Riccardo Checchetto

Via Sommarive, 14 - 38123 Povo
tel. 0461 281650
riccardo.checchetto[at]unitn [dot] it
Area CUN: Scienze fisiche (02)
Settore scientifico disciplinare: FISICA SPERIMENTALE (FIS/01)


Master degree: Dept. of Physics - University of Trento (1990); Level in EQF: Level 7; Dissertation title:  Fenomeni di trasporto in solidi irraggiati da laser.

Ph.D: Dept. of Physics University of Padova (1995): Level in EQF: Level 8; Dissertation title: Dinamica di elementi atomici leggeri in materiali di tipo ceramico.

Carriera accademica ed attività didattica

Fellowship: Science Technology Agency (STA) Fellowship at Osaka National Research Institute (ONRI) now called “National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology” (AIST). Ikeda, Osaka  Prefecture, Japan.

2004: Adjunct Professor: Dept. of Physics, University of Trento, Povo (TN) (Italy)

2022: Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics, University of Trento, Povo (TN) (Italy)


Attivita' didattica

2021/2022, Fisica II: DICAM; Nanoscience: Dip. Fisica

2020/2021, Fisica II: DICAM; PAF: Dip. Fisica

2019/2020, Fisica II: DICAM; Nanoscience: Dip. Fisica

2018/2019, Fisica II: DICAM; Nanoscience: Dip. Fisica

2017/2018, Fisica II: DICAM; Nanoscience: Dip. Fisica

2016/2017, Fisica II: DICAM; Nanoscience: Dip. Fisica

2015/2016, Laboratorio Fisica II: Dip. Fisica

2014/2015, Exp. Methods in Material Science: Dip. Fisica; Laboratorio Fisica II: Dip. Fisica

2013/2014, Exp. Methods in Material Science: Dip. Fisica; Laboratorio Fisica II: Dip. Fisica

2012/2013, Exp. Methods in Material Science [145163]: Dip. Fisica; Laboratorio Fisica II: Dip. Fisica

2011/2012, Experimental Methods in Material Science: Dip. Fisica; Laboratorio Fisica II: Dip. Fisica

Interessi di ricerca

Attivita' di ricerca a carattere sperimentale focalizzata sulle seguenti aree tematiche:

PE3_3: Transport properties of condensed matter. 

PE4_17: Characterization methods of materials.

PE5_6: New materials: oxides, alloys, composite, organic-inorganic hybrid, nanoparticles 

PE3_1: Structure of solids, material growth and characterization. 

PE5_15: Polymer chemistry.

Attività di ricerca

Hydrogen kinetics in ceramic and metallic materials. This research activity was carried out to develop thin film coatings on stainless steel acting as efficient H2 permeation barriers for applications in fusion reactor technology. We deposited nitride and carbide thin film coatings by r. f. magnetron sputtering on stainless steel substrates and studied their gas barrier properties and the H2 transport mechanism by gas phase permeation technique. 

Innovative materials for H2 storage. We prepared and structurally characterized different samples: i) self-supporting Mg thick films with dispersed transition metal (TM) additive atoms grown by r. f. sputtering, ii) mixed MgH2/LiAlH4 nanostructured hydrides powders by ball-milling and iii) nanocomposites consisting on a hydrogen permeable polymer matrix with embedded hydride forming metal inclusions. Experiments on the hydride formation/dissociation process were carried out by Sievert analysis using the home-made apparatus. 

Nano-porous silica thin films for H2 purification. We deposited by spin-coating method nano-porous silica thin films prepared by sol-gel technique on alumina substrates. The chemical structure was characterized by FTIR while the open volume structure by Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy (PAS). We developed stacked membranes consisting of ultra-thin Pd-Ag layer deposited by r. f. sputtering on a 150 nm thick nano-porous silica with optimized open volume structure acting as buffer layer on the meso-porous Anodic Alumina Oxide support. The transport of different gas species through this asymmetric membrane was studied by gas phase permeation analysis. The aim was to develop innovative H2- purification membranes where the ultra-thin Pd layer permitted high H2 fluxes reducing the membrane cost.

