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Milena Arciniegas


Research Line



IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Nanochemistry, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. Via Morego 30.
+39 010 71781 216
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She received her B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad del Norte in 2002 (Barranquilla, Colombia). Later she obtained her M.Sc. degree on Mechanical Engineering from the same university. In 2004 she received her Post-graduate Certificate in Materials Engineering from Ghent University (Gent, Belgium), and her PhD degree in Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) in 2008. Her focus of researach was the design and fabrication of new shape memory Ti-alloys for biomedical applications. In 2009 she turned her focus of research to the fabrication and characterization of components with complex shapes in carbon/glass fiber composites for aviation, joining The Advanced Manufacturing Research Center with Boeing (Sheffield, England). In 2012 she joined the group of Prof. Liberato Manna as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, to address the challenging fabrication of conventional microscale polymer films with self-assembled nanocrystals. From 2015, she has focused her investigation on the understanding of the self-organization of nanocrystals, by in situ techniques, as well as, on the exploitation of nanocrystals surfaces to create complex binary components.


2015   Scanning X-ray Diffraction Microscopy in a High Resolution Ptychographic Imaging Mode of Polymer-Embedded Colloidal Nanocrystals. Swiss Light Source at Paul Scherrer Institute. Villigen, Switzerland. Grant to conduct experiments on the synchrotron beamline. Co-proposer with C. Giannini from the National Research Council, Institute of Crystallography. Centro Nazionale di Ricerca, CNR.  The success of this collaboration led to a publication on Scientific Reports, 6 (2016), 19397.

2014   X-ray Meso-Crystallographic Studies of Self-Assembled 3D Nanocrystal Superlattices. Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron (LNLS). Campinas, Brazil.  Grant to conduct experiments on the synchrotron beamline. Co-proposer with D. Altamura from the National Research Council, Institute of Crystallography. The results from this collaboration supported our work published on Adv. Funct. Mater. 2016, 26, 4535-4542.

2009   Lightweight Composite Fittings for Composite Structures. Principal research engineer. AMRC with Boeing. 

Selected Publications

As *corresponding or co-corresponding author, in the field of colloidal nanocrystal self-assembly.  IF: impact factor of the journal.

  • A. Castelli, J. de Graaf, S. Marras, R. Brescia, L. Manna and M.P. Arciniegas*. Understanding and Tailoring Ligand Interactions in the Self-Assembly of Branched Colloidal Nanocrystals into Planar Superlattices. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 1141. IF. 12.124.
  • Castelli, J. de Graaf, M. Prato, L. Manna and M.P. Arciniegas*. Tic-Tac-Toe Binary Lattices from the Interfacial Self-Assembly of Branched and Spherical Nanocrystals. ACS Nano, 2016, 10, 4345-53. IF: 13.942.
  • P. Arciniegas*, F. Di Stasio, H. Li, D. Altamura, L. De Trizio, M. Prato, A. Scarpellini, I. Moreels, R. Krahne and L. Manna. Self-Assembled Dense Colloidal Cu2Te Nanodisk Networks in P3HT Thin Films with Enhanced Photocurrent. Adv. Funct. Mater., 2016, 26, 4535–4542. IF:12.124.
  • P. Arciniegas*, A. Castelli, L. Ceseracciu, P. Bianchini, S. Marras, R. Brescia and L. Manna*. Assembly of Branched Colloidal Nanocrystals in Polymer Films Leads to Enhanced Viscous Deformation Resistance. Nano Lett., 2016,16, 6154–6163. IF: 12.712.
  • Sutter, P. Sutter, A. Tkachenko, R. Krahne, J. de Graaf, M.P. Arciniegas and L. Manna. In situ Microscopy of the Self-Assembly of Branched Nanocrystals in Solution. Nat. Commun., 2016, 7, 11213. IF: 12.124.

