Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials Group

Research group 

Elisa Moretti, Associate Professor
Aldo Talon, Technical Staff
Chiara Alberoni, Research Fellow
Manuel Meneghetti, Subject expert

The Functional Inorganic NanoMaterials group is expert in the design and synthesis of novel nanosystems built-up combining solid-state inorganic chemistry, materials science and nanotechnology.
The developed nanomaterials are based on metals and metal oxides, with controlled size, morphology and crystalline phases for potential applications in the fields of photocatalysis, energy and optics.

The research activity is mainly concerned with the following items.

Development of new synthetic methodologies for the preparation of nanostructured Ce, Ti, Zr, Si, Al oxide-based materials, doped with heteroatoms and/or noble metal nanoparticles (Cu, Au, Pd), as catalysts and photocatalysts for:
- the eco-sustainable production/purification of hydrogen, as an energy carrier in the field of fuel cell technology for motor-vehicles;
- photo-degradation of dyes and drugs for wastewater treatment under UV or simulated solar light irradiation.

Design and synthesis of silicas and multi-component oxide systems with ordered mesoporosity and high surface area, by templating and self-assembly methods (cationic, anionic and non-ionic surfactants).

Preparation of pillared clays with inorganic polyoxycation pillars and porous clay heterostructures with silica-zirconia pillars.

Preparation of organic/inorganic 2D and 3D nanostructures from inorganic templates.

Preparation of functional hybrid organic-inorganic layered nanostructures.

Synthesis of novel luminescent nanocrystals based on lanthanide-doped transition metal compounds with controlled and homogeneous shape and size for cultural heritage applications (anti-counterfeiting purposes).

Development of sustainable dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), starting from nanostructured semiconductors and dyes extracted by the waste of winemaking process (“lees”), for the realization of DSSC solar cells.

* Project developed in collaboration with Vinicola Serena srl, a venetian winery located in the Prosecco region.

Investigation of the composition, structure and morphology of the prepared systems by many characterization techniques such as N2 physisorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), FT-IR, Raman and DRIFT-UV-vis spectroscopies, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), temperature-programmed reduction/oxidation/desorption (TPR-TPO, TPD), TEM and SEM microscopies.

Optimization and performance validation of the materials in catalytic, photocatalytic, optical applications.

Undergraduate students from Sustainable Chemistry and Technologies, Conservation and Restoration Technologies, Bio- and Nano-Materials programs - as well as from fields related to Chemistry and Physics - are welcome to apply to join the multidisciplinary team.

The exact definition of the assignment will be defined in agreement with the student. When interested to carry out the final thesis dissertation work in the Functional Inorganic Materials group, please contact:

Last update: 14/02/2023