Roberto Piazza

piazza_roberto's picture
Ente di appartenenza: 
Politecnico Milano
Prof. Ord.
Tipo associazione: 
Area Tematica: 


1981: “Laurea” (Master) Degree in physics,summa cum laude, University of Milan

1986: PhD, University of Pavia (Advisor: Prof. Vittorio Degiorgio)

1987: Research Associate, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh

1989-1999: Assistant Professor, Dept. Electronics, University of Pavia

1999: Associate Professor, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, Politecnico di Milano

 2005: Full Professor of Condensed Matter Physics, Dept. of Chemistry, Material Science, and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano     

1999-2005:  Member of the “Liquid Board” of the European Physical Society

2003-2011: Associate Editor of the European Physical Journal E” and  of “Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science”,  

2004-2011: Coordinator of the Topical Team “Application of Colloids in Space” of the European Space Agency.


I have primarily dealt within the applications of scattering methods and other optical techniques to soft condensed matter. The specific topics I have addressed are mainly related to the study of structural properties, microscopic dynamics, and phase transitions in complex fluids, and may be summarized as follows.

a)      Electric birefringence (Kerr effect) in soft matter.

b)      Sedimentation and equation of state of colloidal suspensions.

c)      Translational and rotational Brownian dynamics of colloidal fluids.

d)      Charge renormalization for charged colloids

e)      Surfactant-induced depletion forces

f)       Association and crystallization processes in protein solutions

g)      Thermophoresis (diffusion induced by thermal gradients) in colloidal suspensions and bio-macromolecular solutions.

h)      Pickering (solid-stabilized) emulsions.

i)        Microfluidics  


  • D. Vigolo, G. Brambilla, R. Piazza, Thermophoresis of microemulsion droplets: Size dependence of the Soret effect, Physical Review E, Rapid Comm., 75, 040401 (2007)
  • J. Eapen, W.C. Williams, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, S. Yip, R. Rusconi, and R. Piazza ,
  • Mean-field versus microconvection effects in nanofluid thermal conduction, Physical Review Letters 99, 095901 (2007)
  • S. Buzzaccaro, R. Rusconi, and R. Piazza, "Sticky" hard spheres: Equation of state, phase diagram, and metastable gels, Physical Review Letters 99, 098301 (2007)
  • M. Braibanti, D. Vigolo, and R. Piazza, Does thermophoretic mobility depend on particlesize?, Physical Review Letters 100, 108303 (2008) ISSN: 0031-9007
  • R. Piazza, and A. Parola, Thermophoresis in colloidal suspensions, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 20, 153102 (2008) ISSN: 0953-8984
  • R. Piazza, Thermophoresis: moving particles with thermal gradients, Soft Matter 4, 1740 (2008) ISSN: 1744-683X
  • S. Buzzaccaro, A. Tripodi, R. Rusconi, and R. Piazza, Kinetics of sedimentation in colloidal suspensions, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 49, 494219 (2008) ISSN: 0953-8984
  • D. Vigolo, R. Rusconi, R. Piazza, and H. A. Stone, A portable device for temperature control along microchannels, Lab-on-a-Chip 10, 795 (2010) ISSN: 1473-0197
  • S. Buzzaccaro, R. Piazza, J. Colombo, and A. Parola, Enhancement of depletion forces by electrostatic depletant repulsion, Journal of Chemical Physics 132, 124902 (2010), ISSN:0021-9606
  • D. Vigolo, S. Buzzaccaro, and R. Piazza, Thermophoresis and Thermoelectricity in Surfactant Solutions, Langmuir 26, 7792 (2010) ISSN: 0743-7463
  • D. Vigolo, R. Rusconi, H. A. Stone, and R. Piazza Thermophoresis: microfluidics characterization and separation, Soft Matter 6, 3489 (2010) ISSN: 1744-683X
  • S. Buzzaccaro, J. Colombo, A. Parola, and R. Piazza, Critical depletion, Physical Review Letters 105, 198301 (2010) ISSN: 0031-9007
  • G. Brambilla, S. Buzzaccaro, R. Piazza, L. Berthier, and L. Cipelletti, Highly Nonlinear Dynamics in a Slowly Sedimenting Colloidal Gel, Physical Review Letters 106, 118302 (2011)ISSN: 0031-9007


  • R. Piazza, Soft Matter: the stuff that dreams are made on, Springer Copernicus Books (2011) ISBN 978-94-007-0584-5
  • R. Piazza, I capricci del caso: introduzione alla statistica, al calcolo della probabilit e all’analisi dei dati sperimentali, Springer-Verlag Italia (2009) ISBN: 978-88-470-1115-1
  •  R. Piazza, Note di fisica statistica (con qualche accordo) , Springer-Verlag Italia (2011) ISBN: 978-88-470-1964-5


Ambiti di ricerca
Ambiti di ricerca: 
Biofisica molecolare e cellulare
Materia soffice