-doped liquid crystals - J. Chem. Phys. 113, 10361 (2000)

·        G. Scalia, D. S. Hermann, C. Pitois, F. De Marco, G. Abbate, K. D’havé, M. Lindgren and A. Hult  - Novel Passive Polymer Waveguides Integrated with Electro-Optically Active Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals - Opt. Eng.  40, 2188 (2001)

·        L. Petti, G. Abbate, W. J. Blau, D. Mancarella and P. Mormile - Enhancement of the Thermo-optical Properties in Dye-doped PDLCs -  Mol. Cryst and Liq. Cryst. 375, 785 (2002)

·        L. Sirleto, G. Coppola, A. Cutolo, A. D'Agata, J. M. Otón, G.C. Righini and G.Abbate - Electro-optical switch and continuously tunable filter based on a Bragg grating in planar waveguide with a liquid crystal overlayer -  Optical Engineering  (July 2002)






Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma

Parco Area delle Scienze 7/A, 43100 PARMA

Group Leader:          

Marco P. Fontana                                                         


T. Berzina  

L. Cristofolini

P. Camorani      (Ph D student)

S. Sottini           (Ph D student)           

L. Mussi            (Undergraduate)

P. Bonaretti       (Undergraduate)

Contact persons:

Marco Fontana                                         

Phone: 0521 905222 (switch)  905240 (office)    905262 (lab)

Fax 0521 905223

Present subjects of Research:

-  Photosensitive liquid crystalline azo-polymers in bulk

-  Langmuir Blodgett films and superlattices of azopolymers, also as command surfaces in low molecular weight LC cells.

-  Ellipsometric, AFM and SNOM characterization of LB films of photosensitive polymers, and optical writing on the sub-micron scale by SNOM microscopy in pump-probe.

Laboratories and facilities:


Complex Molecular Systems and Langmuir Blodgett Films laboratories located at the Physics Department, Parma University, plus regular access to the ESRF synchrotron and ILL nuclear reactor facilities in Grenoble (F) through long standing research collaborations.

Selected publications of last three years:


  • L. Cristofolini, S. Arisi and M. P. Fontana - Glass transition and relaxation following photo-perturbation in thin polymeric films. - Phys. Rev. Letter 85, 4912 (2000)
  • L. Cristofolini, S. Arisi and M. P. Fontana - Surface anchoring and optically induced molecular motion in thin azobenzene polymeric films. - Synth. Metals 124, 151 (2001)
  • L. Cristofolini, M.P. Fontana, M. Laus and B. Frick - Photoinduced dynamics in a photosensitive side chain polymeric liquid crystal by quasielastic and inelastic neutron scattering - Phys. Rev. E 64, 061803 (2001)
  • P. Camorani, L. Cristofolini, G. Galli and M. P. Fontana - Photoinduced Morphological Changes and Optical Writing in a Liquid Crystalline Polymer on the Micron and Sub-Micron Scale - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 375, 175 (2002)
  • L. Cristofolini,T. Berzina, M.P. Fontana and O. Konovalov - Structure and stability of molecular layers of a photosensitive azo-polyacrylate by x-rays reflectivity and GID. - Mol Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 375, 689 (2002)



SMMM, Soft Matter Mathematical Modelling



Site and full address:

Department of Mathematics, University of Pavia & INFM

Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Group Leader:          

Epifanio G. Virga                                                         


Dr. Riccardo Rosso

Dr. Fulvio Bisi

Contact persons:

Dr. F. Bisi                                                   

Present subjects of Research:

-  Defect dynamics in liquid crystals

-  Defect structure

-  Order reconstruction

-  Molecular biaxiality

-  Stability of lipid membranes

-  Anisotropic capillarity in wetting

Laboratories and facilities:


Selected publications of last three years:


·        G.G. Peroli and E.G. Virga - The role of boundary conditions in the annihilation of nematic point defects - Phys. Rev. E 59, 3027 (1999)

