Ongoing Research Projects

H2020-RIA (2020-2024) as the European Coordinator of a project entitled: “Combined sun-driven oxidation and CO2 reduction for renewable energy storage” (CONDOR)

Abstract: Conversion of sunlight into fuels and mitigation of anthropogenic climate change are big scientific challenges. CONDOR addresses both of them by developing highly efficient solar-driven conversion of CO2 into fuels and added-value chemicals. We propose a photosynthetic device made of two compartments (a) a photoelectrochemical cell that splits water and CO2 and generates oxygen and syngas, a mixture of H2 and CO; (b) a (photo)reactor that converts syngas into methanol and dimethylether (DME), via bi-functional heterogeneous catalysts. The proposed modular approach enables different configurations depending on the target product. CONDOR represents a large progress with respect to the state of the art and requires an international collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach, which integrates expertise in nanomaterials preparation and characterisation by operando microscopy and spectroscopy, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, photochemistry/photoelectrochemistry, PEC engineering and assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impact of the proposed technology, including life cycle assessment.

Innovative Training Network (ITN) (2021-2024) as coordinator of the Bologna research unit of a project entitled: “Photocatalysis as a tool for synthetic organic chemistry” (PhotoReact)


AbstractPhotocatalysis harnesses the energy of light to accelerate a chemical reaction. It is a green chemistry alternative as it reduces the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the PhotoReAct project will offer 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) the opportunity to undertake research in the field and overcome current limitations that prevent the applicability and scalability of photochemical transformations. Young researchers will focus on the rational design of photocatalysts, new photocatalytic methodologies, improved reactor technologies and the industrial implementation of photocatalytic transformations. All ESRs will complete secondments at an industrial partner and at an institute other than their host to broaden their knowledge and expertise in preparation for entering the job market.

UNIBO Call4BusinessPlan project entitled "Luminescent silicon nanocrystals for energy technologies"

Abstract: The research project is funded by the POR FSE (regional laboratory for enterpreneurship). The research activity is aimed at the study of luminescent silicon nanocrystals as innovative materials with high performance in view of a sustainable development and innovation in the field of energy technologies, and the reduction of toxic emissions in the environment. In particular, it will be focused on the photochemical and photophysical characterization of new organic-inorganic hybrid materials consisting of silicon nanocrystals covalently functionalized with organic molecules.

 Proof of Concept (POC) funded by MISE and UNIBO for a project entitled "Silicon nanocrystals for luminescent solar concentrators"


Abstract: the project is devoted to develop and optimised silicon-based luminescent solar concentrators and to promote this technology towards an industrial development via: (i) market analysis, (ii) strategic partnership and (iii) promotional activities.

ENI research collaboration on “Luminescent solar concentrators based on silicon nanocrystals”

Abstract: Luminescent solar concentrators, based on silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs) and constituted by a transparent waveguide that brings the light emitted by embedded SiNCs to a PV cell coupled to its edge, offer many advantages: (i) lack of toxicity compared to more conventional quantum dots, (ii) the abundance of the main component, (iii) high emission quantum yield, and (iv) the large energy difference between absorption and emission which enables the construction of transparent waveguides which absorb mainly in the UV and emit in the red or near-infrared spectral region, according to the SiNCs dimensions.