Research topics


Graphene and photovoltaics


Image 1
A D-π-A organic dye - reduced graphene oxide covalent dyad
as a new concept photosensitizer for light harvesting applications

Carbon, 2017, 115, 746-753.




Boosting perovskite solar cells performance and stability
through doping a poly-3(hexylthiophene) hole transporting material with
organic functionalized carbon nanostructures

Adv. Funct. Mater. 201626, 7443–7453.




Carbon Nanostructures for Biomedical applications

Nanomed.-Nanotechnol. Biol. Med. 2015, 11, 621-632. Carbon 2015, 95, 725–730 This research is focused on the design, preparation and characterization of novel polymer nanocomposite (PNC) materials for biomedical applications, based on carbon nanostructures (CNSs) such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as nanofillers and biocompatible polymers as a matrix.
We recently demonstrated the possibility of boosting human neuronal cells growth/differentiation on a nanocomposite free-standing scaffold obtained by efficiently dispersing soluble organic derivatives of CNTs in a poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) matrix. The electrical resistance of the nanocomposite scaffold resulted more than one order of magnitude lower than that of a pure PLLA scaffold. Cells showed better adhesion to the MWCNT-PLLA scaffold in comparison with pure PLLA and, in addition, they presented a higher total neurite length. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of cells cultured onto the PNC scaffold show an evidently healthy morphology and the outgrowth of neurites attaching to the scaffold surface, with intimate contact between this last one and the neuronal membrane (Figure a-b). As a rational extension of this concept, we obtained a nanofibrous matrix, via electrospinning a CNT-PLLA nanocomposite solution, as a biocompatible scaffold for neuronal growth, aimed at better mimicking the extracellular matrix. Indeed, by using this scaffold as support for cells growth, the extension of neurites along the direction of the nanofibers was evidenced (Figure c).

Nanomed.-Nanotechnol. Biol. Med. 201511, 621-632.
Carbon 201595, 725–730.
Nanomedicine 201611, 1929-1946


Carbon Nanostructures for Functional Polymer-Based Nanocomposites

Carbon nanostructures (CNSs), which are made up of extended sp2-hybridized carbon networks, are largely employed as nanofillers for polymer phases to obtain polymer-based nanocomposites (PNCs). Following their inclusion, the polymer matrices are often improved in many ways, such as enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity, increased stability, and mechanical robustness. The chemical functionalization of the external CNS surfaces with organic substituents is often a key tool for their effective and homogeneous incorporation within a polymer phase, avoiding the formation of aggregates, which can lower the performance of the the final material. These CNS-based PNCs can be used as organic functional materials in different applications
that range from clean energy harvesting and storage to sensing and biomedicine.

Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 1071-1090.



Chemistry of carbon nanotubes

Organic functionalization of carbon nanotubes through different approaches, including covalent linking, endohedral encapsulation (peapods) and supramolecular (non covalent) exohedral interactions. Characterization through Raman and IR spectroscopy, UV-vis-NIR adsorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectorscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA, available also as a service for non-academic customers).

helios Chemistry of carbon nanotubes


Continuous Flow Processing of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene

A simple and scalable approach for a fast chemical functionalization of carbon nanotubes (patent application PD2011A000153) and graphene nanoplatelets.

Click here for info request.

flow chemistry graphene nanotubes


Microwave Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

Microwave heating can impressively enhance reaction rates with carbon nanotubes. We have reported one of the first example of application.



helios Nano-Hybrids for Photonic Devices


solis Bulk heterojunctions of nanostructured molecular thin films for high efficiency flexible photovoltaic cells


helios Highly Efficient Light Interactions with Organized molecular Systems



doublenanomem Nanocomposite and Nanostructured Polymeric Membranes for Gas and Vapour Separations


The group