·        G.E. Durand and E.G. Virga - Hydrodynamic model for surface nematic viscosity - Phys. Rev. E 59, 4137 (1999)

·        R. Rosso and E.G. Virga -  Adhesive borders of lipid membranes - Proc. R. Soc. London A 455, 4145 (1999)

·        S. Kralj, E.G. Virga and S. Žumer - Biaxial torus around nematic point defects - Phys. Rev. E 60, 1858 (1999)

·        P.L. Maffettone, A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Shear-induced biaxiality in nematic polymers - J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 90, 283 (2000)

·        R. Rosso and E.G. Virga - Squeezing and stretching of lipid membranes - J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 33, 1459 (2000)

·        A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Dilution of nematic surface potentials: Statics - Phys. Rev. E 61, 5401-4506 (2000)

·        J. Bajc, G. Guidone Peroli, E.G. Virga and S. Žumer - Dynamics of nematic point defects in a capillary with tilted boundary conditions - Liquid Cryst. 29, 213-129 (2002)

·        R. Rosso, A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Evolution of vesicles subject to adhesion - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 456, 1523 (2000)

·        S. Kralj and E.G. Virga - Universal fine structure of nematic hedgehogs - Phys.A: Math. Gen. 34, 829 (2001)

·        G.E. Durand, A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Dilution of nematic surface potentials: Relaxation dynamics - Phys. Rev. E 62, 3694 (2000)

·        M. Schadt and E.G. Virga - Corrugations on the free surface of nematic liquid crystal layers - Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 39, 6637 (2000)

·        R. Rosso and E.G. Virga - Stability of lipid bridges - J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 34, 11107 (2001)

·        A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Dynamics of dissipative ordered fluids - Phys. Rev. E 64, 031705 (2001)

·        P. Biscari and R. Rosso - Inclusions embedded in lipid membranes - J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 34, 439 (2001)

·        R. Rosso and M.C.P. Brunelli - Forces on nematic disclinations with optimal core - Continuum Mech. Thermodyn. 13, 383 (2001)

·        R. Rosso - Asymptotic evolution of lipid vesicles - Interfaces and Free Boundaries  3, 345 (2001)

·        R. Rosso, A.M. Sonnet and E.G. Virga - Dynamics of kinks in biological membranes - Continuum Mech. Thermodyn. 14, 127 (2002)














Site and full address:

Physics Department – University of Pavia
via A. Bassi 6  - I - 27100 Pavia,  Italy
Web page:

Group Leader:          

Silvano ROMANO                                                      



Contact persons:

Silvano ROMANO                                     

                            tel +39 - 0382 - 507487    fax +39 - 0382 - 507563

Present subjects of Research:

SR works on  computer simulation of simple mesogenic systems,
producing Liquid Crystalline behaviour, in some cases the models
also allow for torsional degrees of freedom and their coupling
with orientational correlations.

Laboratories and facilities:

Library, some computing power.

Selected publications of last three years:


·        G.R. Luckhurst and S. Romano - Computer simulation study of a nematogenic lattice model based on an elastic energy mapping of the pair potential - Liq. Cryst. 26, 871 (1999)

·        S. Romano and V. A. Zagrebnov - Comments on the paper ”Long range order on the classical bilinear-biquadratic exchange hamiltonian”, Akinori TANAKA and Toshihiro IDOGAKI, J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. Vol. 67, p. 604 (1998) -  J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 68, 2146 (1999)

·        A.V. Zakharov, S. Romano and A. Maliniak - Statistical-mechanical study of the pair correlations for the dipolar Gay-Berne model - Phys. Rev. E 60, 1142 (1999)

·        R. Hashim and S. Romano - Computer simulation study of a nematogenic lattice model based on the Nehring-Saupe interaction potential - Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 13, 3879 (1999)

·        S. Romano - Computer simulation study of a nematogenic lattice-gas model - Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 14, 1195 (2000)

