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Name, Surname Mauro Riccò
E-mail Mauro.Ricco@fis.unipr.it
Nationality Italian
Place and Date of birth Virgilio (MN) 24/07/1959


Dates (from – to):

from 01/01/2005: Associate Professor confirmed in the SSD FIS / 03 (Physics of matter) at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Parma.

01/09/90-31/12/2004: Researcher in the group B01A (General Physics) of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Parma afferent to the Department of Physics.

Main activities and responsibilities:

Holds the chair of General Physics 2 (Degree Course in Engineering Management).
Founder and coordinator of the Carbon Nanostructures Laboratory of the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences.


Dates (from – to):

01/11/1985-31/10/1988 PhD in Physics (Cycle II)

01/11/1978 to 26/07/84 Degree in Physics, University of Parma
Rating: 110/110 cum laude

Principal subjects occupational skills covered:

During my training period (Degree and Doctorate), I became familiar with the use of three investigative techniques: solid-state NMR, spectroscopy of polarized muons (μSR) and quasi-elastic and inelastic neutron scattering. During my work as a researcher these skills have been completed with the study of techniques for structural analysis (X-ray powder diffraction and neutron and PDF analysis) and magnetometry (SQUID).
Since 1991, I coordinate the research group on carbon nanostructures (Carbon Nanostructures Laboratory, CNL,http://www.fis.unipr.it/nanocarbon) whose mail activities are: the chemical synthesis of nanostructures as well as their derivatives (fullerenes and graphene), their characterization and their study with the techniques I mentioned previously. The three main subject of CNL are: fullerene based superconductors, carbon based materials for hydrogen storage and carbon based materials for batteries electrodes.
From 2005 to 2008 I was the international coordinator of the NEST-EU project “Ferrocarbon” (www.ferrocarbon.eu) whose motivation was the investigation of magnetism in carbon materials.
From 2010 to 2013 I was the local coordinator of the Swiss National Science Foundation -Sinergia project “Hycarbo” on the investigation of carbon based hydrogen storage materials.
From 2011 I am the local coordinator of the IRSES-EU project “MagNonMag” on the investigation of magnetism in non magnetic elements.
I was also the local coordinator of several national projects.


Research sectors:

Over the past two years my research has focused on the following topics:
1- Hydrogen storage in fullerides intercalated with clusters of alkali metals.
2- Hydrogen storage in graphene decorated with clusters of transition metals
3- Use of graphene and its derivatives as an electrode (anode) in lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries.
4- Study of superconductivity in fullerides and in particular in Cs3C60.
5- Study of defects induced magnetism in graphene.
6- Study of the magnetic properties of metal carbonyl cluster.
7- Study of the ionic conductivity in Li, Na, and Mg fullerides.

Recent Scientific Activities:

1-We found that alkali metal (Li and Na) clusters intercalated fullerenes (fullerides) are good absorbers of hydrogen [1,2]. Hydrogen amount up to 6% by weight can be reversibly absorbed by these materials at temperatures of 200-300C. The study with neutron diffraction in situ during H2 absorption showed that hydrogen produces both hydrofullerene (C60Hx with x up to 48) and the alkali metal hydride [1]. In the fullerite these compounds, obtainable even individually, are produced at much lower temperatures and in a reversible way. The study of these materials with polarized muon spectroscopy (μSR) has also allowed us to clarify the mechanism of hydrogenation and suggests what changes are needed to optimize it [3]. Following that, the co-intercalation of clusters of transition metals has made it possible to increase the storage capability of these materials [4].

2- Graphene, due to its high specific surface is an excellent candidate for the absorption of gas including hydrogen. The interaction of the hydrogen molecule with the graphene plane however, is very weak, while a strong capture activity is instead operated by defects [5]. A possible solution is then to induce the chemisorption of hydrogen on graphene (producing graphane) which however requires the dissociation of the molecule. This can be operated by atoms or clusters of transition metals (spillover effect). For this purpose graphene decorated with various metals such as Ni, Pt, Co [6] have been prepared in our laboratory and characterized. In the case of Pt single atoms decoration was recently achieved. The absorption of hydrogen by these systems is under study.

3- The exceptional mobility of carriers in graphene and its tendency to intercalate alkali metals make it a suitable material for the construction of electrodes (anodes) for ionic batteries with capacity and peak currents higher than batteries built with conventional materials. Preliminary tests on batteries built with chemically produced graphene, or Ni nanoparticles decorated graphene and graphene treated with hydrogen showed a clear improvement in performance compared to commercial batteries[6a].

