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Dr Adolfo De Sanctis

Research Fellow


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Obtained a M.Sc. in Applied physics and Nanotechnology in University of L'Aquila (Italy) in 2013 with a dissertation on "Growth and Characterization of Graphene". Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Exeter working in the Quantum Systems and Nanomaterials, led by Prof. Saverio Russo. Active in the field of Outreach and Scientific Communication through personal projects and collaborations, with a passion for travelling and stories told through words and photos. Born in Rome but grew up in Tagliacozzo (AQ) and lived (up to now) in London, Dublin and Madrid. Mother tongue Italian, fluent English and basic Spanish.



Graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon atoms in an honeycomb crystal structure, and other 2D materials have brought a lot of attention in the past ten years due to the breadth of theys physical properties. In particular the interaction of light with atomically-thin materials is an intense and active research field with promising results from a technological point of view. My current research activity spans the field of graphene opto-electronics and plasmonics. In collaboration with ICFO, The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona (Spain) and supported by the EU-FP7 project GRASP (Graphene-Based Single-Photon Nonlinear Optics), my research focuses on the use of chemically functionalized graphene for opto-electronic applications. Chemical bonding of a molecule or a chemical element to the pristine graphene can be used to tailor its properties to fit specific needs [1]. In particular in Exeter we focus on the intercalation with FeCl3 of few-layer graphene (FLG) [2]. In this case a strong charge transfer occurs between the graphene and the intercalant layers, resulting in heavy p-doping of graphene. This gives rise to a new system which is the best known flexible and transparent conductive material [2]. This material can then be used in many opto-electronic applications spanning from transparent and flexible electrodes to atomically-thin photodetectors. The plasmonic behavior of FeCl3-FLG is also under investigation: in collaboration with ICFO we study the behavior of surface plasmons in highly doped graphene, a promising field both for basic science and technological applications.

[1] F. Withers, T. H. Bointon, M. Dubois, S. Russo and M. F. Craciun; Nano Letters, 11, 3912 (2011).
[2] I. Khrapach, F. Withers, T. H. Bointon, D. K. Polyushkin, W. L. Barnes, S. Russo and M. F. Craciun; Adv. Mat., 24, 2844 (2012).



  • NanoItaly 2015, 21-24 September 2015, Rome, Italy. "Molecularly defined photodetectors in FeCl3-intercalated graphene";
  • Graphene and 2D Materials Europe 2015, IDTechEx, 28th-29th April 2015, Berlin (Germany) “FeCl3-intercalated few-layer graphene: opto-electronics properties and applications”;
  • The Rank Prize Funds. Symposium on 2D Materials for Optoelectronics, Plasmonics and Photonics, 22nd-25th September 2014, UK. “Engineering the electrical and optical properties of graphene materials”;



  • Contributing speaker at GM2016 "Graphene and related materials", May 2016 - Paestum (IT);
  • Poster presentation at ISNTT 2015 - November 2015 - Atsugi (Japan);
  • 7th NTT-BRL School "Nano and Optics" - November 2015 - Atsugi (Japan);
  • International Summer School of Physics "Enrico Fermi" - Course 190: Frontier of Modern Optics - June 2014 - Varenna (Italy).