The Maran group at the Department of Chemistry of  the University of Padova carries out research in the areas of molecular electrochemistry and nanosystems. The following specific research topics are currently under investigation: electron transfer through biologically relevant bridges, charge-transfer processes across interfaces, properties and applications of molecule-like gold nanoclusters, self-assembled monolayers, and electrochemical biosensors for cancer research.

The site contains information on the group activities, collaborations, useful electrochemical links, and news for the Chemistry or Biotechnology Master of Science students and for the Molecular Sciences PhD students of the University of Padova (in Italian).


Available Positions:


  Laurea (M.Sc.) Degree Positions:

    Chemistry Students:

Nanocluster d'oro a comportamento molecolare.

Nanocluster d'oro a carattere radicalico.

Trasferimento elettronico in sistemi biologici.

Monostrati autoassemblati: proprietŕ e trasferimento elettronico.

Sensori elettrochimici per biomarcatori del cancro..

    Biotechnology Students:

Nanoparticelle protette da monostrati come drug delivery systems.

Sensori elettrochimici per biomarcatori del cancro.

Piattaforme elettrochimiche per la rilevazione multipla di proteine.


Most Recent Papers


"Au25(SEt)18, a Nearly Naked Thiolate-Protected Au25 Cluster: Structural Analysis by Single Crystal X-ray Crystallography and Electron Nuclear Double Resonance" Dainese, T.; Antonello, S.; Gascón, J. A.; Pan, F.; Perera, N. V.; Ruzzi, M.; Venzo, A.; Zoleo, A.; Rissanen, K.; Maran, F. ACS Nano DOI: 10.1021/nn500805n.


We prepared a 25-gold atom nanocluster protected by the smallest ligand ever used, ethanethiol. This cluster displays the electrochemistry, mass spectrometry, and UV-vis absorption spectroscopy features of similar Au25 clusters protected by 18 thiolated ligands. The anionic and the neutral form of Au25(SEt)18 were fully characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, which confirmed the monolayer's properties and the paramagnetism of neutral Au25(SEt)180. X-ray crystallography analysis of the latter provided the first known structure of a gold cluster protected by a simple, linear alkanethiolate. Here, we also report the first direct observation by electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) of hyperfine interactions between a surface-delocalized unpaired electron and the gold atoms of a nanocluster. The advantages of knowing the exact molecular structure and having used such a small ligand allowed us to compare the experimental values of hyperfine couplings with DFT calculations unaffected by structure's approximations or omissions.



"Electron Transfer through 3D Monolayers on Au25 Clusters" Antonello, S.; Arrigoni, G.; Dainese, T.; De Nardi, M.; Parisio, G.; Perotti, L.; René, A.; Venzo, A.; Maran, F. ACS Nano 2014, 8, 2788-2795.

Article selected by ACS Nano in editorial In Nano (pp 1953-1955): New Dimension of Insight on Three-Dimensional Protective Monolayers


We prepared a large series of monodisperse Au25(SCnH2n+1)18 clusters (n = 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) and studied how electrons tunnel through these monolayers. Electron transfer results, nicely supported by 1H NMR spectroscopy, IR absorption spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics results, show that there is a critical ligand length marking the transition between short ligands, which form a quite fluid monolayer structure, and longer alkyl chains, which self-organize into bundles. These conclusions provide a different picture of how an ultrasmall gold core talks with the environment through/with its protecting but not-so-shielding monolayer.

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"Reductive Deprotection of Monolayer Protected Nanoclusters: An Efficient Route to Supported Ultrasmall Au Nanocatalysts for Selective Oxidation" Das, S.; Goswami, A.; Hesari, M.; Al-Sharab , J. F.; Mikmeková, E.; Maran, F.; Asefa, T. Small DOI: 10.1002/smll.201302854.


The synthesis and investigation of the catalytic properties of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) is an area of intense research. Despite much effort being made to this field, attaining both high catalytic activity and selectivity at the same time remains elusive. Herein a new mild reductive thiolate-deprotection strategy is reported to prepare nanoporous silica-supported ultrasmall AuNP catalysts that show very efficient catalytic activity and high selectivity for oxidation reactions.

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