1) Artificial Photosynthesis - 2) photoinduced proton-coupled electron-transfer processes in supramolecular assemblies - 3) photochemistry and photophysics of coordination compounds for potential applications in optoelectronic devices

Short description of the research team

Thematic fields of interest/research areas: Research interests span different fields in the photochemical sciences which include: i) Artificial Photosynthesis, namely solar energy conversion into chemical fuels, wherein attention is directed towards the investigation and comprehension of photoinduced energy/electron transfer processes in supramolecular antenna/charge-separating systems as well as towards the kinetic description of the electron flow within photoinduced water oxidation and CO2/proton reduction catalysis; ii) photoinduced proton-coupled electron-transfer processes in supramolecular assemblies; and iii) photochemistry and photophysics of coordination compounds for potential applications in optoelectronic devices. In all these studies particular emphasis is given to the investigation and kinetic characterization of the photoinduced dynamics by means of time-resolved emission and absorption spectroscopic techniques in both the ultrafast (fs-ns) and fast (ns-ms) time-domain as well as on the electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical characterization of molecular systems in both homogeneous and heterogeneous phases.

Manager/head of the team: Research in these fields is directed by Dr. Mirco Natali, assistant professor (RTDb) at the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Ferrara since November 2016

Team members:Dr. Mirco Natali is heading the research within the outlined topics, strong cooperation is however present with Prof. Carlo Alberto Bignozzi and Prof. Stefano Caramori.


Research infrastructures: The photophysical characterization is enabled by a combination of both stationary-state and time-resolved absorption/emission spectroscopy. Spectrofluorimeters operating in both UV-Vis and NIR are available in the lab which include an integrating sphere setup for quantum yield determination and a cryostat for luminescence measurements at 77 K. Complete kinetic characterization of the light-induced phenomena are performed thanks to the presence of time-resolved spectrometers operating in both the fs-ps and ns-ms time-scales: a Time-Correlated Single-Photon-Counting (TC-SPC), an Ultrafast Spectroscopy setup (Helios), and a Nanosecond Laser Flash Photolysis are available in the lab. The laboratories are also equipped with several electrochemical workstations for both electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical measurements. A micro-gas chromatograph (micro-GC) apparatus, equipped with a molecular-sieve column and an automatic sampling pump, is also available for the identification and quantification of permanent gases (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide, methane) produced during photocatalytic experiments. The laboratories are equipped for the synthesis of molecular samples under air or oxygen-free conditions (Schlenk technique) as well as for the preparation (sintering) of nanomaterials thanks to the presence of high-temperature laboratory ovens operating under both air-equilibrated and oxygen-free atmosphere. Molecular (NMR, ESI-MS, IR, elemental analysis) and material (X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy techniques) characterization techniques are all available in the department.


Prerequisites of the trainee researcher:

Level of education: “Marie Curie Individual Fellowship” Action requirements.
Research experience: Experience in the photophysical characterization is important, additional experience in electrochemistry is very much appreciated.
Required working language: N/A


Contact: Dr. Mirco Natali, email: mirco.natali@unife.it



- Inorganic Chemistry

- Physical and Analytical Chemistry