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Valentina Tozzini

CNR Senior Researcher

tel. +39 050 509433

fax +39 050 509417

valentina.tozzininano.cnr .it


Piazza San Silvestro 12
56127 PISA

Running projects

MONolithic STRain Engineering platform for TWO-Dimensional materials (MONSTRE 2D)

Graphene flagship core project 2
Work Package 12 Energy Storage

Bilateral Italy-Georgia
Morphing graphene chemical properties: a Density Functional Approach

Research interests

Modeling and manipulation of Graphene-based materials
Graphene-based systems are studied with ab initio and force field based simulations with a focus on controlling and exploiting the sheet rippling, defects and functionalization. Simulations are combined with experimental data and nano-manipulation techniques to obtain a coherent understanding of the system at the nanoscale.
Recent results:
• The curvature induced enhancement of reactivity is evaluated as a possible mechanism to control ad-atoms adhesion/detachment, for storage, functionalization or to tailor electronic properties
• The dynamical curvature control induced by coherent phonons is studied as a mean to transport and pump gases (e.g. H2) in 3D graphene based frameworks
• Strategies to control local curvature are evaluated, including flexo-electricity, functionalization with optically controllable pillars or coupling to piezo-electric substrates

Multi-scale modeling Biomolecular Systems
Minimalist Coarse Grained (CG) models for proteins and nucleic acids are developed and integrated in multi-scale approaches (QM, MM and CG) for the simulation of biomolecular systems.
Recent applications:
• Large time scale dynamics of proteins involved in the HIV-1 replication cycle (protease and integrase)
• Dynamics of denaturation and supercoiling in an entire small plasmids
• Coarse Grained and multi-scale approaches to study the slow dynamics hybrid DNA-proteins systems: Ribosomes and Nucleosomes
• A CG model for Green Fluorescent Proteins embedded in a meso-scale cytoplasm model was developed, with the aim of studying their diffusional and aggregation behavior
• On the methodological level, strategies to improve the transferability and predictive power of CG models are under development, involving the use of genetic algorithms to optimize the model parameters. Specific software implementing these strategies is developed

Biographical sketch

1993: Laurea (Master Degree) in Physics, Università di Pisa, Italy
1993: Diploma di Licenza in Fisica, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
1997: PhD in Physics, Scuola Normale Superiore
1999: Medical Physics Specialization, Università di Pisa

1997 - 1999: Post-Doc felloship (INFM-SNS, Pisa)
1999 - 2000: Visiting researcher at the University of Nijmegen (NL)
2000 - 2003: Scientist at NEST-INFM, SNS, Pisa
2003 - 2004: Visiting Scholar at the University of California - San Diego
2003 - 2009: Scientist at NEST-CNR-INFM, SNS, Pisa
2010 - present: Senior Scientist at NEST-CNR-Istituto Nanoscienze, SNS, Pisa

2018- : MOdules of Numerical methods for Physics, MS Degree in Physics, Univ of Pisa
2017- : MOdule of Structure of Matter, BS Degree in Physics, Univ of Pisa
2009- : Biophysics, MS Degree in Physics, Univ of Pisa
2015-2018 : Computer simulation methods in physics of matter, MS Degree in Physics, Univ of Pisa
2007-2012: Courses of Molecular Biophysics, Introduction to the condensed matter physics for biologists and Computational structural biology for the PhD at SNS
2008: Lessons at the CTBP Summer School in Coarse Grained Physical Modeling of Biological Systems
2006-2007: Course for the PhD in Applied Physics at the University of Pisa

Didactic video on "Graphene for energy storage"

Selected publications

Multiscale modeling of proteins interaction with functionalized nanoparticles G Brancolini, V Tozzini, Curr Opin Coll Int Sci (2019)

Unraveling localized states in quasi free standing monolayer graphene by means of Density Functional Theory T Cavallucci, Y Murata, M Takamura, H Hibino, S Heun, V Tozzini, Carbon (2018)

Multistable Rippling of Graphene on SiC: A Density Functional Theory Study T Cavallucci, V Tozzini, J Phys Chem C (2016)

Graphene, related two-dimensional crystals, and hybrid systems for energy conversion and storage F Bonaccorso, L Colombo, G Yu, M Stoller, V Tozzini, A C Ferrari, R S Ruoff, V Pellegrini, Science (2015)

Diffusion within the Cytoplasm: A Mesoscale Model of Interacting Macromolecules F Trovato, V Tozzini, Biophys J (2014)

SecStAnT: Secondary Structure Analysis Tool for data selection, statistics and models building G Maccari, G L B Spampinato, V Tozzini, Bioinformatics (2014)

A minimalist model of proteins diffusion and interactions: the GFP within the cytoplasm F Trovato, R Nifosì, A Di Fenza, V Tozzini, Macromolecules (2013)

Prospects for Hydrogen Storage in Graphene V Tozzini, V Pellegrini, PCCP (2013)

Reversible hydrogen storage by controlled buckling of graphene layers V Tozzini, V Pellegrini, J Phys Chem C (2011) Press release

Minimalist models for proteins: a comparative analysis V Tozzini, Q Rev Biophys (2010)

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