Bruno Torre

Research Scientists


​Bruno Torre obtained his Master Degree in physics at the University of Genoa in 2002 with a thesis on the development and characterization of a high spatial resolution 3D particle detector, within the framework of the research activity of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). He received his Ph.D. in physics in 2006 discussing an experimental work in tribology aimed to discriminate between the phononic and electronic contribution in friction processes: the study required competences in Ultra High Vacuum and cryogenics technologies, Scanning Probe Microscopy and Quartz Crystal Microbalance technique as well as film deposition processes. In the period 2002 to 2008 he has been employed in the industrial contest, focusing on the development of scientific and environmental instrumentation, with different functions, comprising researcher, software-hardware developer, member of the board of directors: in that period he raised his skills in electronic, mechanical and software design to a professional grade as well as management. From 2006 to 2008 he has ​been the principal investigator involved in the development of an AFM base instrument dedicated to DNA analysis. From March 2008 to October 2013 he has been employed in the Italian Institute of Technology as SPM-Lab researcher-team leader. His main research activity was focused in environmental and UHV-cryogenic SPM activity for the characterization of macromolecules and nanoparticles by means of STM/AFM and STS. Research activity also include AFM related techniques as conductive AFM, EFM, Kelvin probe microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, nanolithograpy and multifrequency analysis

ecently he contributed to the development of a new microscopy/spectroscopy technique employing hot electron emission after adiabatic compression of plasmons at a nanofabricated AFM tip, wich is one of his current main research interests since he moved to KAUST in 2013. This technique aims at obtaining high energy and spatial resolution electron spectroscopy for nanomaterials and single molecule application. Structural information can be obtained  by exploiting TERS information at the tip, to be coupled at the same time to the tip. The final aim is to correlate structural/ spectroscopy and functional changes in single molecules and nanomaterials while inducing conformational changes with AFM tip. Systems of interest for this activity include 2D crystals, both planar and suspended on pillar structurs, DNA, proteins and Self Assembled Monolayers (SAMs) of conductive molecules, among the others.

Research Interests

Since the first discovery of Single Layer Graphene (SLG) crystals, interest in bi-dimensional materials have rise due both to the peculiar physical properties at room temperature of crystals with reduced dimensionality and for their possible technological applications [review on grafene tech]. While on one side, a great effort is invested to obtain 2D single crystals with low presence of defects on macroscopic areas to exploit their peculiar transport properties for the electronic industry, on the other, 2D single layer microcrystals are already available as technologically appealing liquid solutions, as fillers for nanocomposite and/or as thin films deposition on flat substrates, by means of simple liquid processing of the solution, usually resulting in randomly packed layers of crystals with random orientations and poorly defined stacking order, thus loosing many of the intriguing physical properties of single-crystal monolayers and multilayers.


In this framework, Cassie-Baxter type microstructured superhydrophobic surface can play a fundamental toward crystalline oriented single layer and packed multilayer polycrystalline surface by controlling both the orientation at the liquid/substrate interface of the dispersed microcrystals inside each liquid droplet and their stacking, by simply tuning surface properties and evaporation kinetics. Additionally, more structured surfaces can be developed to align the sample with surface nano-features ad perform addition a studies such ad plasmon resonance and electron microscopy at the same time. 

Selected Publications

​"Structural depinning of Ne monolayers on Pb at T<6.5K" Bruschi, L., Fois, G., Pontarollo, A., Mistura, G., Torre, B., Buatier, F., Buzio, R., Boragno, C., Valbusa, U., Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 216101 (2006)

”Bunching, antibunching, and the Poisson limit of Bose-Einstein processes at low-degeneracy parameters” Basano, L., Ottonello, P., Torre, B. JOSA B, Vol. 22, Issue 6, pp. 1314-1320 (2005)

“Nanochains Formation of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles”. Bertoni, G., Torre, B., Falqui, A., Fragouli, D., Athanassiou, A., & Cingolani, R. (2011). The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, (115), 7249-7254. American Chemical Society. doi:10.1021/jp111235n

“Disclosing and overcoming the trade-off between noise and scanning speed in Atomic Force Microscopy" B. Torre, M. Basso, B. Tiribilli, P. Paoletti, and M. Vassalli.   2013 Nanotechnology 24 325104 doi:10.1088/0957-4484/24/32/325104 

”Adiabatic Plasmonic Hot-Electron Nanoscopy”  A. Giugni, B. Torre, A. Toma, M. Francardi, M. Malerba, A. Alabastri, R. Proietti Zaccaria, M. Stockman, and E. Di Fabrizio, Nature Nanotechnology 8, 845–852  (2013) doi:10.1038/nnano.2013.207 

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