Stefano Agnoli

Full Professor in Inorganic Chemistry

Stefano Agnoli graduated in Materials Science in 2002 at the University of Padova, with the thesis “Oxide-on-oxide nanostructured ultrathin films: a local probe approach", carried out at the KF University of Graz. He was awarded a European PhD in Materials Science in 2006 under the syupervisionof Prof. G. Granozzi, working on the study of ultrathin oxide films supported on metal single crystals, using electron based spectroscopies combined with scanning tunneling microscopy. After working as a post-doc researcher at the University of Padova, in 2009 he moved to Brookhaven National Lab (US), where he joined the catalysis group led by Dr J.A. Rodriguez and studied real and model systems based on ceria and their application in the catalytic production of hydrogen and conversion of alcohols. In 2010 he obtained the position of assistant professor, in 2015 of associate professor and finally in 2021 of Full Professor at the Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Padova. Here, he continued the study of model and real systems for catalytic applications expanding his research interests toward complex mixed oxide systems, 2D materials and electrocatalytic processes. He was local coordinator of the FIRB GIOVANI project “Beyond graphene: tailored carbon layers for catalysis and sustainable chemistry”, focusing on the study of novel 2D materials and their exploitation in electrocatalysis, and work package leader of the EU project DECORE, which tackled the development of electrocatalytic materials for direct ethanol fuel cells. In 2015 prof. Agnoli was awarded the Nasini medal from the Italian Chemical Society and in 2017 a Fulbright fellowship by the Italy-USA Fulbright Commission for working at the university of California Berkeley. He has published more than 170 papers on peer review journals with more than 6900 citations and an h-index of 40 (Scopus 2022)

Laura Calvillo

Associate Professor in Inorganic Chemistry

Laura Calvillo graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2004. Then, she carried out her PhD studies in the Fossil Fuel Conversion Group at the Instituto de Carboquímica (ICB-CSIC) of Zaragoza, obtaining the European PhD degree (cum laude) with the thesis entitled “Catalysts for polymeric electrolyte fuel cells” in 2008. Her PhD work was focused on the development of new non-conventional carbon materials with controllable physical and chemical properties to improve the catalytic performance of Pt-based electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells, which received two awards to the best Doctoral Thesis from the University of Zaragoza. In 2009, she moved to the University of La Laguna (Spain) to work with Prof Pastor, and in 2010 she joined Prof Russell’s group at the University of Southampton (UK) where she was awarded a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship. At this point, she focused her investigation in the study of different metal nanoarchitectures and their influence on the activity, selectivity and stability of Pt-based catalysts towards the electrooxidation of alcohols. Since then, an important part of her work is focused on the use of in situ/operando spectroscopic techniques for the study of electrocatalytic materials under working conditions. In 2013, she moved to the University of Padova (Italy) to work in the group of Prof Granozzi, where she became Assistant Professor in 2016 and Associate Professor in 2019. Now, she continuous studying electrocatalysts for fuel cells, but she has also extended her interests to materials for other important electrochemical reactions, like the hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions, the oxygen reduction reaction, or the CO2 reduction, and to model systems. She was awarded a P-DiSC project to work on the development of hybrid materials based on the coupling of Cu-based catalysts and g-C3N4 for the photo-assisted reduction of CO2 to low-carbon fuels, and she is local coordinator of the PRIN project “Metal activated 2D carbon-based platforms”. She has published more than 80 papers on peer review journals and has an h-index of 29 (Scopus).

Francesca Arcudi

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor (RTDB) in Inorganic Chemistry - Rita Levi Montalcini Awardee

