March 2013-April 2013, Visiting Fellow, Isaac
Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI), University of Cambridge,
January 2014 and February 2917, Academic Visitor, Mathematical Institute,
University of Oxford, UK
August 2015, "Academic Icon" Visiting Professor, University
of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
February 2018, Solvay Colloquium Lecturer, ULB, Bruxelles.
July 2018, corresponding member ("Socio corrispondente non residente"
) of Accademia delle Scienze di Bologna.
Most of the research activity is in the field of liquid
crystals and anisotropic soft materials using theory, computer simulations
and various spectroscopical techniques and has led to over 250 publications
in international journals or multi-author books, particularly on:
Computer Simulations and Modeling (Monte
Carlo, Molecular Dynamics) of lattice (Lebwohl-Lasher), molecular (Gay-Berne)
and atomistic models as well as Statistical Theories of bulk and confined
are used to investigate orientational properties and phase
transitions of a variety of 3D, 2D, 1D bulk systems, but also
to model displays
and to simulate defects in droplets
and in hybrid films as well as their core structure and
the effect of external fields (movie clip) .We study nanoconfined
systems, in particular the effects on order
and memory of silica aerosils
and polymer fibrils dispersed in
nematics. We have also investigated differences in the Schlieren textures
of uniaxial and biaxial
nematics. More recently we have developed models for liquid
and for topological
defects in nematic shells covering colloidal particles to examine
the possibility of controlling the location of this "reactive"
(GB) systems are molecular resolution models employed
to study various liquid crystal phases and their transitions. In particular
computer simulations of nematics
and of their nematic-isotropic and
alignment properties have been performed. The molecular organization
near surfaces, for instance near a chiral wall or near a graphite
surface is investigated. Modeling of the macroscopic liquid crystal
properties resulting by simple changes in the molecular structure,
particularly due to the effect of permanent dipoles are studied in
smectics, where the dipole position in the molecule is shown to influence
profoundly the phases obtained, even with domain formation
in columnar systems. We have also studied flexoelectric
effects for pear shaped GB molecules.
Modelling of novel
mesophases. We have developed generalized versions
of the GB potential that allow non-uniaxial and non-symmetric shapes.
Using these models we have succeeded in simulating thermotropic
biaxial nematics and
a ferroelectric nematic designed from
tapered molecules by
suitably combining repulsive and attractive interactions. Fullerene
been studied combining
GB and Girifalco potentials, with the aim of investigating morphologies
promising for efficient carrier transport in organic photovoltaics.
Modelling of Liquid
Crystal Polymers. We have
extended the GB model further to model LC polymers with anisotropic
beads and springs
in bulk and nanoconfined
systems.We have developed soft GB potentials that have allowed the
off-lattice simulation of swollen liquid crystals elastomers (LCE)
simulations of Liquid
Crystals. We model geometry
and charge distribution of liquid crystal (LC) molecules using Quantum
Chemistry techniques and we simulate and predict, using Molecular
Dynamics, their properties and phase transitions. We have succeeded
in obtaining LC phase transition
temperatures and in reproducing the odd-even effect, i.e. the
large alternation in mesophase transition temperatures and properties
shown by many homologous series of liquid crystals containing (CH2)n
chains when varying the parity of n. .
We have also succeeded in simulating the nematic-isotropic transition
temperature and the properties of n-cyanobiphenyls (nCB, n=5,6,7,8),sexithiophene
T6 and other liquid crystals.
Atomistic simulations of alignment
and anchoring of organic functional materials and liquid crystals
on surfaces. We have investigated the alignment of liquid
crystals close to a surface, like crystalline silicon and silica both
crystalline and glassy and
we are now studying other interfaces.
