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MAIN - Materiali Inorganici



The research activities of the MAIN group are focused on design, synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials.

In the field of technlogical materials, conductors, semiconductors, superconductors, photocatalyst, biosensors and biomaterials are investigated.

Design includes theoretical calculations and experimental simulation.

Synthesis is focused on alternative ways with respect to the traditional wet procedures, i.e. faster, more efficient, with lower environmental impact, cheaper.

Characterization is performed using a wide variety of experimental techniques and extended to cultural heritage materials.

In this field special attention is drawn to the use of either non-invasive or micro-destructive techniques.

Analyzed materials for cultural heritage include pottery, porcelain, mortar and plaster, metals, paintings, frescoes, enamels, miniatures, inks, photographs, glass, wood and bones.



Several members of the MAIN group adhere to the Interdepartmental centers

CRISDI (Interdepartmental Center for Crystallorgraphy) and

NIS (Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces)


 Focus of the MAIN group is design, synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials. 

Investigated materials:
- amorphous semiconductor based on Si and Ge
- superconductors based on YBCO and MgB2
- nanostructured metallic materials
- coordination polymers of metals with d10 electronic configuration, for crystal engineering of materials with opto-electronic properties

The synthesis is performed either with traditional methods like solution reactions, and with solvo-thermal, mechanochemical and microwave assisted methods,
X-ray CVD (X-ray induced chemical vapour deposition) 

Analytical techniques:
- Structural and morphological characterization (SEM, Optical myscroscopy, Powder and Single crystal X-ray diffraction, Ion trap mass spectrometry)
- Elemental analysis (micro EDX, portable and micro X-ray fluorescence X)
- Magnetic analysis (magnetic susceptibility and hysteresis cycles)
- Electrical analysis (determination of the resistivity by means of four-point-probe apparatus, even at low temperatures)
- FT-IR spectroscopy, Portable RAMAN

Theoretical methodologies:

Micrometric TiO2 commercial materials, either plain or promoted by addition of heterospecies (N, C, F, etc) as substitutes of nanometric TiO2 in photocatalysis applications (tiles, cements, fillers, etc) along the UE guidelines.  

Pollutants can be either in the gas phase (Volatile Organic Compounds-VOCs) or in the liquid phase (aromatics, drugs, etc.)


A first research line regards both synthesis and characterization of biosensor with non linear optical activity, obtained starting from inorganic salts and organic non centrosymmetric natural compounds, thus of low commercial cost and almost totally non toxic.

Synthesis is carried out both at the solid state and in solution whereas the characterization takes place with the UV-Vis, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopies and with single crysytal and powder X-ray Diffraction. The design of these materials is performed with both DFT and ab initio methods in order to i) model their physical properties, ii) reduce the variety of the non interesting compounds and iii) evidence the most promising ones. Some of the investigation are carried out in collaboration with a research group of the INRIM (Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica).                                               







A second research line is Healt, bio and bio-inspired materials (silica nanoparticles; bioactive glasses doped with different inorganic ions and/or metal nanoparticles, NPs, i.e. Mg, Sr, Ga, Cu and Au ions and/or Cu, Au NPs;  etc..) for drug delivery, bone and dental substitution/reparation/implantation etc. This research activity is carried out in collaboration with the SURFIN group.