|SOLAR FUEL: CHEMICAL ENERGY FROM WATER THROUGH PHOTOSYNTHESIS MIMICKING
My research Project focuses on the engineering of semiconductor metal oxides to be applied as photoanode in a photoelectrochemical (PEC) for solar water splitting. Vacuum free, cheap and environmental compatible synthetic approaches, such as spray deposition, wet chemistry and hydtothermal methods are exploited for the fabrication of nanostructured a-Fe2O3, currently the most widely used material in the fabrication of electrodes for PEC due to its chemical stability and earth abundance. Main aim of the research is to tackle critical issues in water oxidation reaction by hematite, such as: high overpotential, limited hole free path and presence of surface trap states.
This research activity is focused on the design and fabrication of engineered metal oxide structures to be applied as high efficiency photoanodes in third generation photovoltaics (PV), namely in dye- and quantum dot- sensitized solar cells (DSSCs and QDSSCs, respectively). Fabrication of devices exploiting new molecules as light harvesters is as well investigated (collaboration with CNR-ISTM and CNR-ISMAC, Milan).
From 2005 to 2009. Fellowship at Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – Laboratori di Legnaro (INFN-LNL) and University of Trento: research activity focused on i) study of channeling and volume reflection phenomena of high energy charges in bent silicon crystals, ii) morphology characterization of silicon crystals surfaces by means of probe microscopies (scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy), iii) study of impurities using low energy channeling technique. The morphological characterization was also applied on organic materials (i.e. porphyrin) for gas sensing and photovoltaic application.
From 2012 to present. Fellowship at the University of Brescia in the SENSOR Lab Group (University of Brescia): fabrication and electrical characterization (DC analysis with Solar simulator and IPCE and AC analysis with Electrochemical Impendance Spectroscopy) of electrodes for excitonic solar cells and water splitting devices based on new nanostructured materials
Curriculum: Physical Sciences for Engineering