·        V. Popa-Nita and S. Romano - Nematic-Smectic A phase transition in porous media - Chem. Phys. 264, 91 (2001)

·        S. Romano - Mean field, two-site cluster, and computer simulation study of a nematogenic lattice-gas model - Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 15, 259 (2001)

·        S. Romano - Computer simulation study of a nematogenic lattice-gas model based on the Nehring-Saupe interaction potential - Mod. Phys. Lett. B 15, 137 (2001)









Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Pisa

Via Buonarroti 2, Pisa

Group Leader:          

Sandro Faetti


Prof. Leone Fronzoni , Students

Contact persons:

Sandro Faetti                                             

Present subjects of Research:

I - EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF INTERFACES. Experimental investigations of surface properties of Liquid Crystals with special interest in photosensitive surfaces,  surface memory effects, and director gliding. In the last years we have developed optical and dielectric  methods to measure the anchoring energy and the dynamic behaviour of the surface director angle.

II - STUDY OF ELECTROHYDRODYNAMIC INSTABILITIES. We investigate   the  transitions from ordered patterns to turbulence states. These transitions  are  characterized   by   anomalous  diffusion and  Brownian fractionary motion. Liquid  Crystals  is   a suitable  medium in order to study   spatio-temporal chaos . Now, we  are interested  to  quantify  this phenomena  with the use  of  theoretical  approach  based  on the  idea of   Diffusion Entropy  and Kolmogorov  Complexity. The  experiments consist  on  realizing spatial instabilities  in Nematic Liquid  Crystals  and  on collecting  images and  time series  as function of a control parameter as  the electric field applied to the samples. The  data  are analyzed  by means suitable algorithm  in order to characterize the  dynamical  transitions.

III - THEORETICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON SURFACE ELASTICITY. We have investigated the role of the surface elastic constants on the macroscopic behaviour of liquid crystals and we have proposed a new form of the surface free energy that takes into account also for the effects of the curvature of the  surfaces.

Laboratories and facilities:


Laboratory for optical and dielectric measurements. Electromagnet, Polarizing Microscopes with transmitted and reflected light,  high sensitivity CCD Camera, optical and electronic devices.

Selected publications of last three years:


  • S. Faetti - The effects of curvature on nematic liquid crystals confined in a cylindrical cavity - Phys. Lett. A 237, 264 (1998)
  • M. Faetti and S. Faetti - Splay-bend surface elastic constant of nematic liquid crystals: a solution of the Somoza-Tarazona paradox - Phys. Rev. E 57, 6741 (1998)
  • S. Faetti and M. Nobili - An accurate optical method for measuring the azimuthal anchoring energy of nematic liquid crystals - Liquid Crystals  25, 487 (1998)
  • S. Faetti, L.R. Evangelista and  G. Barbero - Elastic-effects of long-range quadrupolar interactions in nematic liquid crystals - Phys. Rev. E  58, 7465 (1998)
  • S. Faetti, M. Nobili and I. Raggi - Surface reorientation dynamics of nematic liquid crystals - Europ. Phys. J. B 11, 445 (1999)
  • S. Faetti - On the validity of the elastic expansion of the free energy of nematic liquid crystals - Phys. Lett. A 255, 165 (1999)
  • L. Fronzoni, P. Grigolini and S. Montangero - Non-estensive Thermodynamics and stationary processes of localization  Chaos - Soliton and Fractals 11, 2361 (2000)
  • L. Fronzoni - Pattern induced by parameter modulation in spatiotemporal chaos. The application of mathematics to the Science of  Nature: Critical Moments  an Aspects. KLUWER. Academic Plenium Publisher. New York (2001)









Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica

Via Buonarroti 2, 56126 PISA

Group Leader:          

Marco Giordano


Laura Andreozzi

Massimo Faetti

Diego Palazzuoli

Contact persons:

Laura Andreozzi                           

Present subjects of Research:

-         Relaxation processes, physical ageing and optical nanowriting in liquid crystal polymers

Laboratories and facilities:


-     ESR spectrometers

-         DSC

-         Physical ageing

-         Viscosimetry

-         Microwaves lab.