Electronic applications. We have simulated at
atomistic level various systems: e.g. Phthalocyanine columnar systems,
indenofluorene trimers etc in order to allow calculation of tranport
properties in the various morphologies, Columnar donor-acceptor bilayer
Atomistic simulations of
Proteins : We have investigated
certain proteins (e.g. prion proteins,
particularly in connection to misfolding diseases) and their conformational
changes in solution. We have proposed the use of a chirality
indicator to identify and monitor the evolution of chiral motifs
in proteins from molecular dynamics trajectories
Development of theories and of data
analysis methodologies for the study and characterization
of liquid crystalline materials, including polymers and lipid membranes,
with various techniques: Fluorescence
Depolarization, ESR, NMR, Dielectric Relaxation, particularly
for the determination of their order
parameters and dynamics. A few examples:
A theory for rotational-translational
diffusion for biaxial molecules in uniaxial phases has been developed.
experiments are modeled using computer simulations for rodlike
and discotic systems with an aim
to asses the effect of phase organization on the efficiency and
directionality of Forster transfer.
ESR spin probe studies
are used to study order and dynamics in
various complex systems,e.g. nematics
with dispersed aerosils or nanodroplets in holographic polymer dispersed
liquid crystals (HPDLC).
C.Z. has given more than 300
invited talks in a number of Universities and Research Institutions including:
Yerevan (Armenia); Graz (Austria);
Brussels, Leuven, Mons (Belgium);
Maceiò (Brazil), NRC,
Ottawa, UBC, Vancouver (Canada); Xiamen, Fudan-Shangai, Beihang
-Beijing (China); Tampere (Finland), Bandol,
Bordeaux, Cergy-Pontoise, Lyon, Orsay, Paris, Sete, Strasburg (France);
Berlin, Bremen, Juelich, Kaiserslautern, Mainz, Stuttgart (Germany);
Corfu, Rhodes (Greece); Budapest (Hungary);
Hyderabad (India); Dublin (Ireland); Bologna,
Cagliari, Calabria, Camerino, Cetraro, Erice, Ferrara, Firenze, Genova, Milano,
Modena, Novara, Padova, Palermo, Parma, Pavia, Perugia, Pisa, Portonovo (AN),
Ravenna, Rimini, Roma, Rovereto, Salerno, Torino, Trento, Trieste, Tropea,
Urbino, Venezia (Italy); Kyoto, Nagoya, Nara, Osaka, Sendai,
Tokyo, Tsu (Japan); Jeju, Seoul (Korea);
Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia),
Trondheim (Norway); Krakow, Torun (Poland);
Lisbon (Portugal); Moscow (Russia), Ljubljana,
Maribor, Portoroz, Rogaska-Slatina (Slovenia); Elche, Peñíscola,
Zaragoza (Spain); Stockholm (Sweden);
Lausanne-EPFL, Lugano, Zurich-ETH (Switzerland); Hsinchu,
(Taiwan) ; Enschede, Groningen, Leiden,
Utrecht (The Netherlands); Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham,
Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton, York,
Warwick (UK); Atlanta (GA), Biddeford (ME), Boston - ACS
(MA), Breckenridge (CO), Courant Institute - New York (NY), Kent State (OH),
Mount Holyoke (MA), IMA, Minneapolis (MN), Penn State (PA), Princeton (NJ),
San Diego (CA), Colby-Sawyer, Tilton (NH); Washington - NIST (USA). (Click
here for a list of talks).
President of the International (ILCS)
Liquid Crystal Society (Aug 2012-July 2016), has been on the Board of
ILCS as representative for Italy (July 2000-2012).
Member of the European Science Foundation (ESF)
Pool of Reviewers (May 2006-April 2012), of the
EPSRC Peer Review College (2006-) and reviewer for a number of Institutions,
including Belgian BELSPO and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Member of CINECA Scientific Advisory Board for
the allocation of Supercomputer Resources . ISCRA (2010-)
Member of the Chemistry Panel of Experts
of the European Community, Human Capital and Mobility project
(1992-1994). Member of the Fellowships and of the Networks Chemistry
Review Panels for the Training and Mobility of Researchers Program (1995,
Member of the MCT International Chemistry Panel
of Evaluation ( Avaliação das Unidades de Investigação),
Member of the Scientific Board of the "Istituto
dei composti del carbonio contenenti eteroatomi e loro applicazioni"
(ICOCEA) CNR, Bologna (1997-2000) and of the "Centro Studi CNR
sugli Stati Molecolari Radicalici ed Eccitati" (CSSMRE), Padova
Member of the International Advisory Board of
the Southampton Liquid Crystal Institute (1996-2003).
