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Sara Fortuna


My work focuses on the study of molecular self-organisation.

The term "molecular self-organisation" denotes the ability of molecules to autonomously arrange into an ordered structure thanks to the intermolecular forces acting between the molecules themselves. As the miniaturisation of technological devices appears to be a priority, this ability to autonomously organise into well-defined architectures has the potential to be the key to produce devices at the nanometer scale. The idea is to design molecules able to autonomously form these nanodevices.

Current Research

    Fig. 1 - metal phthalocyanine

Currently, I am working on the project "Computational microscopy and spectroscopy of metal-supported organometallic nanostructures" funded by MIUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, Italy).


Coordinated metals adsorbed on surfaces have a variety of optical and magnetic properties, which could lead to a wide range of applications both in the energy [1, 2] and in the high-tech [3, 4] sectors, due to the possibility of fine-tuning their electronic properites by substituting either the coordinated metal or the underlying surface. In this context, metal-supported metal phthalocyanine molecular self-assemblies are an ideal case system as the conjugated phthalocyanine ring (Fig.1) is able to coordinate most of the metals of the periodic table and can form on metallic surfaces several structures.


Aim of this project is to unravel the self-assembled properties of these interesting systems toghether with the development of new tools for their description.


[1] H.Imahori, T.Umeyama, and S.Ito. Acc. Chem. Res., 42 (2009) 1809.

[2] M. Rusu, J. Strotmann, M. Vogel, M. Ch. Lux-Steiner, and K. Fostiropoulos. Appl. Phys. Lett., 90, (2007) 153511

[3] E.Z.Kurmaev, S.N.Shamin, V.R.Galakhov, A.Moewes, T.Otsuka, S.Koizume, K.Endo, H.E.Katz, M.Bach, M.Neumann, D.L.Ederer, and M.Iwami. Phys. Rev. B, 64 (2001) 045211.

[4] N.Papageorgiou, E.Salomon, Th.Angot, J.-M.Layet, Lu.Giovanelli, and G.L.Lay. Prog. Surf. Sci., 77,5-8 (2004)139-170.

Past Research

For information on my PhD activity, please visit my old web page.