Research project

PRIN2017 - Torelli (DFM.AD006.150)

Thematic area

Physical sciences and technologies of matter

Project area

Infrastrutture di ricerca , strumentazione avanzata e nuove metodologie sperimentali e di calcolo (DFM.AD006)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute of materials (IOM)

Project manager

Phone number: 0403756457


Understanding, at the atomic level, the interaction between a specific adsorption site and a target molecule from the gas phase is a key step in the rational design of improved material for: gas separation, heterogeneous catalysis or molecular sensing. We propose the development of a revolutionary instrumentation on the APE-HE beamline @ Elettra synchrotron allowing soft X-ray XAS (in electron yield mode) to be performed under 1 bar at both the K-edge of a typical atom present in the molecule (C, N, O, F) and the L2 and L3 edges of the first row transition metals (from Sc to Zn). At the end of the PRIN project this instrumentation will be available for the whole Italian scientific community working in the field of surface chemistry via standard beamline application @ Elettra. The consortium (4 Uni + 1 CNR lab @ Elettra) will achieve the self-consistent loop that includes sample synthesis, instrumental implementation, structural, electronic and vibrational characterization and modeling.


We are aimed to achieve breakthrough improvements in the understanding of molecular adsorption and reactivity at surface sites combining the cutting-edge new soft X-ray XAS in total electron yield (TEY)
mode under operando conditions (hereafter NEXAFS), presently under development at the APE-HE beamline of the Italian Elettra synchrotron, with more conventional but still highly informative
spectroscopic and diffraction techniques. This instrumental and methodological effort will provide us unprecedented experimental information on the electronic structure of both metal adsorption center and
adsorbed molecule. Moreover, with the support of advanced DFT calculations, the simulation of XAS spectra (NEXAFS or XANES, in the hard X-ray region) has recently become an effective tool to validate
the local environment of the excited element on a structural ground.

Start date of activity



materials for sensors, heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry

Last update: 09/12/2023