PRIN 2008

2010 - 2012
Study of new experimental procedures for the synthesis of colloidal metal nanoparticles using electromagnetic radiation
Principal Investigator: 
Emanuela Pitzalis
Project type: 


The IPCF-CNR Pisa Unit will construct a microwave (MW) chemical reactor based on a proprietary technology, to be used with advantage for the controlled growth of metal colloidal nanoparticles (NP) for laboratory and industrial applications. The MW reactor will give the operator the possibility of on-line controlling the sizes and the morphology of the NP during the build up by recording the surface plasmon resonances (SPR) with a spectrophotometric UV-vis probe immersed into the solution phase. Accordingly, the reactor will be utilized for the growth of the NP showing SPR in the UV-vis spectral range, such as gold NP. The Unit will explore a new procedure of NP preparation, consisting in the reduction of Au, Pd or Ru metal ions in solution by the application of MW and/or UV radiation (photoreduction) in continuous or in pulsed regimes. Colloidal NP will be prepared applying MW and UV radiations, also of high peak power, both emitted by an immersed electrodeless source, without using reducing agents and/or without substantially heating the reagents. The underlying innovative technology was
developed at IPCF (CNR Patents). Moreover, the Unit will investigate the preparation of Au, Pd or Ru metallic NP through pulsed laser ablation in a confining liquid medium; the main advantage of such a recently proposed method with respect to the other techniques is the simple, fast and "clean" synthesis, due to the absence of byproduct formation and the non requirement of catalysts. The experimental apparatus will be optimized and the effect of the solvent on the morphology of the particles will be examined, along with the effect of the presence of surfactant agents. The NP prepared according to these new experimental procedures will be used as produced or deposited onto inorganic supports and/or polymeric matrices furnished by the other Units, in cooperation with them; their activity in catalytic reactions will be tested by the other Units. Regarding the characterization of the NP and of the nanostructured metal-functional polymer catalysts, the IPCF-CNR Pisa Unit will make available to the other
Units UV-vis spectroscopy for the on line analysis, atomic force microscopy, AFM, ultrasonic force microscopy, UFM, FT-IR techniques such as attenuated total, specular and diffuse reflection, flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The characterization through electronic microscopy will be performed by the University of Torino.