Laurea in Physics, Pavia, Italy, 1992
- M.S., Materials Science and Technology, Pavia, Italy, 1994
- Ph.D., Physics, Trieste, Italy, 1998
| Research Fields|
Theoretical condensed matter applied to functional materials
- First principles calculations of structural, vibrational and thermodynamical properties
- Design of novel ferroelectric, thermoelectric and photovoltaics materials
| Research Projects|
First principles methods in condensed matter physics have recently evolved to a point where the properties of materials can be successfully predicted based solely on their chemical composition. Present and future technology relies on the design of new or improved functional properties. Environmentally sound mechatronic systems based on piezoelectric devices and solid state thermal energy converters are the main targets of Dr. Fornari's research. Dr. Fornari aims to design novel compounds by distilling phenomenological rules that capture the phenomena and provide guidance to the theoretical and experimental search for new materials.
- The work of Dr. Fornari and his collaborators has successfully predicted novel thermoelectrics materials for refrigeration in the family of sketturudites. The group has also identified the essential ingredients for the formation of morphotropic phase boundaries (MPB) in perovskite alloys as well as in tungsten-bronze niobates. Such understanding is now being applied to the study of novel alloys. Work is also in progress to study bone mineralization processes using first principles methodologies. Research is done using the computational facilities of the Department of Physics. Funding sources include PRF, Res. Corp., ARL, NIH, Bosch and CMU.