External Member of the
INFM (National Institute for the Physics of Matter) Directors Board
("Consiglio Direttivo") (2001-2003).
Member of the Physical Chemistry Division Board
(Direttivo Divisione di Chimica Fisica) of SCI, the Italian Chemical
Coordinator of CRIMSON the INSTM reference Center
for Modelling and Simulation of Molecular Organizations and Nanosystems
Member of the International Scientific Committee
CCT , Ceramics,
Cells and Tissues Meeting , ISTEC, Faenza (2007)
Director of the Theory Section of INSTM ,
the Italian Consortium for Science and Technology of Materials (Florence)
(formerly INCM 1993-1996) and member of its Scientific Council (1996-March
Coordinator of the National "Virtual"
Computational Laboratory of INSTM at CINECA computing centre providing
supercomputer and general computing resources and access to selected
scientific software to INSTM members (1997- 2009).
Chairman of the Scientific Users Selection Panel
(SUSP) panel for the High Performance Computing Centres Access
programme: HPC-Europa (2004-2012)
project: Prediction of Dielectric Properties of Liquid Crystalline
Materials for Display and Photonic Applications (Previsione di proprieta`
dielettriche di materiali liquido-cristallini per display e applicazioni
fotoniche ), coordinator Prof. G.J. Moro (Padova), (Sep. 2004-
and Computer Simulations to the FIRB project "Protein Folding
and Aggregation: Metals and Biomolecules in Protein Conformational Diseases"
coordinated by Prof. E. Rizzarelli (Catania). (2004-2007). Collaborator.
National FIRB project
on Nanotechnology ("Nanotecnologie, microtecnologie, sviluppo
integrato dei materiali"): Molecular and organic/inorganic
hybrid nanostructures for photonics (Nanostrutture molecolari e ibride
organiche/inorganiche per fotonica) RBNE01P4JF (2003-2007): National Coordinator Prof. R. Bozio (Padova).
Coordinator of WP1: Theoretical and Computational
Modelling (Modellazione teorica e simulazione).
di Nanofabbricazione per l’ Emilia
Project, "Programma Regionale per la Ricerca industriale, l’Innovazione
e il Trasferimento tecnologico (PRRIITT)" (19 July 2005 - 19 July
coordinated by Prof. C. Taliani (CNR, ISMN, Bologna). Participant.
,(Progetto per le Micro e Nano Tecnologie in Emilia Romagna), "Programma
Regionale per la Ricerca industriale, l’Innovazione e il Trasferimento
tecnologico (PRRIITT)" (Dec.2008-2010): IMM-CNR,
ISMN-CNR , ISOF-CNR (Bologna), INFM-CNR S3Modena, IMEM-CNR Parma, DEIS-UniBO,
DCFI-UniBO, CIAM-UniBO (Bologna), FIS-UniFE, ING-UniFE (Ferrara), PaRMa-UniPR
Parma, CGS Bologna, DEMOCENTER-SIPE Modena, SACMI Imola-BO, OS Bologna,
MEDICA Medolla-MO, TECNA Parma, RIAL Parma, coordinated
by Prof. M. Bianconi (CNR, ImM, Bologna). Participant.
