The group of Prof. Saracco is composed of four academic staff and about fifteen PhD students and post-docs: all are pure chemists by trade, so bringing into the Politecnico team skills in chemistry needed for the Artiphyction project. This group works in the field of: i) preparation of porous materials, both insulators (silicas and organosilicas), conductors (carbons) and semiconductors (porous silicon); ii) characterisation of the morphology and texture of the solids; iii) modification of surfaces through grafting (functionalisation) or deposition of nanoparticles (or massive dye molecules); iv) characterisation of the surface structure and properties by a rather wide set of classical spectroscopies, among which predominates the IR spectroscopy of adsorbed species, acting as probes of the molecules itself. Moreover, for the membrane developments the group will take advantage of the facilities present at the Politecnico di Torino site in Alessandria (Italy), lead by Prof. Saracco. Finally, the group of Prof. Tresso has at its disposal a 150 m2 clean-room for micro and nanodevice assembly and realization. Each technological step is available; starting from materials deposition techniques like PVD (Plasma Vapor Deposition), CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), sputtering, electro gun evaporation, passing to pattern transfer by photolithography, electron beam lithography, laser lithography, AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) lithography, arriving to dry and wet etching techniques. For material morphological characterization optical microscopy, AFM, SNOM (Scanning Near Field Optical Microscope), FESEM (Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope) are present, while for compositional analysis there are FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra Red), micro Raman and SERS (Surface Enhanded Raman Spectroscopy). All the equipments make the Micro- and nano- technology group competitive in the field of micro- and nano- device construction. Part of the group is devoted to atomistic simulations with applications in photovoltaics; a Linux cluster (44 processors) has been recently bought to support this theoretical activity.

CVs of key personnel

Prof. Guido Saracco: graduated and got his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino where he is now full professor in Industrial and Technological Chemistry and Head of the Applied Science and Technology Department. Author of about 200 papers on chemical reaction engineering and separation processes, he has been scientific responsible of several EU projects (SYLOC-DEXA; BIOFEAT; HyTRAN, MOREPOWER; FLEXHEAT; ATLANTIS). As in the present project, he has already been the coordinator of the EU project BIOFEAT.

Prof. James Barber: James Barber graduated in Chemistry (BSc) and Biophysics (MSC, PhD) and is a Visiting Professor to Politecnico di Torino (POLITO). In 2007, he founded the Biosolar Lab at POLITO for research on natural and artificial photosynthesis with a focus on solar energy capture and conversion. He has author over 600 papers on the biophysical, biochemical and structural properties of photosynthetic photosystems and, while at Imperial College London, had continuous funding from the UK research councils for almost 40 years. He has received many honours for his research achievements including election to the Royal Society of London (FRS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), the Royal Swedish Academy and European Academy and has been awarded several prestigious medals: Flintoff (2002), Novartis (2006) and Wheland (2007). Moreover, he was the recipient of the 2005 Italgas/Eni Prize for energy research.

Prof. Elena Tresso: Associate Professor in General Physics since 1999. Co-author of more than 150 publications on international journals with referee. The research activity is experimental, in the structure of the matter, in particular in amorphous and microcrystalline materials for optoelectronic devices, thin films growth and characterization, micro-electronics, photonics and micro-mechanics technologies. The Group “Materials and Processes for Micro and nanotechnologies” of Politecnico of Torino, to which Elena Tresso belongs, has a well established experience in the growth, characterization and processes of semiconductors and insulating materials.