Selected publications of last three years:


  • Laura Andreozzi, Massimo Faetti, Marco Giordano, Diego Palazzuoli and G. Galli - An ESR study on the dynamics heterogeneity in a nematic polymer induced by thermal annealing in the isotropic melt  - Macromolecules 34, 7325. (2001)
  • Laura Andreozzi, Massimo Faetti, Marco Giordano, Massimo Hvala, G. Galli and M. Laus - Enthalpy relaxation at the glass transition in a Side chain LCP for opticl data storage - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst.  372, 229 (2001)
  • Laura Andreozzi, Massimo Faetti, Marco Giordano, Diego Palazzuoli and G. Galli - An ESR study on the dynamics heterogeneity in a nematic polymer induced by thermal annealing in the isotropic melt  - Macromolecules 34, 7325. (2001)
  • Laura Andreozzi, M.Faetti, P. Camorani and Diego Palazzuoli - Optical Bit Stability And Relaxation Processes In A Liquid Crystal Polymer With A Photosensitive Azo Dye Molecule As Side Group - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 375, 129 (2002)
  • Laura Andreozzi, Massimo Faetti, Marco Giordano and Diego Palazzuoli - A calorimetric study of structural-relaxation in the glassy state of a liquid crystalline polymer - Phil.Mag. B 82, 397, (2002)
  • Laura Andreozzi, M. Bagnoli, Massimo Faetti, Marco Giordano and Diego Palazzuoli - Decoupling from structural relaxation of short and long time dynamics of a paramagnetic tracer dissolved in a liquid crystalline polymer - Phil.Mag. B 82, 383, (2002)






Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale

Università degli Studi di Pisa,

Via Risorgimento, 35 - 56126 Pisa

Group Leader:          

Prof. Carlo Alberto Veracini


D. Catalano    (Researcher)

M.Geppi         (Researcher)

M. Cifelli       (PhD Student)

L. Chiezzi      (PhD Student)

V. Domenici  (PhD Student)

Contact persons:


                                                   Tel: 050-918266 - Fax: 050-918260

Present subjects of Research:

NMR of  Liquid Crystals, Liquid Crystals Polymers, Solid State NMR of Polymers, Drugs and Biological Compounds

Laboratories and facilities:

Three NMR spectrometers: Stelar100, Varian VXR 300, Varian Infinity Plus 400 for Solid State NMR

Selected publications of last three years:


·        C. Forte, M. Geppi, A. Triolo, C.A. Veracini and G. Visalli - A 1H, 13C solid state NMR investigation of the structure and molecular dynamics of hydrogenated oligocyclopentadiene - J. Phys. Chem. B 104, 510 (2000)

·        R.Y. Dong, C.R. Morcombe, L. Calucci, M. Geppi and C.A. Veracini - Conformational Dynamics of a metallomesogen studied by 2H NMR Spectroscopy - Phys. Rev. E 61, 1559 (2000)

·        N. Costantini, S. Capaccioli, M. Geppi and G. Ruggeri - Characterisation of electrochemically synthesised alkylpyrrole intrinsically conducting polymers - Polymers for Advanced Technologies 11, 27 (2000)

·        M. Geppi, A.M. Kenwright and B.J. Say - Methods for correlating T1r and FID components in wideline 1H NMR studies of motionally heterogeneous polymer systems - Solid State NMR 15, 195 (2000)

·        D. Catalano, M. Cavazza, L. Chiezzi, M. Geppi and C.A. Veracini - 2H-NMR spectroscopy of Liquid Crystals: structure and orientational order of a chiral smectogen in its A, C* and J* phases - Liq. Cryst. 27, 621 (2000)

