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Dr Silvia Varagnolo

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Professional biography

Dr. Silvia Varagnolo completed her BSc and MSc in Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Padua (Italy). In 2016, she completed her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in the same institution. 

Subsequently, she worked for four years as a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick (UK).

Currently, Silvia is a Lecturer in Mechanical and Materials Engineering in the School of Engineering and Innovation at the Open University (UK).

Research interests

Silvia's research interests include microfabrication, droplet wetting and motion, photovoltaics, and sustainability. Her research focuses on the production and characterisation of micropatterned functional coatings.

Silvia's post-doctoral activity investigated a novel method for selective deposition of metals based on microcontact printing and metal thermal evaporation. This technique was applied for the fabrication of transparent and conductive metal electrodes for organic photovoltaic devices.

Her PhD research characterised the statics and dynamics of droplets on horizontal and inclined surfaces. Surfaces included smooth homogeneous substrates, chemically patterned surfaces, substrates coated with nanofibers and nano/microstructured hairy surfaces. Liquids included water, Newtonian water mixtures and non-Newtonian polymeric solutions.

From the scholarship side, Silvia is interested in inclusive teaching and gamification. She is currently involved in a scholarship project entitled "Improving and evaluating inclusivity in group project work for distance-learning engineering students".

Teaching interests

Silvia has achieved the status of Associate Fellow (AFHEA) awarded by Advance Higher Education in 2020.

Silvia's current teaching activity includes:

  • module T192 - Engineering: origins, methods, context (presentation)
  • module T193 - Engineering: frameworks, analysis, production (presentation)
  • module T229 - Mechanical Engineering: Heat and flow (production and presentation)
  • module T329 - Mechanical Engineering: Computer Aided Engineering (production)

During her postdoctorate, Silvia delivered workshops related to the Energy module CH3F7 for third or fourth-year undergraduate students at the University of Warwick.

During her PhD, Silvia was a personal tutor of first-year undergraduate students in Materials Science for the first module of Classical Physics at the University of Padua. She was also a teaching assistant in Laboratories of Physics related to the same module. 


Doped MXenes—A new paradigm in 2D systems: Synthesis, properties and applications (2023-07-22)
Dey, Avishek; Varagnolo, Silvia; Power, Nicholas; Vangapally, Naresh; Elias, Yuval; Damptey, Lois; Jaato, Bright N.; Gopalan, Saianand; Golrokhi, Zahra; Sonar, Prashant; Selvaraj, Vimalnath; Aurbach, Doron and Krishnamurthy, Satheesh
Progress in Materials Science, 139, Article 101166

Surface Functionalized MXenes for Wastewater Treatment—A Comprehensive Review (2022)
Damptey, Lois; Jaato, Bright N.; Ribeiro, Camila Silva; Varagnolo, Silvia; Power, Nicholas P.; Selvaraj, Vimalnath; Dodoo‐Arhin, David; Kumar, R. Vasant; Sreenilayam, Sithara Pavithran; Brabazon, Dermot; Kumar Thakur, Vijay and Krishnamurthy, Satheesh
Global Challenges, 6, Article 2100120(6)

High-Performance Transparent Copper Grid Electrodes Fabricated by Microcontact Lithography for Organic Photovoltaics (2021)
Bellchambers, Philip; Varagnolo, Silvia; Maltby, Corinne and Hatton, Ross A.
ACS Applied Energy Materials, 4(4) (pp. 4150-4155)

Transparent Fused Nanowire Electrodes by Condensation Coefficient Modulation (2020-12-15)
Lee, Jaemin; Varagnolo, Silvia; Walker, Marc and Hatton, Ross A.
Advanced Functional Materials, 30, Article 2005959(51)

Selective deposition of silver and copper films by condensation coefficient modulation (2020)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Lee, J; Amari, H and Hatton, R. A.
Materials Horizons, 7, Article 143(1)

Embedded-grid silver transparent electrodes fabricated by selective metal condensation (2020)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Park, Keun-Woo; Lee, Jin-Kyun and Hatton, Ross A.
Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 8(38) (pp. 13453-13457)

Stabilizing Silver Window Electrodes for Organic Photovoltaics Using a Mercaptosilane Monolayer (2019-07-22)
Lee, Jaemin; Walker, Marc; Varagnolo, Silvia; Huband, Steven and Hatton, Ross A.
ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2(7) (pp. 5198-5205)

