Professor, University of Birmingham
Giovanni Costantini studied Physics at the University of Genova where he graduated in 1994 and was awarded his PhD in Physics in 2000. He afterwards went to the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart as a Group Leader in the Nanoscience Department. In 2007 he became an Assistant Professor in Physical Chemistry at the University of Warwick, was promoted to Associated Professor in 2010 and to full Professor in 2016. In June 2022 he moved to the School of Chemistry of the University of Birmingham as a Professor of Physical Chemistry.
Giovanni published more than 100 research papers (>6,500 citations, h factor 36), secured funding for more than 4M€, was invited to give more than 90 lectures at international conferences and in European and overseas research institutions and successfully supervised 35 students and research fellows. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant.
He is the co-founder and shareholder of Dodecon Nanotechnology GmbH, a company for the development and production of nanotechnological devices. He speaks five languages and has three nationalities.
Giovanni Costantini’s research area is experimental nanoscience with a particular focus on molecular self-organised processes at surfaces. The research activity in his group is focused on two main overarching objectives: developing new methods for the characterisation of functional molecules by exploiting the high- and ultrahigh resolution analytical techniques of surface nanoscience; and exploring the fundamental interactions and properties of functional molecular units on solid surfaces.
Sequence and assembly of conjugated polymer by high-resolution imaging
In this talk I will demonstrate that high resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) is capable of delivering crucial information — that cannot be achieved by any other current analytical method — about “real world” electronic and energy materials. In particular, I will show that by combining vacuum electrospray deposition (ESD) and high-resolution STM, it is possible to image conjugated polymers used in organic electronics and photovoltaic devices with unprecedented details. Based on this, it becomes possible to sequence the polymers by visual inspection and to determine their molecular mass distribution by simply counting the repeat units. Moreover, I will demonstrate that we can precisely determine the nature, locate the position, and ascertain the number of synthetic defects in the polymer backbone.1-2 The analysis of our high- resolution images univocally demonstrates that one of the main drivers for backbone conformation and polymer self-assembly is the maximization of alkyl side-chain interdigitation. On this basis, we investigate the 2D assembly of a series of conjugated polymers with the aim of gaining insight in the molecular microstructure of the corresponding 3D functional thin films.4,5