Date and place of birth
February 21, 1953, Milano (Italy)
- 1978: Doctor in Chemistry at the University of Milano
- 1979: Postdoctor with Prof. J. M. Basset, Institute des Recherches sur la Catalyse (France)
- 1982-present: Researcher of the CNR (Milano). Since 1993 Research Director
- 1983: Postdoctor with Prof. F. S. Stone, University of Bath, UK
- 1989-2005: Contract Professor at the University of Milano
- 2008: Director of the CNR ISTM (01/06/08).
- 1993-2000: Director of the CNR Reserch Centre "Centro di studio sulla sintesi e la struttura dei composti dei metalli di transizione nei bassi stati di ossidazione", University of Milano
- 1996-1999: President of CNR National Coordination Institute "Metodologie e Tecnologie Chimiche Innovative".
- 2002-2004: Member of the Committee of the CNR Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies (ISTM-Milano).
- 1999-2001: President of the Italian Society of Chemistry, Sezione Lombardia.
- 2002-2004: Member of the Scientific Council of ICCOM (Firenze).
- Consultant of Italian Ministry of University and Research (Applied research public funds).
- Consultant of Italian Ministry of Production Activities (Technological innovation public funds).
- Member Scientific Committee of the International Symposium on the Relations between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis.
- 2003-2005 Member of the Council of Italian Society of Chemistry Interdivisional Group in Catalysis
- 2003-2006: Managing Committee of Nanotec IT (Italian Center for Nanotecnlogy)
- 2005: co-Chairman of the International Symposium on Relations between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis (ISHHC12), 18th to 22nd July 2005, Florence, Italy
- 2005: Chairman of the VIII Italian Seminar on Catalysis. Catalysis for Fine Chemistry. A challenge for researchers, a competitive advantage for enterprises, 19-24 June 2005, Verbania-Pallanza, Italy
- 2007: Chairman VIII International Symposium on Catalysis Applied to Fine Chemicals, Pallanza 16-20 September.
- 2005-2009: Sixth Framework Programme, Network of Eccellence: IDECAT (Integrated Design of Catalytic Nanomaterials for a Sustainable Production), Responsible WP n.8: "Eco-processes and sustainable energy and production"
- 2006-2008: Coordinator of the Council of Italian Society of Chemistry Interdivisional Group in Catalysis
- Visiting Scientist under the following institutions: Institut des Recherches sur la Catalyse CNRS, (Lione, Francia) (1978-1986), University of Southampton (Southampton, Inghilterra) (1998); Institute of Chemical Physics (Chernogolovka, Moscow Region, Russia) (2000), Laboratoire Réactivité de Surface, Université P. et M. Curie (Parigi, Francia) (2001), School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering (Seoul, Corea del Sud) (2003), Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (Novisibirsk, Russia) (2006).
Winner of the 1990 award "Per un futuro intelligente " sponsored by FEDERCHIMICA
Main Scientific area of research and other scientific areas of interest
Nanotechnology applied to catalysis started a giant leap in some sectors of catalysis, increasing enormously the chance of putting together sustainability (through selectivity, activity and stability) with efficiency (atom-economy, cost, energy).
The general scientific interest is the development of new methods for the preparation of more efficient and eco-compatible catalytic systems for fine chemicals and commodities, to achieve higher performances, simpler preparation methods, conditions allowing for extended recycling.
Author or co-author of 3 international patents and 160 papers on international journals on the field of surface organometallic chemistry, catalyst characterisation and heterogeneous catalysis.
General ambition in catalyst preparation is to design and produce tailor made catalysts with well defined structure. The structure involves a great deal of different characteristics, but for supported catalysts the particle size and the particle size distribution are the two most important parameters. Particle size effect on catalytic performance of heterogeneous metal catalysts have been widely and systematically studied for more than twenty years, but it is still an intriguing problem ad several new findings can be highlighted. Metal nanoparticles smaller than 1-3 nm in diameter, have a special interested for the borderline between metallic and molecular state and they have a unique electronic structure which also affects catalytic properties.
Different preparation technique provides several chances to control the particle size and to form size distribution in a narrow size region. During the last few years we have addressed the problems of the synthesis of such nanoparticles through molecular approaches, mainly via chemical vapour deposition of organometallic precursors (OM-CVD).
The research will be oriented on three classes of materials: a) metallic nanoparticles supported on inorganic oxides surfaces; b) metallic nanostructures entrapped and stabilised in zeolite cages and in mesoporous structures; c) hybrid systems molecular/ nanoparticles supported on inorganic oxides surfaces. The nanomaterials will be applied in the abatement of volatile pollutants; the selective hydrogenation of carbonylic compounds; selective hydrogenation of fatty acid from renewable sources; the hydrogenation of arenes; the methane partial oxidation.
Other scientific areas of interest are the following: heterogenization of homogeneous catalysts; design of single-site catalysts for alkene epoxidation; selective catalytic oxidation of alkanes (propane, butane); preparation and characterisation of nanostructured electrocatalyst for PEM fuel cells; in situ studies of the structural and morphological evolution of nanomaterials under controlled temperature and atmosphere by the use of synchrotron radiation.