Micro and Nano Carbon Laboratory Home

The Micro- and Nano-Carbon is a support laboratory at Elettra, born in 2004 granted by the MIUR with the FIRB project "Micro & Nano strutture a base di Carbonio". As his name implies, one of its main activity is related to the study and preparation of carbon nanotubes and other carbon based organic molecules. This facility has been developed within the role of off-line laboratory for samples preparation and analysis before using the beamlines. In general, to perform experiments at Elettra is expensive and the available time is limited. In this view it is desirable to prepare a synchrotron experiment by making preliminary measurements with conventional light sources, which is often useful to justify the request for use of synchrotron light.
Since 2005 more than 30 students have carried out experimental work at the Micro-Nano Carbon Laboratory in preparation of their master degree thesis in Physics or Chemistry, as well as in the framework of their PhD programs in collaboration with several Universities and ICTP. Also, since 2009 the Laboratory hosts part of the experimental activities of the course Laboratorio di Fisica Sperimentale for the Laurea Magistrale in Physics at the University of Trieste.

Research highlights | Publications

Molecule-substrate interaction changes upon metal inclusion into a porphyrin

In free base TPP molecules the overlap of the phenyl orbitals with the substrate is enhanced through a temperature induced reaction, thus reducing the molecule–to–substrate distance. In the metalated (with Co) compound a strong bond establishes between Co and Ag states, leaving the porphyrin macrocycle to a larger distance from the surface with the phenyls rotated even after the annealing. G. Di Santo et al.Chem. - A Europ J. 18(40), 12619–12623 (2012)

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Porphyrin picking-up substrate metal atoms: metalation of 2H-TPP on Fe and Ni

2H-tetraphenyl-porphyrins metalate at room temperature by incorporating a surface metal atom when a (sub)monolayer is deposited on 3d magnetic substrates, like Fe(110) and Ni(111). This is a novel way to form, via chemical modification and supramolecular engineering, 3d metal-organic networks on magnetic substrates with an intimate bond between the macrocycle molecular metal ion and the substrate atoms.
A. Goldoni et al. ACS Nano, 2012, 6 (12), pp 10800-7

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2H-TPP on Ag: carbon de-hydrogenation

Formation of a monolayer of 2H-tetraphenylporphyrins (2H-TPP) on Ag(111), either by sublimation of a multilayer in the range 525–600 K or by annealing (at the same temperature) a monolayer deposited at room temperature, induces a chemical modification of the molecules. We observe a selective carbon de-hydrogenation with the formation of new aryl-aryl bonds between phenyl groups as well as their rotation in a flat conformation. G. Di Santo et al., Chem. - A Europ J. 17(51), 14354-9 (2011)

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Alkali Metal Doped Picene Layers: Insulating Phase in Multilayer Doped Compounds

We studied the electronic structure and the geometric arrangement of picene molecules adsorbed on Ag(111). Our data suggest that the bulk ultrahigh-vacuum films of Kxpicene are in an insulating phase. The observed molecular orientations are in disagreement with the expected crystal structure of the bulk material and may explain the presence of insulating states in strongly correlated doped picene multilayers.

M. Caputo et al. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116 - 37, 19902 (2012)


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Electronic Properties of patterned PEDOT:PSS

A new water-vapour-assisted nanoimprint lithography (NIL) process for the patterning and electronic property control of a conductive polymer (PEDOT:PSS) has been developed. This type of polymer is widely used for  a variety of organic based opto-electronics. Nano structuration of the PEDOT:PSS layer is of key importance for device miniaturization and performance. NIL process is a strong candidate for low cost high throughput technique for PEDOT:PSS nano structuration. Specifically the process was optimized with respect to relative humidity, applied pressure and temperature (RH, P, T).  A.Radivo et al. RSC Adv., 2014,4, 34014-34025

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Gas sensitive single-walled carbon nanotubes layers for environmental monitoring of ammonia

Low-cost chemiresistor gas sensors (CGS) based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) layers have been prepared on different substrates, including flexible plastic foils. These CGS operate in air at room temperature, displaying an enhanced sensitivity to NH3 with a detection limit in air down to 3 ppb. When functionalized with ITO nanoparticles, a sensitivity increase is detected, along with an opposite response towards moisture. F.Rigoni et al. Analyst, 2013, 138, 7392-7399

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By construction, the laboratory is equipped with various experimental systems for surface preparation and caracterization that can help users during or before a beamtime. These systems consist of a sample preparation system supported by a high-temperature plasma enhanced CVD apparatus, a system for photoemission (XPS and UPS), LEED and EELS, a STM microscope working in air, a UHV RT-STM microscope. Furthermore the facility shares, in collaboration with another Lab at Elettra (NanoLab), an AFM microscope system equipped with surface capaciance and work function measurements modules.

The laboratory is also available to italian and foreign students who spend part of their studies at Elettra often introducing in the lab new research topics.

The laboratory team work consists of:

  • short measurements (few days) carried out as a support of other labs/beamilnes at Elettra, or at other research institutions;
  • experiments related to long-term projects lead by the internal team or related to the staging external students course of study.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 16:01