Nanochemistry and Nanomaterials

Nanochemistry and Nanomaterials” comprises a set of discrete yet complementary and strongly interacting groups. The activities of the program are multifaceted and span across all R&D steps, from design, synthesis and characterization of novel molecular and supramolecular entities and nanostructures to high-end process design and applications through multi-scale modelling. In more detail, the research groups formed by 24 researchers are:

Functional Nanomaterials of Organized Structure laboratory is focusing on the synthesis and characterization of functional nanomaterials, mainly liposomes and dendritic polymers for targeted and controlled release drug delivery systems as well as, on the use of dendritic polymers as antibacterial and anti-fungal agents. The group is also involved in the development of hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles, functionalized carbon-based materials & composites for various applications.

Advanced Ceramics and Composites Laboratory working on structural and functional nano- and micro-structured materials for environmental protection (new catalysts for dry CH4 reforming and CO and diesel soot oxidation) and extreme thermal environments (composites for spacecraft thermal protection against frictional heating and multilayer composites & coatings for rocket combustion chambers and turbine blades). This laboratory also offers industrial services such as mechanical testing and chemical/thermal process development, including MW heating.

Materials and Membranes for Environmental Separations Laboratory, a specialized center for synthesis, characterization and modelling of nanoporous materials (carbons, metal oxides, polymers, MOFs) and membranes (polymeric, inorganic and nanocomposites). Strong efforts are devoted to industrial applications including gas storage and separations, waste water treatment, catalysis and environmental protection.

Molecular Thermodynamics and Modelling of Materials Laboratory, focuses on developing and implementing novel hierarchical methods and algorithms for the computer modelling of complex fluids at the molecular, mesoscopic and macroscopic levels. The above are used for optimal industrial process design as well as the design of new, tailor-made materials.

Transport of matter phenomena in polymers, concentrating on micromolecular sorption and transport in polymeric materials by theoretical and experimental approaches. Current research activities include modelling and development of polymer-based controlled release systems, mechanisms of non-Fickian transport kinetics in glassy polymers, permeability properties of polymeric composites and development of polymer-based chemocapacitive sensors.

Nanotechnology Processes for Solar Energy Conversion & Environmental Protection, investigating photoactive materials (molecular and nanostructured), nanotechnology driven photo-induced processes and their application to devices for direct conversion of solar energy to electricity and environmental protection. The activities include: Perovskite, Dye-sensitized and Quantum-dot solar cells, Photocatalytic Membrane reactors for Water/Air Purification, CO2 Storage and Conversion.

Photo-Catalytic Processes and Environmental Chemistry targeting on environmental detoxification using advanced oxidation processes and synthesis of nanostructured materials with environmentally friendly methods. Efforts are also devoted to novel Environmental Analytical Chemistry (development of multi-class cyanotoxin methods in water, environmental samples and foodstuff, isolation and characterization of new bioactive compounds from cyanobacteria)..