PRIN national project: Novel ordered systems for high response
molecular devices (Simulazioni al calcolatore e indagini sperimentali
di sistemi molecolari ad elevata risposta) with Univ. Bologna ( Giampiero
Spada until his sad disappearance in Feb. 2013, and then Stefano Masiero),
UNICAL (Giorgio Celebre), Pavia (Epifanio Virga) , (17 Oct 2011-16 Oct
International Collaborative Projects
HCM Network, Molecular Organisation in Liquid Crystals
Resulting from Particular Intermolecular Interactions, (CHRX-CT93-0161)
coordinated by Prof. D. Dunmur (Sheffield) with groups from Berlin (K.
Praecke), Bilbao (M.A. Perez-Jubindo), Bologna (C.Z.), Grenoble (P.
Maldivi), Ivanovo (N. Usoltseva), Krakow (L. Longa), Moscow (M. Osipov),
Patras (D. Photinos), Pisa (S. Faetti), Sheffield (D. Dunmur), Southampton
(G.R. Luckhurst), Strasbourg (D. Guillon), Zaragoza (J.L. Serrano) (1993-1997).
HCM Network, Organization and Dynamics of Molecules in
Ordered Phases: Integration of Experiments, Theoretical Models and Simulations,
(CHRX-CT93-0282) coordinated by Prof. P.L. Nordio (Padova) (1993-1997)
with groups from Bologna (C.Z.), Firenze (R. Righini), Southampton (G.R.
Luckhurst), Bristol (R. Richardson), Stuttgart (G. Kothe), Utrecht (Y.
Levine), Sevilla (L.F. Rull).
D3/0006/94 , "Structural and dynamic properties of liquid
crystalline materials" coordinated by Prof. P.L. Nordio (Padova)
(1 Oct 1994 -9 Sep 1997)
TMR Network Molecular
Design of Functional Liquid Crystals (FMRX-CT97 - 0121,
1 Nov. 1997- 31 Oct. 2002) coordinated first by the Prof. P.
L. Nordio (Padova) and then after is untimely death (on 20 Oct. 1998)
by Prof. G.R. Luckhurst (Southampton) . Participant groups from
Bologna (C.Z.), Freiburg (G. Kothe), Hull (G. Mehl), Lisbon (A. Farinha
Martins), Padova (P.L. Nordio, G.J. Moro), Patras (D. Photinos), Southampton
(G.R. Luckhurst, D. Dunmur, J.W. Emsley) Strasbourg (D. Guillon), Zaragoza
(Japan) networkNew Dipolar Liquid Crystals : Synthesis, Simulation
coordinated by Prof. D. Bruce (Exeter), with Profs. D. Guillon (Strasbourg),
T.M. Swager (MIT), H. Takezoe (Tokyo Institute of Technology.) (1998-2001).
EU FP6-NMP-NSF-1 016434 Project MODelling
Electro-active COnjugated materials at the Multiscale MODECOM
coordinated by Prof. Alison Walker (University of Bath ), together with
groups from University of Cambridge (Neil Greenham); Universitè
de Mons-Hainaut (David Beljonne, Johannes Gierschner); Institute of
Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (Zhigang Shuai);
Georgia Institute of Technology (Jean-Luc Brédas, Rigoberto Hernandez,
David Sherrill); MIT, Boston (Robert Silbey ); Princeton University
(Zoltan Soos); University of Michigan (Ted Goodson); Cambridge Display
Tech (Clare Foden); Atomistix, Copenhagen (Kurt Stokbro, Jose Torres).
