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Synthesis of advanced materials

The synthesis of advanced materials is one of the main activities of IMM. Several state of the art equipments are running in IMM, as well as many methodologies for the realization of advanced materials are developed for various applications, from energetics to nanoelectronics, biomedicine, sensing, environmental/cultural protection. Such materials belong to the sets below:

Nanometer or nanolaminated films

  • oxides: ultra-thin films of transition metal oxides/rare earths
  • transparent conductive oxides and materials
  • nanostructured functionalized semiconductor oxides
  • Selenium- and Tellurium-based chalcogenides
  • hybrid perovskites, manganites, ruthenium, nitrides
  • flexible conductors and semiconductors
  • new nanocomposite materials based on nanostructured polymers, titanium and zinc oxide, graphene oxide.

Low-dimensional structures

  • 0D: Silicon, Germanium and Silicon Carbide nanoparticles, colloidal nanocrystals of metal oxides, pure, doped and in a core-shell configuration.
  • 1D: nanowires and nanotubes of Carbon, Silicon, Titanium, Zinc and Copper oxides, chalcogenide nanowires and core-type (multi) shells based on semiconductors composed of group III -V.
  • 2D: two-dimensional materials such as graphene, silicene, phosphorene or hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), antimonene and transition metal dichalcogenides, as well as their interfacing with magnetic materials.
  • 3D: graphene foams (a porous graphene three-dimensional structure)
  • biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials.

In the following, the instrumentation for material synthesis available in IMM is grouped by deposition technique. Wide expertise on the synthesis is evidenced by the list of materials grown by each technique in the different IMM Units.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (thermal CVD, RF- and VHF-Plasma Enhanced CVD, Inductive Coupled Plasma, ECR)

  • Transition metal dichalcogenides (MoS2, MoSe2, WS2…) - Agrate
  • C-based nanostructures: carbon nanotubes, graphene in single and few layers, graphene foams – Bologna
  • 3C-SiC 4H-SiC Epitaxial growth - Catania HQ
  • Si-based amorphous, micro- and nano-crystalline films/multilayers (intrinsic, B or P doped), p-i-n structures – Bologna
  • LTO, TEOS, Si3N4, poly-Si films and poly-Si nanowires - Bologna
  • α-Si:H (P or B doped), α-SiC:H, SiOxNyCz, Si & SiC Nanoparticles, Si nanowires - Catania HQ
  • 2D graphene, 3D graphene based structures, Carbon nanotubes - Catania
  • SiNx Nanowires, SiOx, a-Si:H - Naples
  • Silicon based 2D/1D materials – Rome

Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD)/Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE)

  • Chalcogenide films and nanowires of Ge, In, Sb, Bi, Te, Se - Agrate
  • III-V based nanostructures (nanowires and related nanostructures) - Lecce

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD, Plasma enhanced)

  • Magnetic thins films (Fe, Co, Fe3O4) and insulating oxides (MgO) - Agrate
  • Transition metal oxides, high k dielectrics, transparent oxides – Agrate
  • Dielectrics (oxides and nitrides), nano-laminated systems, complex oxide thin films - Catania HQ
  • TiO2, ZnO, Al2O3, Ag, Ru, Pt, Pd - Catania

Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)

  • Silicene, stanene, ultra-thin oxides – Agrate
  • SiGe quantum wells, Ge quantum dots, Ultrathin doped layers (FWHM 3 nm) – Catania
  • Van der Waals epitaxial growth of graphene and 2D materials - Lecce    

Sputtering (RF, magnetron, soft PVD)

  • TiN, TaN, and deposition of W and Pt for metal gate – Agrate
  • Metals, TiN, SiO2 Al2O3, TiO2, WO2, SnO2, ITO, AZO, IWO – Bologna
  • Metals, Oxides, Nitrides, Silicides; Hybrid perovskites - Catania HQ
  • Rare earths based compounds, Si and Ge quantum dots in SiO2 and SiOC, TiO2, Cu2O, GeSbTe alloys – Catania
  • Transparent conductive oxides (AZO, ITO, TZO) - Catania
  • SIO2, Si3N4, ITO, Er, ZnO - Naples
  • Oxide and metal thin films – Rome

Evaporation (thermal/E-beam)

  • Metal films (Au, Cr, Ag, Al, Pt, Ti, Ni, Mo,…) and oxides (SiO2, HfO2, NiO,…) – Agrate
  • Metal films (Au, Cr, Ag, Al, Pt, Pd, Ti, Ni, Fe, Co, Mo,…) and oxides (SiO2, Al2O3, NiO …) - Bologna
  • Films of Al, Au, Ti, Pt, Cr - Naples
  • Metal films and Pentacene – Rome

Low-cost chemical and physical synthesis (Wet, self-assembly, one-pot, electrodeposition, metal assisted)

  • Si and TiO2 nanowires, TiO2 nanotubes and nanoplumes, polymeric nanocomposite, ZnO nanorods and nanowalls - NiO nanosheets and nanofoam - Ge colloids – Catania
  • Free-standing polymeric nanocomposites, ordered Si nanoholes, self-assembled molecular monolayers, Carbon nanostructures – Catania HQ
  • Metal oxide colloidal nanocrystals, surface modified metal oxide nanocrystals and thin films – Lecce
  • hybrid polymer-gold nanoparticles, ZnO nanowires – Naples
  • ZnO nanomaterials, Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT) and Nickel thin films - Rome

Annealing (Laser, furnaces)

  • Metal nanoparticles - Rome
  • Si nanoparticles – Bologna

Other processes

  • Graphene, porous Al2O3- Bologna
  • Nanoaggregates synthesis in matrix – Catania HQ

Coordinator: Paola Prete

The synthesis activities are described in more details in the contributions of each Unit reported below:

A step forward on the knowledge of defects aggregation and phase change in photoactive hybrid perovskites


Just published in Nature Communications

You can find the full paper @ https://rdcu.be/bCGpJ


Synthesis of Advanced Materials - Catania HQ

The synthesis of advanced materials at IMM-HQ has represented the historical core expertise of the Institute Headquarters. It currently avails of the experience of 8 complementary and strongly...

Chemical Synthesis of Advanced Nanomaterials

Sol-gel/solvothermal synthesis of colloidal oxide nanostructures in energy conversion/storage systems: copper oxide (CuO) nanocrystals as active components in nanofluids for enhancing the heat...

MBE for graphene and 2D heterostructures
UHV-MBE reactor mod. Riber Compact 21 CLS for graphene and graphene-like materials

The MBE reactor consists of a Riber Compact 21 system working under ultra high vacuum (UHV) specifically designed...

MOVPE of III-V semiconductors nanostructures
  AIXTRON mod. AIX200 MOVPE system for III-V compounds

The 20-years research experience in the field of materials synthesis has been focussed on the MOVPE growth initially of wide band-gap II-VI...

Synthesis of Advanced Materials - Rome Unit

The activity of material synthesis at IMM Rome has two main objectives:


The development of low-dimension structures by using high yield, low-cost and low-temperature growth...
Synthesis of Advanced Materials at Bologna Unit

The long standing experience on the synthesis of materials for electronic applications of IMM Bologna has been devoted to the development of different CVD type of equipment and methodologies for...

Catania Unit


The synthesis of advanced materials is a long standing key activity of the Catania Unit. Several state of the art equipments are installed, as well...