Université de Strasbourg

Paolo Samorì

Biography - Paolo Samorì

Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering (ISIS), University of Strasbourg and CNRS

Paolo Samorì, USIAS Fellow 2020

Paolo Samorì is distinguished professor at the University of Strasbourg and director of the Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering (ISIS), where he leads the Nanochemistry laboratory. He obtained a master’s degree (Laurea) in industrial chemistry from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 1995 and a PhD in chemistry from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, in 2000. He was appointed permanent researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Bologna in 2001, visiting professor at ISIS in 2003, and full professor in 2008.

Professor Samorì’s current research focuses on the chemistry of two-dimensional materials, smart supramolecular systems, and also on high-performance multifunctional materials and (nano)devices in order to develop an “Internet of functions” for energy, sensing and optoeletronic applications. To date, he has published over 340 articles in major scientific journals, has over 14,000 citations of his work and an h-index of 67.

Paolo Samorì was elected as junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) in 2010, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2012, member of the Academia Europaea and of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) in 2014, and foreign member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB) in 2019. He has also received numerous prestigious awards, including the Guy Ourisson prize from the Cercle Gutenberg in 2010; the silver medal of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 2012; the Spanish-French Catalán–Sabatier prize from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ) and the German-French Wittig–Grignard prize from the German Chemical Society (GDCh) in 2017; the RSC Surfaces and Interfaces award, the Pierre Süe prize from the French Chemical Society (SCF) and the Blaise Pascal medal in Materials Science from EURASC in 2018; and the Étoiles de l’Europe prize in 2019.

Project – 2D materialS-based cementitiOus Composites for multifunctional cIvil engineering applicatiOns (SOCIO)

01/06/2020 - 31/08/2022

The production of novel cement nanocomposites involves the perplexing problem of disentanglement and uniform distribution of nanomaterials within cement matrix, which is fundamental for the progress in the field of civil engineering, and for development of new generations of smart buildings and constructions. One way to boost the mechanical properties of cementitious composite is to improve its microstructure. This can be done by using small amounts of ultra-rigid objects exhibiting high volume-to-surface ratio, each one acting, in a collective fashion, as an independent reinforcer. The extraordinary physico-chemical properties of 2D materials enable the fabrication of novel cementitious composites with enhanced performances (cement–graphene), photocatalytic properties (cement–MoS2) that can be easily integrated in daily life. The approaches developed within SOCIO will offer new solutions towards the construction of more robust, smart and multifunctional buildings.

The aim of SOCIO is to develop unprecedented cementitious composites incorporating 2D materials nanosheets, which are expected to feature enhanced microstructure and mechanical properties as well as unaffected workability, thus outperforming previously reported composites with carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide-based derivatives. SOCIO targets at developing technologically simple and efficient protocols for manufacturing cement–2D materials composites without the use of surfactants or any special treatment to obtain uniform dispersion of 2D nanosheets within cement matrix. Two different types of 2D materials’ nanosheets will be used within SOCIO, i.e. electrochemically exfoliated graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). While the use of the former will result in enhanced mechanical properties (tensile strength, compressive strength and Young’s modulus) of the cement matrix, the latter will be employed to impart photocatalytic properties to the composites.

SOCIO exploits for the first time the use of unfunctionalised and defect-free 2D materials nanosheets towards the development of next-generation cementitious composites featuring enhanced microstructure and mechanical properties. The use of 2D materials inks, including graphene and MoS2 with well-defined structural and physico-chemical properties obtained via electrochemical exfoliation will enable the development of a technologically simple, yet efficient method for manufacturing cement–graphene composites exhibiting unprecedented mechanical properties. In the long term, cements reinforced with 2D materials will offer solutions towards the strengthening of the most vulnerable parts of buildings (cement–graphene) and allow development of construction with unique functionality such as photocatalytic activity (cement–MoS2).

Post-doc biography - Malgorzata Krystek

Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering (ISIS), University of Strasbourg and CNRS

Malgorzata Krystek

Małgorzata Krystek obtained her Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Silesian University of Technology (Poland) in 2013, followed by a Master’s degree with specialisation in structural engineering. In 2019, she completed her PhD thesis entitled “The assessment of the applicability of cementitious composites incorporating electrochemically exfoliated graphene in building structures” at the same university and subsequently became an assistant in its Department of Structural Engineering.

During her PhD studies, she visited the Nanochemistry group of Professor Paolo Samorì three times to undergo training and perform research work. Her research interests include the nanotechnology of concrete structures; in particular, in the framework of her PhD research, she investigated the effect of electrochemically exfoliated graphene on the microstructure, durability and complex stress state mechanical properties of cementitious composites.

For the past five years, Dr. Krystek has gained her didactic experience working with students within various courses, such as building materials, composites, numerical modelling or concrete and masonry structures. She was also involved in science popularisation and participated in science communication competitions, such as the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) or FameLab Poland.

In 2020, she was pleased to join the USIAS project as a post-doc to extend the research on the potential application of 2D materials in smart, high-performance cementitious composites.

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