A team of researchers in the areas of Chemistry, Physics and Biology of the University of Torino, has constituted the NIS – “Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces” Centre which has been awarded the status of “Centre of Excellence” by the Italian Ministry of Higher Education and Research in 2003. The central topic of the Centre is nanotechnology of surfaces which has a profound impact on a variety of technological fields ranging from structural materials to biological systems, catalysis, electronics and others.
Research Activity of NIS Centre of Excellence is organized into the following major lines of work:
• Nanostructured metallic materials
• Methods for materials and surfaces modelling
• Thin polyfunctional nano- and micro-structured strates of semi- and super-conductor materials
• Surface chemistry
• Hydrogen: materials for its production and storage
• Nanostructured materials for adsorption and catalysis
• Photoactive materials and molecules
• Supramolecular chemistry
• Biocompatibility, bioactivity and toxicity of nanomaterials
• Biophysics, biosensors and neurochips
• Technology and knowledge transfer
• Nanostructured, nanocomposite and functionalized polymer materials and carbons
The NIS at the University of Turin and the Faculty of Chemistry of Sofia University have common fields of collaborations in all 4 research areas included in the project. In the field of Materials for clean and renewable energy, the Nanostructured metallic materials group has expertise on rapid solidification, metallic glasses, phase transformations in metals in common with the Laboratory of Solid-State Chemistry and Materials Science in the Faculty. Furthermore, the groups have complementary interests on materials for hydrogen storage such as intermetallic compounds, inorganic hydrides, and metallorganic framework materials. In the field of Materials for environment protection, a series of experimental studies in catalytic materials aimed at improved processing, more efficient syntheses, and pollutant reduction are of common interest. The expertise developed by NIS members in modelling of solids and surfaces by deployment of renown software packages would find a profitable interaction with the Sofia group for computational modelling in catalysis. Both partners study aspects of organic photochemistry by developing dyes for various applications. Here also the synthesis of dyes for organic solar cells are included for which the need for measuring optical properties is apparent. As for Materials with pharmaceutical and medical applications, the physical and chemical modification of polymer surfaces is sought in both institutions for application as implant materials and textiles for which nano- and macro- composites are developed. The excellent experience in microstructural analysis of NIS researchers will be useful for the Faculty in relation with high level training and know-how transfer for the personnel working with the new TEM equipment acquired within the project. The experts from NIS will provide onsite guidance in the advanced use of the new instrument.