Research project

PRIN 2017 -2017KFMJ8E- Valentina Tozzini PE3 (DFM.AD003.326)

Thematic area

Physical sciences and technologies of matter

Project area

Materiali innovativi (DFM.AD003)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute of nanoscience (NANO)

Project manager

Phone number: 050509424


The central aim of MONSTRE-2D is the investigation of strain-engineered 2D materials, with the goal of implementing a widely applicable technological platform where material strain can be designed at will and externally controlled according to the required device functionality. Two parallel active approaches, both fully compatible with monolithic integration in a solid-state microchip system. A first one is based on reconfigurable micrometric artificial muscles (MAMs) that contract in a controllable and reversible way with an electrical stimulus. The second is based on the implementation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). With this approach, high-resolution control of the delivered displacement (e.g., strain) can be easily achieved during measurement and/or device operation. To this aim, we will design and develop thermal actuators, which have already been proven to be robust and high-performance structures. While being more sophisticated, this strategy will also provide a crucial advantage for distinguishing strain-related effects from spurious backgrounds, as well as for exploring the dependence of specific physical properties of 2D crystals on the strain magnitude


To achieve its objectives MONSTRE-2D brings together a complete fully complementary package of competences. The UNIPI group, leader in the photonics of nanomaterials and quantum transport studies, will coordinate the effort and be in charge of the device fabrication (particularly for the MAM platform) and of the optical/transport characterisation. UNIGE, with its extensive surface physics experience, will mostly work on the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) measurements, which will be invaluable to investigate molecular interactions but also to explore strain-induced effects in the plasmonic response of the 2D electrons. The CNR group, with its long-standing activities in ab-initio calculations and multiscale modelling, will supply the theoretical framework for the simulation of deformations and strain at the atomistic level, as well as for their effect on molecular interactions and electron distribution. Finally, the UNITN group, expert in nano and micro-mechanics, will carry out the mechanical and multiphysics simulations necessary for the design of electro-mechanical microstructures, and will define microfabrication processes to be used to develop the designed MEMS platforms

Start date of activity



piattaforma, ingegnerizzazione, strain

Last update: 02/06/2023