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

La settimana del rosa digitale - 4^ed

La settimana del rosa digitale - 4^ed


Percorso di condivisione della carriera di scienziato-donna fatto attraverso esperimenti di estrazione di sostanze chimiche partendo dal cibo.

11 e 15 marzo 2019

Via Marconi,39 - Casamassima Bari 70010

Che “cavolo" di arcobaleno-mamme e scienza un viaggio alla scoperta di cio’ che Madre Natura ci insegna.

con Eloisa Sardella (CNR Nanotec) e Laura Rosso (PSP)

maggiori info:

TERAMETANANO - International Conference on Terahertz Emission, Metamaterials and Nanophotonics


Castello Carlo V, Lecce 27 -31 Maggio 2019

The IV edition of TERAMETANANO, the International Conference on Terahertz Emission, Metamaterials and Nanophotonics, will take place in Lecce (Italy) from 27 to 31 of May 2019 in the 16th-century Castle of Charles V   with two special nights that will be held in an original Theatre of Roman period.


TERAMETANANO is an annual conference that gather physicists studying a wide variety of phenomena in the areas of nano-structuresnano-photonics and meta-materials, with special attention to the coupling between light and matter and in a broad range of wavelengths, going from the visible up to the terahertz.


Al via la fase 2 del Tecnopolo per la medicina di precisione

Firmata convenzione tra Regione, Università e Cnr per avvio seconda fase del Tecnopolo

Bari, 27 novembre 2018 

Sottoscritto stamane l’accordo tra Regione PugliaCnr Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Irccs Giovanni Paolo II di Bari e Università di Bari per l’avvio della seconda fase del Tecnopolo per la Medicina di Precisione. Sede del tecnopolo, il CnrNanotec.

“La sfida della medicina moderna è tradurre nella pratica clinica gli enormi progressi compiuti dalla scienza e dalla tecnologia. In questo contesto le nanotecnologie, focalizzate sull’indagine e sulla manipolazione della materia a livello nanometrico-molecolare, si presentano come uno strumento potentissimo al servizio della medicina di precisione, la nuova frontiera che punta allo sviluppo di trattamenti personalizzati per il singolo paziente”, afferma  Giuseppe Gigli, direttore di Cnr Nanotec e coordinatore del Tecnopolo.

Link video dichiarazione Massimo Inguscio: http://rpu.gl/uChUl

Link video di presentazione Tecnomed: http://rpu.gl/Qqerm

Link video dichiarazione Michele Emiliano: http://rpu.gl/aJoee

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