Dr Cinzia casiraghi received her B. Sc. and M. Sc. (Nuclear Engineering) from Politecnico di Milano, Italy and her PhD from Churchill College and Electrical Engineering Department, Cambridge (2005). She is currently a Junior Group Leader in the Physics Department of the Free University, Berlin. She has been working in the field of carbon- based materials (growth, characterization and applications) for over 8 years. Her PhD work mainly involved the study of the surface and structural properties of ultra-thin films used as protective layers in magnetic and optical storage technology. Furthermore, she provided a general framework to identify the structure of disordered carbon films and nano-diamond-films by Raman Spectroscopy. She then built on her expertise in surface science and Raman spectroscopy as a postdoctoral research in order to widen her research interest from carbon nano-films to graphene and to nano-materials confined in two dimensions, such as nanotubes, which are at the forefront of nanotechnology research. In 2005 she was awarded with an Ernest Oppenheimer Early Career Research Fellowship, followed by the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowiship in 2007 and the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, won in 2008.