Francesco Simoni

   Department of Sciences and Engineering of Matter - SIMAU
   Marche Polytechnic University
   Via Brecce Bianche
- 60131  ANCONA - Italy


• 1994 - present – Full Professor of Experimental Physics at the Faculty of Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche – Ancona. Italy
• March-May 1996 – Visiting Professor, Université d’Artois, Lens, France
• 1986-1994 – Associate Professor of General Physics at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Naples, Federico II
• 1983-1986 – Associate Professor of Optics at the Faculty of Sciences , University of Calabria
• Summer 1983 - Visiting Scientist at Department of Physics, North Texas State University, Denton
• Summer 1982 – Visiting Scientist at Department of Physics, North Texas State University, Denton
• 1980-81 - Visiting scientist at the Center for Laser Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
• 1977-1983 – Fixed Term Professor at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Calabria
• 1975 –1977 – Post Doc at Institute of Physics, University of Rome “La Sapienza”
• 1973 – Degree “Laurea” in Physics at University of Rome “La Sapienza”

• Scholarship of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italian Science Academy) – 1974
• Fellow of the Optical Society of America - 2009

Areas of professional specialization:
• Nonlinear Optics of Liquid Crystals
• Soft Materials for Optical Storage and Processing
• Holographic Technology
• Plastic Microlasers
• Optical Manipulation
• Optofluidics


Nonlinear optics in condensed matter, electro-optical and nonlinear optical properties of liquid crystals and polymers have been the topics in the first part of the scientific activity . The most recent activity is devoted to the study of organic materials for "optical storage", "optical processing"; to develop holographi technologies for “optical patterning”; to investigate optical manipulation in anisotropic environment; to develop advanced optofluidic devices and microlasers. He has been responsible for research projects funded by MIUR, INFM, ASI, EU, INTAS, EOARD.

Main scientific achievements are: (i) prediction and experimental demonstration of nonlinear birefringence of hybrid aligned nematic liquid crystals; (ii) first report of nonlinear optical response of "polymer dispersed liquid crystals"; (iii) discovery of colossal optical nonlinearity in dye-doped liquid crystals, still representing one among the highest nonlinear optical responses ever obderved; (iv) development and investigation of
novel polymeric materials for holographic recording; (v) realization and study of photonic crystals and microlaser based on holographic recording; (vi) demonstration and investigation of non conventional optical trapping in liquid crystals.

The results of these investigations are reported in many scientific publications as reported below and they were subjects of over 40 invited lectures at international conferences and lectures givena at universities and research institutions in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

He spends effort in scientific organization being member of several committees of international meetings:

• International Topical Meeting on Optics of Liquid Crystals - OLC : in the scientific committee since the first meeting in 1986 to present and Chairman of OLC’90;
• SPIE Meeting on Optics & Photonics, in the scientific committee of Liquid Crystal Conference since 1997;
• Chairman of a Special Symposium on Optical Storage and Processing at IEEE-LEOS Annual Meeting 2005
• Director of the International School “Nonlinear Photonics and Optical Physics”, Capri, 1992
• Permanent Program Co-Chair of the Mediterranean Workshop and Topical meeting "Novel Optical Materials and Applications" (NOMA) since the first in 1995 to present.
• International Liquid Crystal Conference
• CLEO Europe
• 1st Meeting of the European Optical Society 2006

He is author of over than 180 articles on peer reviewed international journals and books, co-inventor of 5 patents (2 international ones), over 25 papers in Proceedings of International Conferences and one book for undergraduate students. The main databases give for scientific publications: citations > 2500, index h=25.