 Other publications as a result of collaborations with other groups:

With the group on perovskite materials led by Prof. Liberato Manna at IIT:

  • P. Arciniegas*, A. Castelli, S. Piazza, S. Dogan, L. Ceseracciu, R. Krahne, M. Duocastella, L. Manna*. Laser-Induced Localized Growth of Methylammonium Lead Halide Perovskite Nano- and Microcrystals on Substrates. Adv. Funct. Mater., July 2017. DOI 10.1002/adfm.201701613. In press. IF: 12.124. Article highlighted in a full page frontispiece image.
  • Shamsi, A.L. Abdelhady, S. Accornero, M. Arciniegas, A.R. Srimath Kandada, A. Petrozza, L. Manna*. N-Methylformamide as a Source of Methylammonium Ions in the Synthesis of Lead Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals and Bulk Crystals. ACS Energy Lett., 2016, 1, 1042–1048.

 With the Optoelectronic group led by Prof. Roman Krahne at IIT:

  • Miszta, F. Greullet, S. Marras, M. Prato, A. Toma, M.P. Arciniegas, L. Manna, R. Krahne*. Nanocrystal Film Patterning by Inhibiting Cation Exchange via Electron-Beam or X-ray Lithography. Nano Lett., 2014, 14, 2116–2122. IF: 13.592.

With the Institute of Crystallography led by Dr. Cinzia Giannini at the National Centre of Research. Italy.

  • De Caro, D. Altamura, M.P. Arciniegas, D. Siliqi, M.R. Kim, T. Sibillano, L. Manna and C. Giannini*. Ptychographic Imaging of Branched Colloidal Nanocrystals Embedded in Free-Standing Thick Polystyrene Films. Sci. Rep. 2016, 6, 19397. IF: 4.259.

With the Biomaterials and Biomechanics Division of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy Engineering at Technical University of Catalonia. Spain.

  • Sevilla. C. Sandino, M.P Arciniegas, J. Martinez-Gomis, M. Peraire, F.J. Gil. Evaluating Mechanical Properties and Degradation of YTZP Dental Implants. J. Mater. Sci. Eng. C, 30, 2010, 14-19. IF: 2.49

Selected publications in the field of biomaterials, co-authored with my Ph.D. supervisor, Prof. J.M. Manero:

  • P. Arciniegas, J. M. Manero, E. Espinar, J.M. Llamas, J.M. Barrera, F.J. Gil. New Ni-free Superelastic Alloy for Orthodontic Applications. J. Mater. Sci. Eng. C. 33, 2013, 3325-3328. IF: 3.11.
  • P. Arciniegas, J. Peña, J.M. Manero, F.J. Gil. In vitro MG63 Cell Response Induced by Two New Ni-free Ti Substrates. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. B: Appl. Biomater. 101 B, 2013, 709-720. IF: 2.95.
  • P. Arciniegas, J. Peña, J.M. Manero, F.J. Gil. Thermoelastic Phase Transformation in TiNi Alloys under Cyclic Instrumented Indentation. Intermetallics 17, 2009, 784-791. IF: 2.119. In the top 25 hottest articles of the month in Material Science, by ScienceDirect.
  • P. Arciniegas, J. Peña, J.M. Manero, J.C. Paniagua, F.J. Gil. Quantum Parameters for Guiding the Design of Ti-alloys with Shape Memory and/or Low Elastic Modulus. Philos. Mag., 88, 2008, 2529-2548.
  • P. Arciniegas, J. Casals, J.M. Manero, J. Peña, F.J. Gil. Study of hardness and wear behaviour of NiTi shape memory alloys. J. Alloys Compd. 2008, 460, 213-219. 


2008              Received Suma Cum Laude honor for my Doctoral Thesis titled "New "Multifunctional Ni-free Ti alloys for Biomedical Applications". 

2006 – 2008   Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Recipient. Programa de ayudas pre-doctorales de formación del personal investigador (FPI). Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science. Technical University of Catalonia. Spain.

2005 – 2006   Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Recipient. Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering Group. Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science. Technical University of Catalonia. Spain.

2003  2004   Fellowship recipient for mobility exchange.  ALFA program – Building the Future on Education. European Commission. Materials Engineering Master Program. University of Ghent, Belgium.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.