Francesca Arcudi obtained her PhD degree (Doctor Europaeus) in Chemistry at the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Maurizio Prato. In her PhD research work she demonstrated new bottom-up methods to access nanomaterials with fine-tuned optical properties that can be exploited for prominent applications in biological- and energy-related fields. During her PhD, she won an Erasmus traineeship exchange fellowship, and she spent a research period at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (France) working on luminescent hybrid materials in the group of Prof. Luisa De Cola. As a result of these works, she received the Early Career Award “Organic Chemistry for Environment, Energy and Nanoscience” 2018 and the medal for the Primo Levi Award 2016 from the Italian Chemical Society, and the Reaxys Young Researcher Award 2018. In September 2018, Francesca moved to Northwestern University (USA) thanks to postdoc fellowships funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Energy, and worked in the group of Prof. Emily A. Weiss and in the Center for Bioinspired Energy Sciences. Her new line of research provided a blueprint for designing quantum dots and opened new design pathways for efficient photocatalytic systems. She also took an interest in industrial relevant reactions, and she demonstrated the first photocatalytic acetylene to ethylene conversion to produce polymer-grade ethylene. In the USA she was awarded the “Outstanding Researcher Award” 2021 by the International Institute for Nanotechnology for her contributions to research in the range of nanotechnology solutions and applications. While working in the USA, Francesca was awarded the “Rita Levi Montalcini Program for young researchers” to start a research program in an Italian university. Francesca is a Rita Levi Montalcini Tenure-Track Assistant Professor (RTDB) at the University of Padua (Italy) since December 2022. Her current interest is to provide a design framework to develop novel photocatalytic reactions for the production of commodity chemicals and to exploit modular nanoenvironments to enhance reactivity and selectivity of the sustainable, solar powered CO2 reduction reaction.

Mattia Cattelan

Assistant Professor

Mattia Cattelan gained the PhD in 2016 in Materials Science and Engineering at Surface Science and Catalysis Group of University of Padova (Italy) under the supervison of Prof. Agnoli. He specialized on the growth and chemical-structural characterization of graphene, doped graphene and other 2D materials. He focused on “bottom-up” approach by ultra-high vacuum in-situ preparation and chemical/physical characterization of 2D layers. He also acquired experience in synchrotron techniques performing experiments at different synchrotron radiation facilities with special focus on advanced photoemission techniques, e.g. angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). From 2016 to 2020 he was NanoESCA Specialist Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol (UK). He was the specialist and facility manager of the Bristol NanoESCA Facility, a state-of-the-art laboratory-based UK strategic equipment for surface analysis, specializing in photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM), µ-ARPES and local work function measurements. From 2020 to 2021, he was Research Associate of Spectromicroscopy beamline at Elettra synchrotron (Italy), a beamline hosting a unique setup for µ-ARPES that allows the investigation of the band structure on a submicron spot. He worked on innovative 2D materials heterostructures using a “top-down” approach, by exfoliation of bulk crystals and dry transfer techniques. Since 2022 he is Assistant Professor at the INCAT group. He is focusing on the topic of "Green Hydrogen", working on electrolyzers in collaboration with the industrial partner Hyter srl. He has published more than 50 papers on peer review journals with more than 1000 citations, and has an h-index of 18 (Scopus).

Anna Fortunato

Postdoctoral Fellow 

"Nanomaterials for photocatalytic applications"

Bhushan Vinayak Patil

Postdoctoral Fellow 

"Development of an electrolyser" in collaboration with Hyter

Seyyed Abbas Noorian Najafabadi

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellow (MSCA-PF) 

"Hierarchical metal-organic framework@covalent organic framework (MOF@COF) on carbon nanofibers for electrocatalytic CO2 conversion" 

Giulia Alice Volpato

Postdoctoral researcher

"Urea oxidation electrocatalysts for more efficient hydrogen production"

Biagio Di Vizio

PhD student

"Hybrid materials for green chemistry"

Nicolò Rossetti

PhD student

"Development of sustainable electrocatalysts for green hydrogen production" in collaboration with ACCA Industries Srl

Marco Nalesso

PhD student

"STM investigation of RuOx/Pt(111) model system for HER"

Filippo Bano

PhD student

"Hydrogen, electricity, and clean water from recycled nickel and urea"

Enrico Paron

PhD student

"Single-atom catalysts engineering towards tuneable activity and selectivity in CO2 reduction"

Leonardo Cielo

PhD student

"EC-STM investigations on single-atom catalysts for hydrogen production"

Sharon Silloni

Research fellow

"Nanostructured systems for light-driven hydrogenations"

Gian Carlo Milotti

Master student

"Catalysis in UHV"

Samuele Zambonin

Master student

"Bifunctional catalysts for hydrogen production and urea oxidation"


Master student