Generation of nanospaces for polymerization and gas capture

Prof. Sozzani's research team

The preparation and characterization of novel nanostructured materials showing permanent porosity or including polymers in supramolecular architectures are the main target of our research group. The effort for designing suitable nanospaces and optimizing extended interfaces enabled the fabrication of materials containing gases and polymers endowed with unusual properties and controlled morphologies. The link between structure and properties is provided by a detailed characterization by magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) and wide-line NMR. Laboratories for synthesis and NMR spectroscopy, dedicated to the preparation and the characterization of solid materials, are available.

Current research projects

The current research topics are dedicated to the general themes of confinement of gases and macromolecules to galleries and nanochannels of various cross-sections (0.5 up to 4.5 nm). Nanoporous materials are synthesized and exploited for this sake, realizing absorption of gases and polymerization in the confined state.
The matrices encompass molecular crystals (including dipeptides), metal organic frameworks (MOFs), hybrid mesoporous structures, hyper-crosslinked polymers and porous organic frameworks. The matrices, showing extended interactive areas (1000 - 5000 m2/g), form intimate host-guest adducts, realizing extraordinarily robust organic materials and solids containing molecular-rotors, whose dynamics is regulated by species diffusing-in.
The study of reactivity and interactions of the guests included in nanometric vessels and supramolecular architectures encompasses also morphological replicas by polymerization and thermal transformation of included polymers to conjugated polymers or carbon nanofibers. Diffusion processes of gases into the porous materials and the direct detection of gases diffusing into solids is performed by MAS and hyperpolarized NMR (129Xe, CO2, CH4 and H2).

Research Team

Research Lab

U5 Building, Ground Floor, Room T067A/B
U5 Building, 1st Floor, Room 1021


NMR Bruker Avance_300 MHz spectrometer with wide bore magnet operating at 7.05 T and dedicated to the solid state, fully equipped for high power output, 7 kHz and 15 kHz magic angle spinning probes and several heads for wide-line spectroscopy, including deuterium.
NMR Bruker Avance III_600 MHz spectrometer equipped with cryoprobe, with HR MAS and 35 kHz spinning-speed CP-MAS probes.
High vacuum (10-9 torr) pump and equipment for hyperpolarized Xenon spectroscopy (laser-excited NMR). Gas-Vapor Adsorption Analyzers, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Gel Permeation Cromatography, Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer.