Foto del docente

Francesco Zerbetto

Full Professor

Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician"

Academic discipline: CHIM/02 Physical Chemistry

Curriculum vitae

Professor of Physical Chemistry

Phone +39-051-2099473; +39-3358024776; +39-051-2099456


Professional experience

01/11/2001-to date, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Università di Bologna

01/01/2016-06/09/2017 President of Fondazione Alma Mater (

01/11/2010-01/05/2015 Head of Department, Università di Bologna

01/11/2007-31/10/2010 deputy Head of Department, Università di Bologna

1/10/2000-31/10/2001 Associate Professor, Università di Bologna

23/04/1990-30/09/2000 Researcher, Università di Bologna

06/12/1986-19/04/1990, Research Associate, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Education and training

01/11/1977-14/12/1982 Laurea in Chemistry, Università degli Studi di Bologna, 110/110 summa cum Laude

03/03/1983-16/9/1984, Italian Army – Compulsory military service

01/11/1983-31/10/1986, Dottorato di Ricerca in Scienze Chimiche (PhD), Università degli Studi di Bologna


Computational and theoretical chemistry

Mid 80’s: Theoretical work on vibrationally resolved electronic spectroscopy.

Late 80’s: Tunneling models proposed and used as a postdoc are still in use.

Early-to-mid 90’s: Basis for understanding the stability of classic and non-classic fullerenes. Such understanding was absent when the PI started working in the field and the results are still a benchmark.

Mid 90’ early 2000’s: Theoretical investigation of the properties and dynamics of interlocked systems (catenanes and rotaxanes). This kind of theoretical investigation was not deemed feasible when the PI started it.

Early 2000’s: Prediction and rationalization of molecular self-assembly. Some important contributions have been given by the PI for the self-assembly of rotaxanes and of fullerene derivatives on surfaces. Investigation of chirality as a continuous quantity in chemical reactions.

Mid 2000’s: Theoretical simulation of metal surfaces interacting with organics, also in the presence of electric potentials. Cavitation effects. Early work on biosystems. Molecular machines described in the simple general terms.

Early 2010’s: Mesoscopic simulations. Theoretical work on the interaction of guests with proteins to understand the disruption of pathological pathways (nanotoxicology).

Papers on peer-reviewed journals and book chapters: >340; Source: Google Scholar( Number of citations 13621, h-index=53 (51 Web of Science), i10-index=239, h-index (since 2011)=32; i10-index (since 2011)=115.

Plenary lectures and invited talks at conferences, universities, research centers including USA, Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.

1 patent sold; 2 more patents

Supervision of about 20 PhD students, mainly from Italy.

Supervision of more than 30 postdoctoral fellows from Spain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Greece, Italy.

The total amount of international funding from 1996 is more than 3.0 M€

(i) ENBAC (Benzylic Amide Catenanes, 1996-2001), FP4-TMR, FMRX-CT96-0059, partner, 260 k€

(ii) USEFULL (Useful fullerenes, 1997-2001), FP4-TMR, FMRX-CT097-0126, partner, 169 k€

(iii) DRUM (Rotaxane-based Unconventional Materials, 1997-2001), FP4-TMR, FMRX-CT97-0097, partner, 165 k€

(iv) FUNCARS (Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes, 2000-2003), FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, HPRN-CT-1999-00011, partner, 185 k€

(v) MIPA (Interlocked Polymers, 2000-2004), FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, partner, HPRN-CT-2000-00024, 200 k€

(vi) MechMol (Molecular Motions, 2002-2005), FP5-IST, IST-2001-35504, partner, 250 k€

(vii) CassiusClays (Polymer-clays intercalation, 2002-2006), FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, HPRN-CT-2002-00178, partner, 185 k€

(viii) Wonderfull (fullerene derivatives, 2002-2006), FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, HPRN-CT-2002-00171, partner, 175 k€

(ix) EMMMA (Mechanical architecture, 2002-2006), FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, HPRN-CT-2002-00168, partner, 160 k€

(x) Hy3M (Molecular motions, 2005-2008), FP6-NMP, NMP4-CT-2004-013525, partner, 250 k€

(xi) STAG (Smart Tags 2007-2009), FP6-NMP, STRP 033355, Coordinator, 250 k€ for the group at Unibo, and €2000 overall

(xii) Biodot (Organic transistors for sensing 2007-2009), FP6-NMP, FP6-STRP 032652, partner, 180 k€

(xiii) I-ONE, implantable organic nanoelectronics, (2012-2014), FP7-NMP-2011-SMALL-5, grant agreement 280772, partner, 363 k€

(xiv) Graphene flagship (2014-) presently k€133, to be upgraded.

Many national projects including PRIN (coordinated) and FIRB (partner) for a total of more than M€0.5.

Awards/International Prizes

06/05/2013, 2013 González-Ciamician Award, Real Sociedad Española de Química

15/03/2008, Winner of EU- Descartes Prize 2007, European Commission

2003, Finalist of EU- Descartes Prize 2003, European Commission

2012-2015 Editorial Board ChemPlusChem (Wiley)

2007- Editorial Board Fullerenes nanotubes and carbon nanostructures (Taylor & Francis)

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