Realization of polymer nanocomposites with photocatalytic properties for application in water treatment. Synthesis of molecularly imprinted materials (polymers or inorganic semiconductors) for the recognition and the removal of organic pollutants.
Maria Cantarella attained her Master Degree in Materials Chemistry with full marks (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Catania in 2011. She worked with a fellowship at the CNR-IPCB institute of Catania since September 2012 to December 2013. In January 2014, she started the Ph.D. course in Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Catania and CNR-IMM. During this period, her research activity was focused on the realization of photocatalytic polymer nanocomposites for water treatment. Furthermore, she spent part of her PhD course at Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden), with an Erasmus grant, working on the synthesis and characterization of molecularly imprinted polymers for the removal of emerging contaminants from water. She attained the Ph.D. (cum laude) in March 2017. Currently, she is a post-doc at the CNR-IMM, working on the synthesis of molecularly imprinted materials.
She has a remarkable expertise in several characterization techniques and methodology, such as photodegradation tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), optical measurements, contact angles measurements, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), total organic carbon analysis (TOC), flow-injection quartz crystal microbalance analysis (QCM).
She gave several oral contributions to national and international conferences, in particular she held one invited presentation at the XVI Brazilian-MRS. She received one Young Scientist Award by the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS).
Maria Cantarella is author or co-author of several articles, published in international referred scientific journals. She is reviewer of several international scientific journals.