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Nanoparticles: advances in synthesis, characterization, theoretical modelling and applications

Recent advances in the synthesis of nanoparticles, and in atomic-scale characterization, coupled with insights from theoretical modelling, have opened exciting possibilities to tailor nanoparticles for many applications, such as catalysis, plasmonics, sensors, magnetism, and biomedical applications.


Nanoparticles are attracting much interest for both fundamental scientific reasons as well as for practical applications. In studying their fundamental properties, chemist, physicists, and materials scientists meet. Their properties are strikingly different from those of the corresponding macrocrystalline materials, and based on that applications can be found in fields as diverse as biomedical applications, environmental sciences, optics, electronics and catalysis. Important recent progress is due to advances in controlled assembly of nanoparticles, both by wet-chemical as well as by physical preparation techniques, impressive progress in the resolution of characerisation techniques, offering more and more the possibility to study the formation and functionality of these nanoparticles in situ, coupled to important developments in the field of computatonal chemistry and physiscs, allowing to increasingly understand the fundamental basis of their properties.

This symposium builds on last years success and will bring together again leading experts on advanced techniques for nanoparticle synthesis, in order to promote cross fertilization and to inspire progresses in the control of nanoparticle size, shape, composition and functionalization as well as in the fabrication of nanopartucles with controlled morpmplex morphologies and composition. Characterization techniques with high spatial resolution, spectroscopic capability and chemical sensitivity are an essential tool not only to investigate the output of the synthesis procedures but also to elucidate the structure-property relationships of these particles. This interdisciplinary forum will be completed by the participation of renowned experts in theoretical modelling and simulation of NPs structure and properties, which is of paramount importance both for understanding atomic and electronic structure and to predict non- trivial unexpected behaviour and new phenomena. The symposium will include also a few selected experts on functionality and practical applications of these nanomaterials. Given the “hot topic” nature of the symposium and the unique interdisciplinary discussion opportunities it will provide, we expect a numerous and high quality attendance.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

1. Recent development in nanoparticle synthesis techniques

  • Wet-chemical : colloidal preparation, emulsions, impregnation  
  • Gas phase preparation : ALD, spark discharge, size-selected nanoclusters
  • Lithography

2. Structural / chemical analysis of nanoparticles

  • Electron microscopy : high resolution/in-situ/acquisition and detection methodology
  • Advanced spectroscopy
  • Advanced difrraction and scattering techniques

3. Theoretical modelling of nanoparticles

  • Atomic ordering and electronic structure
  • Dynamical processes, excitations, reactions

4. Applications of nanoparticles

  • Structure-property relationships
  • Theoretical predictions vs experiment
  • Optical, catalytic, electronic, magnetic, sensing, biomedical

Invited speakers:

  • Stig Helveg (Haldor Topsoe, Denmark): “Electron microscopy advances in catalysis”
  • Andrea Baldi (DIFFER Institute for Energy Research, the Netherlands): “Plasmonics for Chemistry: sensing and driving chemical reactions using noble metal nanoparticles”
  • Zineb Saghi (CEA, France): “Advanced methods for 3D characterization of nanostructures”
  • Paola Luches (National Research Council, Italy): "Interaction between plasmonic nanoparticles and reducible oxides"
  • Sarah Haigh (Manchester University, United Kingdom)
  • Maria-Magdalena Titirici (Imperial College London, United Kingdom): “Biomass-derived carbon dots: Synthesis, Characterisation and Applications”
  • Hyunjeong Kim (National Institute of Advance Industrial Science & Technology, Japan): ”Structure of nanoconfined particles using atomic pair distribution function analysis”
  • Laura Prati (University of Milan, Italy): “Bimetallic particles prepared via colloidal routes: synthesis and application”
  • Paola Ceroni (University of Bologna, Italy): “Luminescent silicon nanocrystals for energy conversion and imaging”
  • Thomas Reisinger (Karlsruhe Inst. of Technol., Germany): “'Magnetic properties of nanocomposite thin films prepared with size-selective cluster-ion beam deposition”
  • Tanja Kallio (Aalto University, Finland): “”Platinum electrocatalysts with ultra-low metal loadings: effect of morphology”
  • Matthieu Bugnet (Lyon University, France): “Advancing the understanding of gas-surface interactions of ceria nanoparticles with environmental TEM”
  • Engelbert Redel (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany): “Growing nanoparticles in Surface Anchored Metal Organic Frameworks: Methods, Synthesis and Applications”
  • Deanna D’Alessandro (The University of Sydney, Australia, tbc)
  • Claudia Zlotea (CNRS, France) : ”Hydrogen interaction with noble metal nanoparticles : size and composition effects”

Scientific Advisory Commitee:

  • Bjorn C. Hauback (NO)
  • Hannes Jonsson (IS)
  • Horst Hahn (DE)
  • Tejs Vegge (DK)
  • Asunción Fernández (ES)
  • Renu Sharma (USA)
  • Rik Brydson (UK)
  • Damien Alloyeau (FR)

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Symposium organizers
Luca PASQUINIUniversity of Bologna

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Viale Berti-Pichat 6/2, Bologna, Italy
Patricia ABELLANSuperSTEM Laboratory, SciTech Daresbury

Keckwich Lane, WA4 4AD Daresbury, U.K.
Petra DE JONGHUtrecht University

Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
Petra SZILAGYIQueen Mary University of London

Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, U.K.