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Chemical Technologies and Processes and Nanotechnology Division

The Division activity is carried on by the Laboratories of Catalysis and Catalytic Processes (LCCP) Micro and Nanostructured Materials (NanoLab).

The Laboratory of Catalysis and Catalytic Processes (LCCP), focused on applied catalysis for energy conversion (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis for production of diesel fuel, catalytic partial oxidation of hydrocarbons for H2 production), environmental protection (SCR DeNOx process for stationary power plants and for mobile applications, Lean NOx Trap systems for the abatement of NOx emissions from lean gasoline and diesel engines, DNPR concept for the simultaneous abatement of NOx and soot emissions, abatement of CH4 emissions from compressed natural gas engines) and sustainable production of chemicals (novel structured catalyst and reactors for applications in the field of energy conversion and process intensification). Starting from a broad background on heterogeneous catalysis and chemical reaction engineering the LCCP has developed a comprehensive multidisciplinary, multiscale approach.
The research approach starts from the control of the catalyst properties at the nanoscale level (active sites and porosity) achieved by adequate preparation and characterization techniques (morphological, structural, bulk and surface physico-chemical characterization) and combines it with surface reactivity/mechanism/kinetic studies performed under steady state and transient conditions, and with mathematical modeling of catalytic reactors, from the laboratory scale to the full scale.

The Micro and Nanostructured Materials Laboratory (NanoLab) is focused on the design, production and investigation of novel materials for energetic applications. Particular attention is devoted to materials for renewable energy production such as photovoltaics and water splitting, and materials for nuclear engineering (e.g. new generation fission reactors and fusion systems).
On the basis of fundamental knowledge in solid state physics, surface physics and plasma physics, Nanolab has been developing bottom-up approaches aimed at the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured films and surfaces, clusters and nanostructures. Physical vapour deposition (PVD) techniques, such as Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD), thermal evaporation and ionic sputtering are exploited and developed. Morphological, structural and electronic properties are experimentally investigated down to the atomic scale by means of scanning probe techniques (AFM/STM/STS) and vibrational spectroscopies (Raman and surface Brillouin spectroscopy), also for model systems and surfaces. Theoretical modelling in the fields of inelastic light scattering, solid state physics and plasma physics are developed to support experimental activities.

Both laboratories are part of the NEMAS – Center for Nanoengineered Materials and Surfaces of Politecnico di Milano, entitled by the Italian Ministery of University and Research (MIUR) as a center of excellence in nanoscience and nanotechnology.