·        R.Y. Dong, M. Cheng, K. Fodor-Csorba and C.A. Veracini - Rotational dynamics of a chiral mesogen by 2H NMR study: can it be anomalous? - Liq. Cryst. 27, 1039 (2000)

·        D. Catalano, M. Cifelli, K. Fodor-Csorba, E. Gacs-Baitz, M. Geppi, A. Jakli and C.A. Veracini - Microscopic organization and tilt angle in Smectic A and Smectic C phases: Characterization and Orientational order by 2H-NMR and Electric Polarization measurements - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 351, 245 (2000)

·        D. Catalano, M. Cifelli, M. Geppi and C.A. Veracini - Investigation of the dynamics of two chiral smectogens by means of 2H NMR - J. Phys. Chem. A 105, 34 (2001)

·        L. Calucci and M. Geppi - The CAGE software: a tool for a critical approach of diffusional models to 2H spin-lattice relaxation in liquid crystals - J. Chem. Inf. Comp. Sci. 41, 1006 (2001)

·        R. Pignatello, M. Ferro, G. De Guidi, G. Salemi, M.A. Vandelli, S. Guccione, C. Forte, M. Geppi and G. Puglisi - Preparation, characterisation and photosensitivity studies of solid dispersions of Diflunisal and Eudragit RS100â and RL100â - Int. J. Pharm. 218, 27 (2001)

·        M. Geppi, S. Pizzanelli and C.A. Veracini - Phenyl ring dynamics in a liquid crystal polymer through 2H NMR spectroscopy - Chem. Phys. Lett. 343, 513 (2001)

·        D. Catalano, M. Cifelli, V. Domenici, K. Fodor-Csorba, R. Richardson and C.A. Veracini - 2H NMR and SAXS of a ferroelectric liquid crystal: unwinding of the ferroelectric chiral helix by high magnetic fields - Chem. Phys. Lett. 346, 259 (2001)

·        C. Forte, M. Cifelli, M. Geppi and C.A. Veracini - Dynamics of a liquid crystal in its smectic A phase from angle dependent deuterium spin relaxation measurements - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 81 (2001)

·        L. Chiezzi, K. Fodor-Csorba, G. Galli, B. Gallot, S. Pizzanelli and C.A. Veracini - Partially deuterated liquid crystal polymers: structure and orientational order by X-ray diffraction and 2H NMR - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 69 (2001)

·        M. Geppi, S. Pizzanelli, C.A. Veracini, C. Cardelli, E. Tombari and P. LoNostro - Investigation of the solid state behaviour of a semi-fluorinated n-alkane by means of NMR, calorimetric and dielectric techniques - J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 1598 (2002)

·        E. Barmatov, L. Chiezzi, S. Pizzanelli and C.A. Veracini - Order and dynamics of a series of side chain liquid crystal copolymers throught 2H NMR spectroscopy - Macromolecules 35, 3076 (2002)

·        L. Chiezzi, V. Domenici, M. Geppi, C.A. Veracini, and R.Y. Dong - Internal and overall molecular dynamics in a chiral smectogen through 2H NMR relaxation - Chem. Phys. Lett. 358, 257 (2002)

·        J. Godward, E. Ciampi, M. Cifelli and P.J. McDonald - Multidimensional Imaging Using Combined Stray Field and Pulsed Gradients - J. Of Magn. Reson. 155, 92 (2002)









Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale

Università di Pisa

Via Risorgimento 35

56126 Pisa, Italy

Group Leader:          

Prof. Emo Chiellini, Prof. Giancarlo Galli                                                           


Dr. Salvatore D'Antone

Contact persons:

Prof. Emo Chiellini                              

                                         (tel +30-050-918299, fax +39-050-28438)

Prof. Giancarlo Galli                                

                                        (tel +30-050-918272, fax +39-050-28438)

Present subjects of Research:

Liquid crystalline polymers: synthesis, characterization, and application:

Chiral liquid crystalline polymers for electro-optics and photonics

Photoresponsive liquid crystalline polymers.