4- The superconductivity of the compounds A3C60 (A = alkali metal) has been extensively studied over the last 20 years, however the various experimental evidences still do not allow us to clarify the role that the electron-phonon coupling, the Jahn-Teller effect, the magnetism (Hund energy) and, more generally, the electronic correlations have in inducing the superconducting phase. More recently it was discovered that Cs3C60 under the application of pressure converts from a magnetic Mott insulator to a superconducting metal. We found by NMR studies at high pressure, that both phases (fcc and A15) of this compound have similar phase diagrams [7]. Furthermore, the electronic correlations seem to play an important role in the stabilization of the metal phase [8] and seem to favor the onset of superconductivity [9]. Quite recently we discovered that a common C60 based superconductor like K3C60, if optically excited, can form a transient superconductive state with an enhanced transition temperature (up to 200K)[9a].
Several theoretical studies also claim that a compound in which the C60 is oxidized rather than reduced (fullerenium salt) can show superconductivity at temperatures higher than those up to now observed in fullerides. We have prepared for the first time a fullerenium salt and we showed that the extreme reactivity of the C60 cation induces the polymerization of the molecules thus inhibiting the formation of a metallic phase [10].

5- Several theoretical studies predict that defects in graphene, in particular vacancies and chemisorbed hydrogen atoms, are associated with a magnetic moment and the polarization of the two honeycomb sublattices operated by these magnetic moments can induce an extended magnetic order (ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic). Our SQUID magnetometry and μSR studied show that although the defects are associated with paramagnetic centers the occurrence of any magnetic order is not observed [11]. Furthermore, following the reactions that Muonium (Mu, isotope of hydrogen) has on the plane of graphene, it is observed a strong vacancies trapping efficiency (for Mu and for H) [12]. Quite recently we also observed clear signatures for the formation of antiferromagnetic order in functionalized graphene[12a].

6- The metal carbonyl clusters represent the smallest metal aggregates experimentally obtainable in large quantities, and as molecules, they are absolutely monodispersed. These aggregates represent an ideal model system for the study of the onset of metallicity and magnetism as a function of the nuclearity of the metal cluster. Measurements of conductivity and SQUID magnetometry allowed to clarify how the structural properties [13], the valence [14] and the electronic structure [15] affect the bulk properties of these systems.

7- Some fullerides intercalated with small alkali ions show polymerization of the C60 molecules thus forming a carbonaceous rigid lattice with large interstitial regions. The diffusion of alkali ions through these interstices is particularly favored and these compounds show an exceptional superionic conductivity [16]. Li4C60 and Mg2C60 [17] can then be used as new materials for the construction of higly performing solid electrolytes in ionic batteries.

Books and Articles:

The scientific production can be summarized as follows:
- 99 publications in refereed international journals or books;
- 14 Invited seminars
- 92 posters and participation in national and international conferences with publication of proceedings.
1 European patent.

Bibliometric indicators:

h-index 14, Total citations 640.

Most recent pubblications:
[1]-P. Mauron, et. al., Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 37 (2012) 14307.
-P. Mauron, et. al., J. Phys. Chem. C 119 (2015) 1714-1719.
[2]-P. Mauron, et. al., J. Phys. Chem C 117 (2013) 22598-22602.
- M. Gaboardi, et. al., J. Phys. Chem. C 119, 19715 (2015).
- L. Maidich, , et. al., Carbon, 96 (2016) 276-284.
[3]-M. Aramini , et. al., Carbon 67 (2014) 92-97.
-M. Gaboardi, et. al., Carbon, 90 (2015) 130-137.
[4]M. Aramini, et. al., Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 39 (2014), 2124-2131.
[5]D. Pontiroli, et. al., J. Phys Chem. C, 118 (2014) 7110-7116.
[6]M. Gaboardi, et. al., J. Mat. Chem. A, 2 (2014) 1039-1046.
[6a]J. C. Pramudita, et. al., ChemElectroChem 2 (2015) 600-610.
[7]Y. Ihara, et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 104 (2010) 256402.
[8] Y. Ihara, et. al., Europhys. Lett. 94 (2011) 37007.
[9] P. Wzietek, et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, (2014) 066401.
- L. Baldassarre, et. al., Sci. Rep. 5 (2015) 15240.
[9a] M. Mitrano, et. al., Accepted on Nature.
[10]M. Riccò, et. al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132 (2010) 2064-2068.
[11]M. Riccò, et. al., Phys. Scr. 88 (2013) 068508.
[12] M. Riccò, et. al., Nano Letters 11 (2011) 4919-4922.
[12a] A. A. Komlev, et. al., J. Magn. Magn. Mat. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2015.11.053
[13]I. Ciabatti, et. al., Dalton Transactions, 43 (11) (2014) 4388-99.
[14]C. Femoni, et. al., Eur. J. Inorg. Chem.2014, 4151-4158.
[15]C. Femoni, , et. al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132 (2010) 2919-2927.
[16]M. Riccò, et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 (2009) 145901.
[17]-D. Pontiroli, et. al., Carbon, 51 (2013) 143-147.
- S. Rols, et. al., Phys. Rev. B 92 (2015) 014305.

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2024/2025

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2023/2024

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2022/2023

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2021/2022

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2020/2021

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2014/2015

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2013/2014




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