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Dr. Francesco Rosella

Dr. Francesco Rosella

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Meeting ID: 983 2203 3304
Passcode: 172091

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Dr. Ray LaPierre

We explore iontronics, which use movement and arrangement of ions that affect the charge density in semiconductor nanowires with applications in energy conversion and harvesting.


Dr. Francesco Rosella, Italian National Research Council.

Ion-gated nanowire transistors for energy conversion and harvesting.


The electrostatic control of semiconductor nanodevices by field effect, ubiquitous in nanoscience and technology, traditionally follows the metal-oxide-semiconductor approach. To demonstrate unprecedented device  functionalities and tackle new challenges, we explore  novel routes envisioning the use of soft-matter systems as gate media for applying impressively high static electric fields on semiconductors. These routes exploit iontronics, i.e., use movement and arrangement of ions to build electric double layers (EDL) that ultimately affect the charge density in the semiconductor.

As material playground, we propose the use of ionic liquids as gate media and  III-V semiconductor nanowires and nanowire heterostructures as active channel in EDL transistors. In particular, we demonstrate unprecedented gating efficiency as well as  gate-induced change of the temperature behavior in nanowires [1] and we investigate the ionic liquid dynamics with atomistic simulations, unveiling the building up of the electric double layer at the nanowire-ionic liquid interface [2]. Set-and-freeze operation of  double-gated nanowire FETs allow to extract electron mobility in quasi-1D systems, bypassing the  difficulties of realizing hall-bar configurations in nanowire-devices [3]. Finally, we employ ionic liquids as thermally insulating gate dielectrics to perform field-effect control of the electrical transport in suspended nanowires, whose thermal conductivity is simultaneously measured using an all-electrical setup [4]. This allow us to achieve the full benchmark and electrostatic modulation of the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of individual nanostructures on a single experimental platform [5].

  1. Lieb, V. Demontis, D. Prete, D. Ercolani, V. Zannier, L. Sorba, S. Ono, F. Beltram, B. Sacepe and F. Rossella, “Ionic liquid gating of InAs nanowire-based field effect transistors”, in Adv. Funct. Mater. 1804378 (2019).
  2. Prete, J. Lieb, V. Demontis, L. Bellucci, V. Tozzini, D. Ercolani, V. Zannier, L. Sorba, S. Ono, F. Beltram, B. Sacépé and F. Rossella, “III-V semicondutor nanostructures and iontronics: InAs nanowire-based electric double layer field effect transistors”, in AIP Conference Proceedings 2145, 020003 (2019).
  3. Prete, V. Demontis, V. Zannier, M. J. Rodriguez-Douton, L. Guazzelli, F. Beltram, L. Sorba, and F. Rossella, “Carrier density and mobility estimate in dual gated InAs nanowire transistors exploiting electrolyte gating”, in Nanotechnology 32, 145204 (2021).
  4. Rocci, V. Demontis, D. Prete, D. Ercolani, L. Sorba, F. Beltram, G. Pennelli, S. Roddaro and F. Rossella, “Suspended nanowire devices for thermal conductivity measurements using the 3ω-method”, in Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 27, 6299–6305 (2018).
  5. Prete, E. Dimaggio, V. Demontis, V. Zannier, M. J. Rodriguez-Douton, L. Guazzelli, F. Beltram, L. Sorba, G. Pennelli, F. Rossella, "Electrostatic control of the thermoelectric figure of merit in ion-gated nanotransistors", Advanced Functional Materials 2021.


Francesco Rossella is researcher of the Italian National Research Council,  tenured assistant professor of Experimental Physics at the dept of Physics, Informatics and Mathematics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Modena, Italy), and visiting research professor at the  Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy. He obtained his Physics PhD (2007) and MSc (2002) at the University of Pavia (Italy). He completed a post-doc in Germany (TU München), France (high magnetic field lab, Toulouse&Grenoble), Spain (Complutense university, Salamanca university), and Italy (Scuola Normale Superiore). In the last 5 years at Scuola Normale he was assistant professor of Experimental Condensed Matter Physics and responsible for the magneto-transport laboratory at the National Enterprise for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, in Pisa.  Currently he leads a group of approximately 10 members including postdoc and grad/ungrad students, set in Modena and Pisa.