Self-assembling polymers and block copolymers

Polymers from banana monomers

Polymers for alignment layers if liquid crystals

Laboratories and facilities:

Chemistry laboratory fully equipped for organic synthesis and characterization of monomers and polymers

Characterization laboratory of liquid crystalline properties, including equipment for testing some of and their materials properties: optical microscopy, calorimetry and thermal analysis, dynamic-mechanical analyzer, thermo-mechanical analyzer, extruder

Selected publications of last three years:


·        Y.Hepuzer, I.E.Serhatli, Y.Yagci, G.Galli and E.Chiellini - The synthesis of liquid crystalline copolymers with block copolymer grafts -  Macromol. Chem. Phys. 202, 2247 (2001)

·        C.Cesarino, L.Komitov, G.Galli and E.Chiellini - Sign reversal of the dielectric anisotropy in the chiral nematic phase of a copolysiloxane -  Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 372, 217 (2001)

·        L.Andreozzi, M.Faetti, M.Giordano, D.Palazzuoli and G.Galli - An ESR study on the dynamics heterogeneity in a nematic polymer induced by thermal annealing in the isotropic melt Macromolecules 34, 7325 (2001)

·        L. Andruzzi, F. D'Apollo, G. Galli and B. Gallot - Synthesis and structure characterization of liquid crystalline polyacrylates with unconventional fluoroalkylphenyl mesogens - Macromolecules 34, 7707 (2001)

·        L. Andruzzi, E. Chiellini, G. Galli, X. Li, S. H. Kang and C. K. Ober - Engineering low surface energy polymers through molecular design: Synthetic routes to fluorinated polystyrene-based block copolymers - J. Mater. Chem. 12, 1684 (2002)







Site and full address:

Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, National Institute for the Physics of Matter (INFM)

Via Eudossiana, 18 – 00184 Rome – Italy.

Group Leader:          

Paolo Maltese                                                  


Antonio d’Alessandro, Associate Professor

Romeo Beccherelli, CNR (Research National Council) Researcher

Rita Asquini, Post-Doc

Contact persons:

Antonio d’Alessandro          

                                            Tel. +390644585459, fax +39064742647

Present subjects of Research:

- Ferroelectric liquid crystals and polymer dispersed liquid crystal devices for display applications and for photonic switching: fabrication and characterisation

- Conductive polymers for sensor applications

- Optical waveguides: fabrication and characterisation

Laboratories and facilities:


Optoelectronic laboratory for electro-optic characterization of LC devices in free space and waveguiding configurations (laser sources, poalarized microscopes, optical bench, arbitrary waveform generator)

Fabrication laboratory: photolithography, thin film deposition, reactive ion etching

Selected publications of last three years:

·        F. Campoli, R. Beccherelli, A. d’Alessandro, V. Ferrara and P. Maltese - Passive matrix SSFLC display with analogue grey levels using PTFE alignment films – Displays 20, No.4, 191 (1999)

·        G. Padeletti, S. Pergolini, G. Montesperelli, A. d’Alessandro, F. Campoli and P. Maltese - Evaluation of structural and adhesive properties of Nylon and PTFE alignment films by means of atomic force microscopy - Applied Physics A, Materials Science & Processing 71, 571 (2000)

·        R. Asquini and A. d’Alessandro - Realisation and characterisation of a ferroelectric liquid crystal bistable optical switch - Accettato per la pubblicazione sulla rivista Molecular Crystals Liquid Crystals  372, 353 (2001)

·        E. Batella, A. d’Alessandro and M. Warenghem - Extension of phase modulation ellipsometry to measure refractive indices of liquid crystals - Accettato per la pubblicazione sulla rivista Molecular Crystals Liquid Crystals 372, 275 (2001)

·        R. Asquini and A. d’Alessandro - BPM  analysis on an integrated optical switch using polyleric optical waveguides and SSFLC at 1.55 um - Molecular Crystals Liquid Crystals 375, 243 (2002)






