Francesco Calavalle, winner of the GEFES award for best experimental thesis
The researcher Francesco Calavalle has been awarded the prize for best experimental PhD thesis by the Condensed Matter Physics Division (GEFES) of the Spanish Royal Physics Society (RSEF). The thesis “Probing and tuning the properties of van der Waals materials“ was worked on at CIC nanoGUNE, under the supervision of Ikerbasque Professor Luis Hueso.
Following the common thread of investigating and manipulating the transport properties of low dimensional and low symmetrical systems, this thesis was divided in two main parts. In the first part molecular functionalization is exploited to tune the intrinsic physical properties of two van der Waals materials: a superconductor and a ferromagnet. The second part focuses on the study of the charge to spin interconversion mechanisms in low symmetry systems. In particular, the study of the magnetoelectrical properties of Tellurium nanowires revealed a tight relationship between spin related phenomena and the symmetry breaking in such a chiral system.
The investigation on the physical properties of new materials is of fundamental importance to gain understanding and knowledge on systems and phenomena which one day may be exploited for revolutionary technological applications. In this regard, probing and tuning the electronic transport properties of low-dimensional materials might represent one of the routes that can satisfy the requirements of modern electronics/spintronics advancements.
Calavalle is graduated in physics and got a Master degree on Condensed Matter and Materials Physics by the University of Bologna. He joined nanoGUNE as a pre-doctoral researcher in 2017, in the framework of the EU-funded Innovative Training Network QuESTech to work on a PhD thesis related with Quantum Electronics Science Technology.