He is single author of the book "Nonlinear Optical Properties of Liquid Crystals and Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals" - World Scientific, Singapore 1997 - (citations > 300)


F.Simoni has been teaching courses at university level since 1977 on different subjects: General Physics, Experiments of Physics, Experiments of Physics for Teaching, Physics of Semiconductors, Optics, Physics o Matter. He presently teaches courses on Solid State Physics and Bionanotechnology. He currently gives seminars for PhD students and lectures at national and international schools for early stage researchers. He
also gave seminars for PhD students at Pennsylvania State University (USA) and at Université d’Artois (France). He is currently active as supervisor for undergraduate thesis and for PhD thesis in Electrical Engineering and Bio-Medical Engineering.


• Member of the Board of Directors of "Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia" (INFM – National Institute for Matter Physics) as Director of the Research Unit of Ancona – 1998-2004
• President of the Italian Liquid Crystal Society – 1998-2002
• Representative of Italy in the Management Committee of the EU-COST P8 Action “Materials and Systems for Optical Data Storage and Processing” - European Research Network involving groups from 16 countries – 2002-2006,
• Chair of the EU-COST MP0604 Action "Optical Micro-Manipulation by Nonlinear Nanophotonics" - Europea Research Network involving groups from 18 countries - 2007-2011,
• Representative of Italy in the Management Committee of the EU-COST MP1205 Action “Advances in Optofluidics: Integration of Optical Control and Photonics with Microfluidics”- European Research Network involving groups from 21 countries – 2012-2016
• Member of Board of Directors of the Interuniversity National Consortium for Physical Sciences of Matter - CNISM gathering 38 Italian Universities serving (since 2006) as Vice-President - 2005-2011
• Member of the Board of Administrators (Co-founder) of the Spin-Off Company HEOS s.r.l. “Highly Engineered Optical Solution” – 2009-2016 - HEOS Photonics activity encompasses the development of novel optical systems as well as custom services and consulting for companies and laboratories. The core activity concerns the development of optical sensors for biomedical applications, chemical and mechanical sensing, industrial automation


F. Simoni has been and is currently involved as expert reviewer of scientific projects for

• MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research),
• EU (European Union),
• ESF (European Science Foundation),
• ESA (European Space Agency),
• SFI (Science Foundation Ireland),
• CERG (Research Grant Hong Kong),
• FWF (Austrian Science Fund),
• ANR (Agence Nationale Recherche, France)
• FCT (Fundacao para Ciencia e a Tecnologia, Portugal)
• DNRF (Danish National Research Foundation)
• NCRD (National Centre for Research and Development in Poland)
• NKFIH (National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary)
• DFG (German Research Foundation)

F. Simoni acts as expert in recruitment committees for several Universities and CNR (Italian National Research Council)


• Editor in Chief of the International Open Journal: Optical Data Processing and Storage, published by De Gruyter, Berlin, New York, Peking
• Regional Editor of the International Journal: Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, published by Taylo and Francis, New York
• Former Member of the International Advisory Board of Journal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials, published by World Scientific, Singapore

• Co-editor of the following books:
- I.C.Khoo and F.Simoni Eds. “Physics of Liquid Crystalline Materials”, Gordon and Breach, New York 1991
- I.C.Khoo, J.F.Lam and F.Simoni “Nonlinear Optics and Optical Physics” , World Scientific , Singapore 1993
- I.C.Khoo, F.Simoni and C.Umeton “Novel Optical Materials and Applications”, Wiley, New York 1997

• Co-editor of special issues of the following international journals:

- Journal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials (2 issues)
- Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals (7 issues)
- Journal of Optics A – Pure and Applied Optics (1 issue)


Applied Physics Letters, Applied Optics, European Physics Letters, Journal of Biophotonics, Journal of Applied Physics, Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Journal of the Optical Society of America B, Journal of Optical Materials, Journal of Optics A, Journal of Physics D : Applied Physics, Journal of Polymer Engineering, Liquid Crystals, Molecular Crystals and liquid Crystals, Membranes, Nature Photonics, Optics Communications, Opto Electronic Review, Optical Engineering,Optics Express, Optics Letters, Physics Letters, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review E, Photonics Technology Letters, RSC Advances, Scientific Reports, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells