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  • Dr. Enrico Gnecco

    PhD: University of Genoa, Italy
    Previous Position: University of Basel, Switzerland

    Enrico Gnecco received his PhD in Physics from the University of Genoa in 2001, and worked several years at the University of Basel before joining IMDEA Nanociencia in 2010. Among other topics, he investigated atomicscale friction of metal, insulating and semiconducting surfaces in ultra-high vacuum, the onset of abrasive wear on crystal surfaces on the nanoscale, the transition from stick- slip to superlubricity, the phononic and electronic contributions to dissipation in close proximity to solid surfaces, and the confine- ment of organic molecules on insulating surfaces caused by artificial nanostructures.

    Enrico Gnecco co-authored about 80 peer-reviewed articles (including publications in Science, Nature Materials, PNAS and Nanoletters) and 4 book chapters. He also wrote the book “Nanoscale Processes on Insulating Surfaces” (World Scientific, 2009) with Marek Szymonski, and edited the book “Fundamentals of Friction and Wear on the Nanoscale” (Springer, 2007 and 2014) with Ernst Meyer. Last but not least, he was awarded a diploma in piano from the Conservatory of Music of his hometown, Genoa.

    Research Lines

    At IMDEA Nanociencia Prof. Gnecco is leading the nanotribology group, focusing on friction, adhesion and wear processes on the nanometer scale. Both experimental (atomic force microscopy and related techniques) and theoretical (analytical models based on classical mechanics and reaction rate theory) approaches are explored. Our current research topics are friction in liquid environments, nanomanipula- tion of organic molecules, and nanostructuring of polymers caused by viscoplastic deformations. The ultimate goal of his work is to control friction and particle manipulation at the nanoscale.