Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnology - UNISS

The Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (LMNT) currently consists of six researchers, including one PHD student. It is located in the Porto Conte Ricerche complex and includes about 200 m2 of laboratory space. The laboratory is equipped for the chemical preparation of materials and nanomaterials, and their chemical and physical characterisation.

Various characterisation techniques are available: infrared spectroscopy, near-infrared spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopic analysis in relation to temperature (25-250°C), UV-visible spectrometry, spectroscopic ellipsometry, dynamic light scattering for analysis of the size of nanoparticles, viscometry, fluorescence spectroscopy, a dip-coating device for depositing thin films and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). The laboratory’s activity is focused on advanced research in the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, and it also provides a service for the characterisation of traditional materials, particularly for construction and architecture. The intensity and quality of laboratory research is confirmed by the many scientific publications in international journals with a high impact factor (about 10-12 publications per year) and by numerous patents.

The laboratory has an extensive network of collaborations with Italian and international laboratories, particularly with laboratories with large research infrastructures (the SINBAD synchrotron radiation facility at the National Laboratories in Frascati, the SAXS synchotron radiation laboratory of the Austrian Academy of Science at Elettra, and the solid state high-field NMR laboratory at the CNRS in Orleans).

Collaborative activities are also in progress with the University of Paris VI (Laboratory of Solid State Chemistry), Kyoto University (Laboratory of Inorganic Photonics Materials), the University of Kansai (Sol-Gel Laboratory), and the University of Buenos Aires and the CNEA in Argentina.

The laboratory is self-financing thanks to national and European research projects and research activities with industry; three national projects (2 funded by FIRB and 1 by PRIN) and one European STREP project are currently in progress. There are also ongoing research projects with industrial companies in the field of nanobiotechnology and innovative photocatalytic products based on titanium dioxide.

Skills and technologies

The laboratory provides support for research in the field of materials, particularly nanomaterials and their applications in nanobiotechnology, nanophotonics and nanosensors. It also performs characterisation activities, from materials to supramolecular structures (proteins), through various techniques either directly available in the laboratory or in other major infrastructure laboratories. Lastly, the laboratory also carries out consultancy activities for the development of devices based on new technologies.

The research activity at Porto Conte Ricerche is currently focused in the following areas:

- Synthesis of nanomaterials through supramolecular self-assembly techniques. This method produces mesoporous nanomaterials (2-50 nm) with an organised and uniform porous structure. Mesoporous materials are obtained in the form of thin films, membranes and nanopowders. These materials are used in the development of several applications in various sectors: nanoparticles for drug delivery, nanobiosensors, electrochemical sensors, films with a low refractive index and an ultra-low dielectric constant, photocatalytic films for use in photovoltaic cells and anti-pollutants, materials for environmental decontamination.

- Synthesis of hybrid organic-inorganic materials. These types of materials are obtained through sol-gel synthesis processes, i.e. chemical synthesis at low temperature using metal alkoxides. These materials are characterised by properties with intermediate characteristics between inorganic glasses and organic polymers, thanks to the presence of a non-hydrolytic covalent bond between silicon and carbon, and feature a series of innovative properties with a wide range of applications. Investigations are currently under way in the laboratory for the development of multifunctional hybrid materials, such as scratch-resistant films that act as selective filters for certain wavelengths, and hybrid materials for photonic applications, such as waveguides, amplifiers etc.

Contact information
Telephone: +39 079 998.630 
Fax +39 079 9720420 
Email address: [email protected]


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S.P. 55 Porto Conte - Capo Caccia
km 8,400 Loc. Tramariglio
07041 Alghero (SS) Italy
​​Postal address: Porto Conte Ricerche S. r. l. - Casella Postale 84 07040 Santa Maria La Palma (SS) – Italy
Ph [+39] 079 998400 - Fax [+39] 079 998567
Email [email protected]