Roberta Sessoli, mother of three children, obtained the PhD in Chemistry in 1992 at the University of Florence working with Prof. Dante Gatteschi on low dimensional molecular magnetic materials. She is currently full professor of Chemistry at the same university. Her scientific career has developed at the interface between chemistry and physics with a focus on magnetic materials. The work carried out on low dimensional molecular materials, chains and clusters, led to the breakthrough discovery that a few paramagnetic metal ions in a molecule can behave like a magnet. These materials named as Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs), have opened a completely new field in nanomagnetism, which in the past ten years has become a “school of physics” for the many new fundamental quantum phenomena evidenced in SMMs. At the same time their potentiality as ultra-miniaturized magnetic memory units has attracted the interest of many researchers.
Successively, she has been working on the organization of SMMs on surface, a prerequisite to address the magnetic memory of single molecules. In 2009 she has shown for the first time that the memory effect can survive when suitably-designed molecules are grafted to a gold surface. Other recent research interests concern the interplay between magnetism and chirality, as well as molecular spin systems with long spin coherence time to be exploited in quantum information technologies.
The scientific achievements of Roberta Sessoli, reported in more than 300 publications in international journals, have attracted a significant interest from the scientific community, as testified by the ca. 30,000 citations they have received and a Hirsh impact factor of 83. She has received prestigious prizes. Among them, the Distinguished Woman in Chemistry award from IUPAC (2015), the Lecoq de Boisbaudran award from the European Rare Earths Society (2015), and the Agilent Technologies Europhysics prize (2002).
Roberta Sessoli has been a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Council of the President of the European Commission, Juan Manuel Barroso. She is currently a member of the Scientific Council of the Italian Chemical Society and of research institutes such as the Leibniz Institute for Solid State Research in Dresden. She is, or has been, a member of the International Advisory Board of prestigious journals such as Angewandte Chemie, ChemPlusChem, Inorganic Chemistry, etc.
Roberta Sessoli has been the recipient of a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant and is currently Vice-Chair of a COST action in Molecular Spintronics.
Beyond being invited as plenary speaker to many important conferences, among them the International Conference on Coordination Chemistry (Valencia 2012) or the EuCheMS (Seville 2016), she has been a visiting professor in several Universities, such as the Universitè Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz