Supported Ultra-small Metal clusters for CAtalytic Reactions
  active project [2023-2025]
Project Leader: Prof. Sergio Paolo TOSONI - Dip. Scienze dei Materiali, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
Head of IMEM activities: Dott.ssa Letizia SAVIO (

Few-metal atoms aggregates deposited on solid supports, usually oxides, are close to the optimal limit of size/activity ratio in heterogenous catalysis. Downsizing to the sub-nano dimension allows to save precious material and maximize the ratio of active metal atoms in the aggregates.

The aim of the SUMCAR project is to study the growth, aggregation, chemical nature and reactivity of sub-nanometric Ni and Pd clusters at the surface of ultrathin MgO films.

 The clusters will be characterized by state-of-the-art experimental surface science techniques such as scanning probe microscopies (STM and AFM) and electron based spectroscopies (XPS, STS, HREELS). Experimental results will be supported by first-principles DFT based calculations. The catalytic activity will be investigated for reaction of paramount relevance to green chemistry and fine synthesis, that involve harmful greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4).

In particular, the IMEM unit is in charge of the investigation of the growth protocol and structural chatacterization of the supported nanoparticles.

RESEARCH units involved:

•Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Dip. Scienze dei Materiali
•Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto dei Materiali per l’Elettronica e il Magnetismo (CNR-IMEM, Genova)
•Università degli Studi di Genova, Dip. Fisica (Genova)


Financed by European Union – Next Generation EU