Zega Valentina

Assistant Professor


+39 0223996418
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICA) - Politecnico di Milano

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Design and Multi-physics simulation of innovative MEMS devices for new fabrication processes

The aim of the project is to design, fabricate and test innovative MEMS devices exploiting the new features of the recently developed STMicroelectronics fabrication process "Thelma-Double". The "Thelma-Double" thanks to its double layer of polysilicon is able to overcome the main limitations of the standard MEMS fabrication processes (i.e. planarity), thus opening the way to a new generation of MEMS devices. The scientific challenge is then twofold: to overcome the intrinsic planarity of MEMS devices exploiting the "Thelma-Double" features and obtain extraordinary performances not achievable so far through standard MEMS fabrication processes.

Metamaterials for underwater noise mitigation

The aim of this project is to exploit acoustic metamaterials as underwater acoustic barriers, i.e. noise mitigation systems for wind farm constructions. The scientific challenge of the project is twofold. Firstly, acoustic metamaterials available so far in the literature show extraordinary performances in terms of sound absorption in a narrow frequency range and are usually not optimized to operate in a wide frequency band as required by the present application. Secondly, acoustic metamaterials proposed until now usually do not respect the flexibility and deployability requirements that are necessary in this project. The design and optimization of proper acoustic metamaterials will be based on the thorough study of acoustic waves propagation in water. Numerical analyses by means of Finite Elements Method (FEM) commercial softwares or ad-hoc developed routines will be employed as well in the project.

Emerging nonlinear phenomena in Metamaterials

Emergent subharmonic attenuation zones have been recently theoretically studied and experimentally verified. We are planning to further investigate this phenomenon in an already fabricated nonlinear locally resonant metamaterial. The goal of the thesis is to develop a numerical tool able to reproduce experimental data. [in collaboration with prof. V. Kouznetsova and prof. M.G.D. Geers at TU/Eindhoven]

Metamaterials in MEMS

Phononic crystals are artificial periodic structures that exhibit extraordinary properties such as for example the opening of a bandgap (frequency ranges where the propagation of acoustic or elastic waves is prohibited) or the acoustic/elastic waves guiding. Thanks to their customizability, they can scale down to the micro-scale and be integrated in MEMS devices for innovative applications. Among others, energy transfer, energy harvester, information transduction and galvanic isolation are interesting and actual applications in the MEMS field that can highly benefit from the proposed contamination and open the way to a new class of sensors and actuators.