Fuel Cells and Water Remediation


The main issue in this field is in fact the necessity of reducing the amount of precious metal catalyst and of finding protonic exchange polymeric membrane alternative to expensive NAFION. Fuel Cells for portable applications can take advantage from dry plasma technologies

Over the last decade, heterogeneuos photocatalysis has shown tremendous promise for the effective degradation of organic pollutants in water. Recently, immobilization of photocatalyst (e.g., TiO2 and ZnO) nanopowders on suitable substrates has attracted growing interest because it eliminates costly post-treatment separation processes and allows multiple catalyst recycling.

Oil/water separation materials have received considerable attention in recent years because of environmental problems associated with oily wastewater and oil spills.

Electrocatalytic layers

High performance electrocatalytic hydrocarbon thin films containing Pt nano-clusters can be deposited by simultaneous plasma polymerization of a monomer and sputtering of a Pt target. The proposed synthetic approach largely simplifies the PEMFC electrocatalyst fabrication process with respect to conventional methods.

The strategy carried out in our lab consists in a one-step simultaneous metal sputtering and plasma polymerization from a suitable monomer forming the embedding matrix. This approach allows for choosing the metal catalyst/or oxide independent from the matrix, which limit aggregation of the catalyst detrimental for eletrocatalyst performance

Protonic Membrane layers

Proton exchange membranes for fuel cells are typically made of a perfluorinated polymer matrix bearing phosphonic acid (–PO3H) or carboxylic acid (–COOH), or more often, sulfonic acid (–SO3H). The role of the electrolyte membrane in the fuel cell is to provide the transport of protons from the anode where the protons are produced, to the cathode where they are consumed by reduction with oxygen into water. It is essential to miniaturize conventional fuel cells components for portable devices. deposition from vapor phase, as PECVD or iCVD is advantageous since are dry processes compatible with microelectronic miniaturization

Photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants

The research is focused on the atmospheric plasma deposition of thin films containing photocatalyst nanoparticles and characterized by high photocatalytic activity and recyclability.Thin films containing TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles are deposited on different substrates by aerosol-assisted process in which a dispersion of preformed nanoparticles in a suitable solvent are in injected in aerosol form in an atmospheric cold plasma

Oil/water separation

The research is focused on the optimization of unique atmospheric plasma processes for the preparation of novel filtration or absorbing materials exhibiting opposite wettability behavior towards water and oil and consequently suitable for the effective separation of oil from water through selective filtration or absorption, respectively. Preparation of filtration materials for oil/water separation by atmospheric pressure plasma deposition of superhydrophobic/superoleophilic coatings on different substrates, such as fabrics, meshes, membranes.

Optimization of unique atmospheric plasma processes able to modify the outer and inner surfaces of porous absorbent materials, such as polymeric sponges, to achieve simultaneous superhydrophobic/superoleophilic properties

Facilities & Labs


Francesco FracassiFrancesco


Associate Professor



CNR Researcher



CNR Researcher

Antonella MilellaAntonella


Associate Researcher


  1. A.M Coclite, P. Lund, R. Di Mundo, F. Palumbo, Novel hybrid fluoro-carboxylated copolymers deposited by initiated chemical vapor deposition as protonic membranes, Polymer 54 (1), pp. 24-30. (2013)DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2012.11.004
  2. Dilonardo, A. Milella, F. Palumbo, J. Thery, S. Martin, G. Barucca, P. Mengucci, R. D’Agostino, F. Fracassi, Plasma deposited Pt-containing hydrocarbon thin films as electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cell, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20 (45), pp. 10224-10227 (2010),DOI: 10.1039/c0jm01300e
  3. Fanelli, AM. Mastrangelo, N. De Vietro, F. Fracassi, Preparation of multifunctional superhydrophobic nanocomposite coatings by aerosol-assisted atmospheric cold plasma deposition,   Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters, 7 (1), pp. 84-88. (2015), DOI: 10.1166/nnl.2015.1943
  4. Fanelli, AM. Mastrangelo, F. Fracassi, Aerosol-assisted atmospheric cold plasma deposition and characterization of superhydrophobic organic-inorganic nanocomposite thin films, Langmuir, 30 (3), pp. 857-865, (2014)

Latest News



September 14-22, 2019


Science coffee. Tre scienziate si raccontano: Luisa Torsi, Loretta L del Mercato, Eva Degl'Innocenti Bari - Fiera del Levante, 20 settembre 2019 - 17.30

Luisa Torsi, chimica, docente all’Università degli Studi di Bari e alla ABO Akademi University in Finlandia, tra le protagoniste della mostra della Fondazione Bracco . Loretta L del Mercato, biotecnologa - Ricercatrice CNR Nanotec. Esperta nell’uso delle nanotecnologie applicate in campo biomedico. Attualmente la ricerca si concentra sullo sviluppo di modelli cellulari di tumore del pancreas che consentano di testare l'efficacia di diverse terapie anticancro. Coordina il progetto ERC-StG “INTERCELLMED” finanziato dal Consiglio europeo della ricerca (Erc). Eva Degl'Innocenti, Direttrice MARTA di Taranto [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ICONS - A Symposium on Colloidal Nanocrystals


October 10-11, 2019


Cnr Nanotec Lecce


The symposium focuses on colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (also known as quantum dots), which are a central topic in materials science and nanotechnology nowadays. The event will bring together renowned scientists in this research field discussing on fundamentals and future directions of this promising class of materials.  The program consists of two half-day sessions with four talks each covering synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. The detailed program will be soon available.

The symposium is intended for anyone that is interested on this topic and will be free of charge. Attendees may present their own work in the dedicated poster session. Registration, with an eventual abstract submission for poster presentation, is required (please, send an e-mail to:   carlo.giansante@nanotec.cnr.it). The event is co-organized by Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Nanotecnologia and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

The final program is now available for download: ICoNS_Program[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


 01 luglio 2019 - ore 14:15


Cnr Nanotec Lecce


Realizzato nell'ambito delle attività del progetto "TecnoMed Puglia - Tecnopolo per la medicina di precisione", il meeting è dedicato allo studio delle malattie neurodegenerative: dai nuovi biomarcatori alle piu recenti modellizzazioni, per una migliore comprensione dei meccanismi di base e quindi per lo sviluppo di terapie sempre più ritagliate sul singolo paziente.

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