This young researcher has studied water transport properties using a methodology that combines simulations, experiments and theory.
Young Researcher of the Year
The study “Heat and Mass Transfer of Water at Nanoscale Solid-Liquid Interfaces” by Matteo Fasano has modeled and provided novel insights into the surprising water properties at the nanoscale, even if many other intriguing water characteristics are still far to be fully unveiled. These nanoscale properties have been studied by a hybrid methodology involving simulations, experiments and theoretical deductions. The main scientific finding is the formulation of a new general law for predicting the reduced mobility of water molecules in the close proximity of surfaces at the nanoscale, which is due to the electrostatic interactions at that scale. Moreover, an interplay between volumetric and surface diffusion of water in nanoporous materials for reverse osmosis desalination has been found for the first time. These findings may break new ground for developing next-generation nanomaterials with applications in the field of sustainable energy (collection and seasonal storage of solar heat), environmental engineering (energy efficient water desalination), and nanomedicine (nanoparticles with both diagnostic and therapeutic properties).
Launched in 2007 to recognise the best studies on efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection, the annual Eni Award is an international prize for applied research in the field of energy. Every year the competition involves many of the most important scientific institutions in the world as well as Eni's own in-house laboratories. The 2017 edition marks the 10th anniversary of the Eni Award, with important innovations regarding the competition's subject areas and the establishment of a new category. Called Debut in Research: Young Talents from Africa, this will be reserved for graduates of African universities.
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