Liquid Crystal Group



Site and full address:

Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Torino

c. Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10125 Torino (Italy)

Group Leader:          

Claudio Oldano


Giovanni Barbero

Marta Becchi

Claudio Oldano

Silvia Ponti

Amelia Sparavigna

Alfredo Strigazzi

Piera Taverna

Laura Trossi

Contact persons:

Giovanni Barbero                                       

Alfredo Strigazzi                                        

Present subjects of Research:

Optics of crystals; optics of chiral and complex media; effective medium theory; elastic theory of nematic liquid crystals, surface effects in liquid crystals; influence of the ions on the surface anchoring energy; image processing in microscopy, bidimensional instability in ferroelectric liquid crystals, chiral superstructures in media with nonchiral molecules, banana_like oxadiazolic smectics.

Laboratories and facilities:

Laboratorio cristalli liquidi (Microscopia ottica, spettroscopia dielettrica, Calorimetria differenziale, Rumore termico), Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Torino; Orientationally Ordered Media Laboratory (OOM-Lab) as a Consortium IOFRAN, NIOPIK, CRF, POLITO.

Selected publications of last three years:


·        S. Ponti, C. Oldano and M. Becchi, P. Valabrega and L. Trossi - Optical properties of short pitch cholesteric liquid crystals - Liquid Crystals 28, 591 (2001)

·        S. Ponti and C. Oldano - Acoustic wave propagation in structurally helical media - Phys. Rev. E, DOI: 10.1103 / Phys.Rev. E 63, 011703 (2000)

·        S. Ponti, C. Oldano and M. Becchi - Bloch wave approach to the optics of crystals - Phys. Rev. E 64, 021704 (2001)

·        B. Gallot, P. Allia, P. Taverna, L. Trossi, C. Cucinelli and S. Ponti - Liquid crystal comb polymer with polar mesogenic and aliphatic side chains: part I – preparation and structural properties - Liq. Cryst. 29 (2002)

·        P. Allia, C. Cucinelli, S. Ponti, P. Taverna, L. Trossi and B. Gallot -  Liquid crystal comb polymer with polar mesogenic and aliphatic side chains: part II - noise of the scattered light - 29 Liq. Cryst. (2002)

·        M. Becchi, S. Ponti, A. Strigazzi, V. Chigrinov and S.I. Torgova - Bidimensional instability in antiferroelectric liquid crystals - Brazilian Journal of Physics (2002)

·        Sparavigna - Texture transitions as order transitions in nematic liquid crystals - Recent. Res. Devel. Applied Phys. 4, 91-111 (2001)

·        G. Barbero and A.K. Zvezdin - Thermal renormalization of the anchoring energy of nematic liquid crystals - Phys. Rev. E 62, 6711 (2000)

·        L.R. Evangelista and G. Barbero - Adsorption phenomenon and external field effect on an isotropic liquid containing ions - Phys. Rev. E 64, 021101 (2001)

·        G. Barbero and D. Olivero - Ions and nematic surface energy: Beyond the exponential approximation for the electric field of ionic origin - Phys. Rev. E 65, 031701 (2002)

·        S.I. Torgova, M.P. Petrov and A. Strigazzi - Textures  of homologous 4-n-alkyloxybenzoic acids: spontaneous  chirality and surface memory - Liquid Crystals 28, 1439 (2001)

·        L.A. Karamysheva, I.F. Agafonova, S.I. Torgova, B.A. Umanskii and A. Strigazzi - Liquid Crystalline Pyridine-Containing 1,2,4-Oxadiazoles - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 364, 547 (2001)

·        S.I. Torgova, L.A. Karamysheva, T.A. Geivandova and A. Strigazzi - Banana-Shaped 1,2,4-Oxadiazole Analogues of 1,3,4- Oxadiazoles - Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 365, 99 (2001)