Academic speakers

Electrochemistry as a tool to understand functional properties of inorganic materials

Laura Calvillo

Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy

Nowadays, the development of active and stable materials for electrochemical devices able to store and convert renewable energy is crucial to reach a fossil fuel independence. In this context, electrochemistry has become of great importance for both the synthesis and characterization of these materials. In this lecture, we will describe the fundamentals of electrochemistry and explain the most commonly used techniques, as well as their application to the characterization of inorganic materials.


Point defects in semiconductors and insulators. Determination of atomic and electronic structure by electron magnetic resonance techniques

Mario Chiesa

Department of Chemistry, University of Torino, Italy

Point defects are a universal feature of crystalline materials and determine their chemical and physical properties. The lecture will address the different types of point defects is solid insulators and semiconductors and their relevance in solid state chemistry and physics. In the second part of the lecture the various aspects of the structure of point defects as well as the range of defect systems which can be investigated by magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be discussed. A general description of the basic ideas concerning how electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and the various methods of multiple magnetic resonances can be used to investigate and determine defect structures will be given.


Synthesis of nanomaterials: chemical routes as convenient bottom-up approaches

M. Lucia Curri

Department of Chemistry, University of Bari, Italy

In the last years, the extraordinary advances in the field of material science have resulted in the increasing development of a variety of preparative routes, able to provide a wide range of highly processable inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) and nanocrystals (NCs), that can be achieved with a high control on size, shape and surface chemistry, featuring original size dependent physical chemical properties, attractive both for fundamental understanding and for their exceptional potential in technological applications.


How to write a MSCA Individual Fellowship proposal: an evaluator perspective

Silvia Gross

Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy


Wet-chemical synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials for energy applications

Markus Niederberger

Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Wet chemical processes, including synthesis, self-assembly, and processing, play a critical role in the use of nanoparticles in a wide variety of applications. In this lecture, I will provide an overview of various wet chemical synthesis methods for inorganic nanoparticles, with a focus on sol-gel processes. Selected formation mechanisms will be presented that allow, at least to some extent, rational planning of the synthesis of a given nanomaterial. Strategies will be proposed to assemble the nanoparticles into three-dimensional porous networks that, after supercritical drying, result in aerogel monoliths with macroscopic sizes. By carefully selecting the nanoscale building blocks, the composition and morphological properties of the aerogels can be fine-tuned depending on the application. As an example, the use of metal-metal oxide composite aerogels in the gas-phase photocatalytic reforming of methanol is presented. Finally, I will also discuss selected examples of processing methods for the production of rechargeable batteries that are transparent, stretchable or degradable.


Introduction to magnetic properties of materials and their study

Mauro Perfetti

Department of Chemistry, University of Firenze, Italy

The lecture will focus on the magnetic properties of materials. An introduction on the origin of magnetism in both bulk and molecular materials will be given. Several experimental techniques for the characterization of magnetic materials will be analysed and discussed. A bird-eye view of the current and future applications of magnetic materials will be explained, with a particular emphasis on the field of quantum information. 


Circular Chemistry to enable a Circular Economy

Chris Slootweg

Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS), University of Amsterdam

In addition to the well-known Green Chemistry principles that have revolutionized optimizing and sustaining linear processes, Circular Chemistry moves beyond value extension and aims at making chemical processes and production cycles circular by using waste (or ideally products) as resource. In this lecture, I will highlight the importance of using waste as resource as well as stress the need to develop Circular Technologies, which use chemistry as enabling tool, to target the conservation of critical raw materials (element scarcity) as well as contribute to solving pressing waste problems. Such an endeavor will combine molecular design and synthesis with the environmental fate and impact of current products targeting safe by design (no persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic compounds; green chemistry) and design for re-use, recovery and recycling (circular chemistry).


Industrial speakers:

The contribution of Raman spectroscopy to investigate inorganic materials 

Patrizio Barbini

Horiba Ltd


Bridging the gap: scaling-up advanced functional  inorganic nanomaterials with a circular manufacturing approach.

Marco Bersani

Circular materials

Particular materials

The upscaling in nanomaterials production represents the main bottleneck for the successful transfer of lab-scale results to industrial products and processes. To this day, scalable synthetic techniques force the acceptance of compromises in terms of quality or processability that eventually limit or slow down the penetration of nano-based solutions in industry. Here we present a green and flexible process that has enabled the upscaled production of over 150 different compounds including oxides, metals, sulfides, MOFs, based on a continuous flow technology with supercritical water. The direct synthesis of fine chemicals from waste has also been implemented with no compromise on product quality, including the manufacturing of cathode active materials.


Critical raw materials and supply chains in strategic technologies and sectors in the EU 

Samuel Carrara

Joint Research Centre, EU 

In order for the European Union to achieve the ambitious targets it has set for the energy and digital transitions and its defence and space agenda, it needs undisrupted access to critical raw materials and to many products which contain them. This study presents a systematic and detailed analysis of the complete supply chains, from raw and processed materials to components, assemblies, super-assemblies and systems, for 15 key technologies across the five strategic sectors (renewable energy, electromobility, energy-intensive industry, digital, and aerospace/defence) responsible for the delivery of these targets. This study contributed scientific evidence to underpin the Critical Raw Materials Act, in tandem with which it was published. 

Skills and knowledges in the field of inorganic chemistry for the green transition 

Pier Luigi Franceschini

EIT Raw Materials

Metals and minerals are fundamental for the Green Transition, and even though this may sound as an obvious statement, it is only since a few years that awareness on this subject has started spreading. In this context, the role of inorganic chemistry and related disciplines has gained additional momentum. The talk will provide some reflections on what are the useful skillset complementing a strong scientific background, to face the complex societal issues that academics, industry staff and entrepreneurs are typically confronted with. 


Developing Industrial Catalysts: much more than just simple recipes

Gerhard Mestl

Clariant AG

Bringing a research laboratory catalyst recipe to such a level that it can be transferred into production with a couple of tons per day is indeed a formidable task. This task requires very concentrated and focused project management from the very first day after having decided to pursue a certain idea for a new catalyst material. To achieve the project goals, i.e. production of a new catalyst material, makes it necessary that many different groups and professions within a company (or more…) – and not only from R&D – and academic partner(s) cooperate closely together. This lecture will describe using a real world, industrial example which tasks need to be successfully completed from the days such a project starts to pilot scale-up trial production. The attendees of the winter school InoMat 24 will thus get a detailed impression of industrial material research and development.