Since the birth of the Department, the group is active in fields of Energy Storage and Production, Gas Sensing, and characterization of Organic Molecular or Polymeric Materials. Group facilities comprise a fully equipped electrochemical lab with several potentiostats-galvanostats, two multichannel systems for long time testing, two semi-automatic glove boxes at N2 or Ar, a climatic chamber to control temperature and humidity, optical fibers coupled with UV-visible spectrophotometer for in-situ spectroelectrochemistry, and a quartz crystal electrochemical microbalance. Furnaces, thick/thin film applicators, and standard chemical equipments are available for chemical synthesis and electrode formulations.
This research line is devoted mainly to the investigation of electrode and electrolyte materials for rechargeable batteries and solid oxide fuel cells. Materials are produced by our team or in collaboration with national and international research groups. The electrical and electrochemical characterizations carried out using standard techniques such as impedance spectroscopy, DC Hebb Wagner conductivity measurement, cyclic voltammetry, potential spectroscopy, galvanostatic cycling, are performed with the aim to investigate the correlation among structural, morphological features and functional properties.
For all these PV absorbers, a comprehensive structural and spectroscopic characterization (including scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence) is performed. All the new absorber layers are tested in prototype solar devices.
Potentiometric or amperometric solid state electrochemical gas sensor are investigated and realized to determine the composition of CO/CO2 or H2/H2O gas mixtures and the concentration of CO or H2O or SO2 in air as well as Cl2 or O2 or CO2 in nitrogen and air. Moreover, nanostructured thin film semiconductor gas sensors of pure or noble metal doped semiconductors prepared via sol gel or dip coating technique, were used as sensing elements to determine low concentration of reducing gas (CO). The experimental measurements pointed out the strong correlation among the electrical properties, the point defects, the amount of doping level, and the morphology.
Since ten years, the group collaborate with organic chemistries of the department to characterize dye molecules, tiophene and pyrrole based monomers, and poly-tiophene based polymers for electro-optic applications (solar cells and electrochromic devices). The systems are characterized respect to their electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical properties in solution or in solid state (as thin film). The electronic properties, the energy levels, and the electro-optical characteristic are correlated to the chemical structure and to the film morphology. Redox mechanisms in conducting polymers are also investigated.