Transport processes through polymer nano-composites. We prepared polymer nano-composite film samples consisting of a gas permeable polymeric matrix with dispersed gas impermeable carbon- based nanoparticles exhibiting different aspect ratio (FLG: few layers graphene, CNT: carbon nanotubes, for example) at contents below their agglomeration threshold. The dispersed phase modified the free volume structure of the polymer matrix and forced long diffusion paths for the migrating species. The aim was to tune the nanocomposite gas transport properties for applications such as gas barrier for packaging technology or gas/vapour selectivity for membranes- based separation processes. Recently an innovative experimental approach based on mass spectroscopy (MS) techniques was developed to study the gas separation properties of polymer membranes exposed to gas mixtures rich of components such as flue gases, biogases and the mixtures produced by CO2 plasma reforming. Through this MS approach it is possible on-line monitor the transport of different species in experimental tests carried out in mixed gas conditions and reveal peculiarities connected to specific phenomena such as CO2 induced polymer plasticization or selective sorption processes.

Convegni e conferenze

- Invited talk: LXXXVII Congresso Nazionale Societa’ Italiana di Fisica (Milano, 24-29 September, 2001). Titolo della presentazione: “Immagazzinamento dell’idrogeno nei solidi e cinetica di desorbimento”.

- Poster presentation: International Conference on Surface Modification of Materials by Ion Beams SMMIBM 2001 (Marburg, Germany, September 9-14, 2001), “Aluminum and iron surface modification by deuterium ion implantation and thermal desorption process”.

- Oral presentation: “International Symposium on the Metal-Hydrogen System (MH2004). 5-10 September, 2004, Cracovia (Polonia). “Deuterium storage in Mg-Nb thin films”.

- Invited talk: International Symposium on the Metal-Hydrogen System (MH2006). 1-6 October, 2006, Maui (USA). Title: Catalytic Properties on the Hydrogen Desorption Process of Metallic Additives Dispersed in the MgH2 Matrix.

- Invited talk: Study of Matter under Extreme Conditions (SMEC 2007). 15-20 April, 2007, Miami (USA) Title: H2 storage efficiency and sorption kinetics in composite materials.

- Poster presentation: International Conference on Metal Hydrogen System (MH2010), Moscow 19-23 July, 2010. Presentation: "Deuterium desorption from nanocrystalline magnesium thin films". 

- Oral presentation: First Scientific Meeting of COST Action MP1103, Roma 13-15 February, 2012. "Kinetics of hydride to metal phase transition in magnesium". 

- Oral presentation: International Symposium on Metal Hydrogen System (MH2012), Kyoto 21-26 October, 2012. Title: "Magnesium growth in magnesium deuteride thin films during deuterium desorption". 

Poster presentation: Fourth International Conference Frontiers in Polymer Science Riva del Garda (TN), 20-22 May, 2015. Title: "Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy study of the correlation between free volume and gas transport in amine- modified epoxy resins" 

- Oral presentation: Eurasia Conference on Chemical Science (EuAsC25-15), Roma 5-8 September, 2018. "Polylactic acid films with dispersed cellulose nanoparticles: a study on the gas transport properties and impurity degassing kinetics". Session I.B "Physical Chemistry of Nanomaterials".

- Poster presentation: 3rd International Conference on Applied Surface Science. Pisa, 17/06/2019 - 20/06/2019.  Title: "Gas transport properties and kinetics of residual solvent desorption from biopolymer nanocomposites". 

- Invited talk at GRAPHENEMEET2021, “International Meet & Expo on Graphene and Carbon Nanostructures”. The conference, originally scheduled in Nice (F), was carried out ONLINE due to the Covid-19 emergency. Title: " Free volumes and gas transport in polymers: amine-modified epoxy resins as a case study". 

- Keynote Speaker: “5th Edition of International Materials Science & Nanoscience Webinar”, 29-30 June, 2022. Title: “Transport of CO2- rich gas mixtures through polymeric membranes for CO2/CO separation.”

- Oral presentation: “International Congress on Separation and Purification Technologies” (ONLINE). 10-14 December, 2022 organized by Elsevier in collaboration with Journal of Membrane Science and Separation and Purification Technology. Title: “Transport of CO2/CO/O2/N2 gas mixtures through Matrimid®, Polyethrimide (PEI) and Poly(lactic acid) membranes for CO2/CO separation”. 

Altre attività

1990: Borsa di Studio Consorzio INFM.
1991: Ph.D, Dipartimento di Fisica - Universita' di Padova.
1994: Co.Co.Co., Istituto Trentino di Cultura (now Fondazione Bruno Kessler). 

1996: Borsa di Studio Consorzio INFM.
1997-1999: Assegno di Ricerca Dip. Fisica - UniTN
2003-2005: Co. Co. Co., Dip. Fisica - UniTN