MODECOM workshop 14 Jan 2009. University
of Bologna Unit coordinator.(2006-2009)
EU FP7 Integrated ProjectOrganic
nanomaterials for Electronics and Photonics (ONE-P):
2009-Dec 2011), The ONE-P project
is coordinated by Prof. Yves Geerts (ULB, Brussels) and comprises Université
de Mons Hainaut, Mons, BE ; University of Cambridge, UK; CSIC , Bellaterra,
Spain ; Max Planck, Mainz, Germany; CNR ISMN, Bologna, Italy; University
of Copenhagen, Denmark; Linköpings Universitet, Sweden; Chalmers
University of Technology, Goeteborg, Sweden; IMEC, Leuven, Belgium;
Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen, The Netherlands; Westfaelische-Wilhelms
Universitaet Muenster, Germany; TNO, Delft, The Netherlands; Université
Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France; Bergische Universität Wuppertal,
Germany; University of Nova Gorica, Adjovscina, Slovenia ; UCL, London,
UK; Queen Mary and Westfield College,London, UK; Technische Universität
, Dresden, Germany; Philips Electronics, Eindhoven, The Netherlands;
STMicroelectronics, Agrate Brianza, Italy; Merck LC, Southampton, UK;
Scriba Nanotecnologie, Bologna, Italy; Johnson Matthey, Reading, UK;
BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany; Innova, Rome, Italy; VDI/VDE, Berlin, Germany;
Imperial College, London, UK. Coordinator of WP7 (training) and of the
University of Bologna - INSTM Unit. Bologna-CNR
12M meeting Jan 18-20-2010.. The UNIBO group has organized the ONEP
School in Erice in April 2010.
EU FP7 STREPBiaxial
Nematic Devices (BIND):
(Feb 2008-Jan 2012) coordinated by Prof. Demetri Photinos (University
of Patras), together with groups from University of Oxford (Stephen
Elston, Peter Raynes), Trinity College Dublin (Jagdish Vij), University
of Freiburg (Heino Finkelmann), University of Hull (Georg Mehl), University
of Halle (Carsten Tschierske) . UNIBO unit coordinator
EU FP7 Small Scale Collaborative ProjectModelling of electronic processes at interfaces in organic-based
electronic devices (MINOTOR) : CP-FP228424-2
(2009-May 2012) coordinated by Profs. J. Cornil, D. Beljonne, R. Lazzaroni,
University of Mons-Hainaut – UMH, with University of Linköping
(W.R. Salaneck, M. Fahlman) Sweden; University of Twente (M.P.de Jong,
G.H.L.A. Brocks) The Netherlands; IMEC (P. Heremans) Belgium; University
Bordeaux, (F. Castet) France; University of Bologna (C. Zannoni), Italy;
Universitad Autonoma de Madrid (F. Flores), Spain; BASF (C. Lennartz)
, Germany; Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, (W. Wenzel) Germany; Georgia
Institute of Technology, ( J.-L. Brédas) USA; Princeton University
(A. Kahn) USA.
Bilateral ST MAE
Materials Science & Technology project: Computer simulations and
NMR investigations of responsive materials for photonics applications
with Prof. V.S.S. Sastry, Dept. of Physics, University of Hyderabad
EOARD - Awards to International
Educational Institutions and Non-Profit Organizations"Air Force Office
of Scientific Research, Air Force Material Command, USAF, grant FA8655-11-1-3046,
Modelling ferroelectric nanoparticles in nematic liquid crystals
(FERNANO) (1 Sep 2011 - 31 Aug. 2014 and Sep 2015-2018).
(EXTended Model of Organic Semiconductors) EU-H2020- 646176 collaboration
of academic and industrial partners: the Universities of Bath (A. Walker),
Mons (D. Beljonne), Bologna, Karlsruher Institute of Technology (W. Wenzel),
CEA Research institutes of Nanosciences et Cryogénie (T. Deutsch)
and Institut Néel (X..Blase) in Grenoble, Max Planck Institut für
Polymerforschung, Mainz (P. Blom), IMEC (D. Cheyns), Interuniversitair
Mikro-Elektronica Centrum, Leuven, Novaled (M.Furno), FlexEnable Cambridge
(B. Yaglioglu), Silvaco Europe (A. Nejim) and Nanomatch./T.
Strunk), (July 2015- July 2019)
Molecular Organization in Organic Thin Films via Computer Simulation
of their Fabrication Processes (2015XJA9NT) , with University of
Salerno (G. Milano) and Politecnico di Milano (G. Raos) (2017-2019)
Last modified: August 2018 (CZ). Visits from Jan 1998
Original web page by Stefano