Foto del docente

Luca Pasquini

Associate Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/03 Physics of Matter


Keywords: Nanostructured materials Hydrogen in solids Photoelectrochemistry Energy conversion Nanoparticles Physical Vapour Deposition Thermodynamics and kinetics of materials Structure-property relationships

Synthesis of  nanoparticles, thin films and nanostructured materials by physical growth methods. Investigation of structure and morphology by means of X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and spectroscopic techniques. Materials currently under study: metal hydrides for solid-state hydrogen storage; semiconducting oxides in form of nanoparticles and thin films for solar energy conversion by photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical processes; metallic nanoparticles. 

Hydrogen in solids: the search of new materials suitable for hydrogen storage for mobile and stationary applications is receiving great attention worldwide. Magnesium is still one of the most investigated materials because of its high gravimetric hydrogen density, non toxicity and low cost, but it suffers from kinetics and thermodynamic issues, i.e. slow rate of hydrogen desorption and high decomposition temperature. In our labs, we have synthesized MgH2-TiH2 composite nanoparticles by gas phase condensation techniques. These novel materials exhibit remarkably fast hydrogen sorption kinetics even at low temperatures around 150 °C. We also study the transformation kinetics and the thermodynamics of metal-hydrogen systems by thermal analysis methods. The materials prepared in our labs are subjected to a advanced structural studies using X-ray diffraction / absorption and electron microscopy techniques, the latter in collaboration with the IMM-CNR Institute in Bologna.

Semiconducting materials for solar energy conversion: we employ physical methods such as magnetron sputtering, thermal evaporation, gas phase condensation, for the synthesis of semiconducting thin films and nanoparticles for photoelectrochemical conversion of solar energy. This activity is partly  carried out within the ongoing project CONDOR funded by the European Commission under H2020 program ( Materials and photoelectrodes are characterized by electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and photoelectrochemical measurements.

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