Fabrication of Copper Window Electrodes with ≈108Apertures cm−2 for Organic Photovoltaics (2018-09-05)
Pereira, H. Jessica; Reed, Joseph; Lee, Jaemin; Varagnolo, Silvia; Dabera, G. Dinesha M. R. and Hatton, Ross A.
Advanced Functional Materials, 28(36) (p 1802893)

Cs1−xRbxSnI3 light harvesting semiconductors for perovskite photovoltaics (2018)
Marshall, Kenneth P.; Tao, Shuxia; Walker, Marc; Cook, Daniel S.; Lloyd-Hughes, James; Varagnolo, Silvia; Wijesekara, Anjana; Walker, David; Walton, Richard I. and Hatton, Ross A.
Materials Chemistry Frontiers, 2(8) (pp. 1515-1522)

Dynamics of Ferrofluid Drops on Magnetically Patterned Surfaces (2018)
Rigoni, C.; Ferraro, D.; Carlassara, M.; Filippi, D.; Varagnolo, Silvia; Pierno, M.; Talbot, D.; Abou-Hassan, A. and Mistura, G.
Langmuir, 34(30) (pp. 8917-8922)

Assessing the suitability of copper thiocyanate as a hole-transport layer in inverted CsSnI3 perovskite photovoltaics (2018)
Wijesekara, Anjana; Varagnolo, Silvia; Dabera, G. Dinesha M. R.; Marshall, Kenneth P.; Pereira, H. Jessica and Hatton, Ross A.
Scientific Reports, 8(1)

Elucidating the Exceptional Passivation Effect of 0.8 nm Evaporated Aluminium on Transparent Copper Films (2018)
Bellchambers, Philip; Lee, Jaemin; Varagnolo, Silvia; Amari, Houari; Walker, Marc and Hatton, Ross A.
Frontiers in Materials, 5, Article 71

Highly sticky surfaces made by electrospun polymer nanofibers (2017)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Raccanello, F.; Pierno, M.; Mistura, G.; Moffa, M.; Persano, L. and Pisignano, D.
RSC Advances, 7(10) (pp. 5836-5842)

Stretching of viscoelastic drops in steady sliding (2017)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Filippi, Daniele; Mistura, Giampaolo; Pierno, Matteo and Sbragaglia, Mauro
Soft Matter, 13(17) (pp. 3116-3124)

Deviation of sliding drops at a chemical step (2016-10-28)
Semprebon, Ciro; Varagnolo, Silvia; Filippi, Daniele; Perlini, Luca; Pierno, Matteo; Brinkmann, Martin and Mistura, Giampaolo
Soft Matter, 12(40) (pp. 8268-8273)

Effect of hair morphology and elastic stiffness on the wetting properties of hairy surfaces (2016-08-01)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Basu, N.; Ferraro, D.; Tóth, T.; Pierno, M.; Mistura, G.; Fois, G.; Tripathi, B.; Brazil, O. and Cross, G.L.W.
Microelectronic Engineering, 161 (pp. 74-81)

Drop motion induced by vertical vibrations (2015)
Sartori, Paolo; Quagliati, Damiano; Varagnolo, Silvia; Pierno, Matteo; Mistura, Giampaolo; Magaletti, Francesco and Casciola, Carlo Massimo
New Journal of Physics, 17, Article 113017(11)

Sliding droplets of Xanthan solutions: A joint experimental and numerical study (2015)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Mistura, Giampaolo; Pierno, Matteo and Sbragaglia, Mauro
European Physical Journal E, 38, Article 126

Tuning Drop Motion by Chemical Patterning of Surfaces (2014)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Schiocchet, V.; Ferraro, D.; Pierno, M.; Mistura, G.; Sbragaglia, M.; Gupta, A. and Amati, G.
Langmuir, 30(9) (pp. 2401-2409)

Stick-Slip Sliding of Water Drops on Chemically Heterogeneous Surfaces (2013-08)
Varagnolo, Silvia; Ferraro, D.; Fantinel, P.; Pierno, M.; Mistura, G.; Amati, G.; Biferale, L. and Sbragaglia, M.
Physical Review Letters, 111(6)