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Reader in Nanomaterials

Laurea Università Statale di Milano
PhD University of Cambridge

Electron Microscopy of Nanomaterials

My main research interest is nanomaterials, and in particular the relationship between their structure and their electronic and optical properties, for applications in photovoltaics, photocatalysis and optoelectronics. We investigate nanomaterials, nanocomposites and devices at a range length scales using the advanced imaging and analytical techniques available at the Wolfson Electron Microscopy Suite.

One of the key challenges in this area is to study how single particles, interfaces and junctions can support chemical and physical processes at the nanoscale. We are interested in quantifying morphology, crystallography and composition when nanomaterials are activated using external stimuli such as electrical bias, heat, photon illumination, liquid flow. To achieve these goals, we develop tools and methods for in situ TEM analysis of nanomaterials and devices, and have most recently focused on light emitting diodes, hybrid organic-inorganic nanostructured solar cells, and electrochemical cells.

Having worked on nucleation and growth of nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes,  semiconductor nanowires, and metal oxide nanoparticles, since the beginning of my Ph.D., I am also deeply interested in understanding the processes that govern growth at the nanoscale. Most recently I have been involved in research on the self-assembly of polymeric raspberry particles in the liquid phase, in particular with the aim to monitor their evolution in the TEM coupled in continuous flow to a synthesis reactor.


Nanocrystals of CsPbI_3 and CsPbCl_3 used in light emitting diodes, are imaged in HAADF STEM mode. Their photon emission in response to electron irradiation is shown in (b) (inverted contrast). Superposition of (a) and (b) highlights the efficient emission of individual cubic CsPbI_3 nanocrystals. Scale bars correspond to 50 nm.


    • Cacovich, S., Ciná, L., Matteocci, F., Divitini, G., Midgley, P. A., Di Carlo, A., & Ducati, C. (2017). Gold and iodine diffusion in large area perovskite solar cells under illumination.. Nanoscale, 9(14), 4700-4706. doi:10.1039/c7nr00784a
    • Cacovich, S., Divitini, G., Ireland, C., Matteocci, F., Di Carlo, A., & Ducati, C. (2016). Elemental Mapping of Perovskite Solar Cells by Using Multivariate Analysis: An Insight into Degradation Processes.. ChemSusChem, 9(18), 2673-2678. doi:10.1002/cssc.201600913
    • Davis, N. J. L. K., de la Peña, F. J., Tabachnyk, M., Richter, J. M., Lamboll, R. D., Booker, E. P., . . . Greenham, N. C. (2017). Photon Reabsorption in Mixed CsPbCl3:CsPbI3 Perovskite Nanocrystal Films for Light-Emitting Diodes.. J Phys Chem C Nanomater Interfaces, 121(7), 3790-3796. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b12828
    • Michan, A. L., Divitini, G., Pell, A. J., Leskes, M., Ducati, C., & Grey, C. P. (2016). Solid Electrolyte Interphase Growth and Capacity Loss in Silicon Electrodes.. J Am Chem Soc, 138(25), 7918-7931. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b02882
    • Divitini, G., Cacovich, S., Matteocci, F., Cina, L., Di Carlo, A., & Ducati, C. (2016). In situ observation of heat-induced degradation of perovskite solar cells. NATURE ENERGY, 1. doi:10.1038/NENERGY.2015.12