Photophysics and Photochemistry (Prof. Fausto Elisei)

Research Area: 

Photophysics and photochemistry by steady-state and time-resolved spectrophotometric and fluorimetric techniques.

Research Units:

Photobehaviour of drugs – Studies on photophysical and photochemical properties of compounds of pharmaceutical and biological interest and on interactions of drugs with biological targets (polynucleotides, proteins and DNA). Micelles and cyclodextrines as drug carriers.

Photochemistry of aryl olefins – Luminescence properties, photoreaction (isomerization, cyclization) mechanisms and conformational equilibria of diarylethenes and distyrylarenes. The effects of heteroatoms, additives (energy, electron and proton donor/acceptors) and complex matrices are particularly investigated.

Chromogenic systems – The study deals with different interrelated lines: (i) spectral and kinetic behaviour of new photochromic compounds; (ii) inclusion into organised systems and solid matrices searching for a route to optically switchable materials for applications; (iii) role of selective electronic and vibronic excitation on the photochromic reaction; (iv) interactions of photochromes with biomolecules; (v) development of molecular processors for Fuzzy and Boolean logic.

Nanostructured materials – (i) Synthesis and morphological characterization of inorganic and hybrid colloidal nanoparticles useful for bio-medical applications and energy conversion; investigation of the photophysical and photochemical behavior of the nanomaterials as function of their surface functionalization. (ii). Preparation and characterization of inclusion compounds formed by inorganic nanostructured solids and organic dyes; investigation of the optical and photochemical properties of the dyes as function of their arrangements in the matrices; evaluation of the interactions of the organo-inorganic composites with biomacromolecules.

Materials used in works of art – Spectral characterization and photodegradation processes of colorants and additives present in painted layers (binders and varnishes) and artistic textiles (mordants); assemblage and validation of portable instrumentation. Investigation of laboratory samples (mimicking materials used in polychromatic surfaces) and original works by using non destructive, in situ, reflectance fluorimetric and  spectrophotometric techniques.

Scintillators – Optical properties of liquid scintillators. Optimization of their performances (emission yield, response time, attenuation length, durability) for their use in large-scale detectors of solar neutrinos and dark matter searches.

Photoresistors – This study concerns the photophysical and photochemical characterization of some classes of photoacid-generators and their mechanism of action in photolithography.

Preparation and characterization of photo-catalysts to perform water splitting through solar energy.

Up conversion of incoherent light through organic, coordination compounds and rare earth ions.

Ultrafast processes – Femtosecond spectro-kinetic measurements in absorption and emission (λexc = 266 and 300-600 nm) to investigate the mechanisms of photoinduced reactions at early stage after excitation and the dynamics of the media around the excited species.

Design, synthesis and characterization of amphiphilic molecules and ionic liquids – The research activity is focused on the study of chemical and biochemical reactivity, transport and delivery of biologically-active molecules in presence of amphiphilic supramolecular systems, gels and ionic liquids. The ultimate objective is that of preparing more efficient and specific materials to be exploited in several applications in the fields of chemistry, biomedicine and more generally in the materials science area. More recently strong interest is also devoted to study of amphiphilic nanostructure effects on photophysics and photochemical properties of tetracyclines and chemosensors.

Chemosensors – Fluorescent and chromogenic chemosensors are developed able to reveal quickly, selectively and sensitively ionic species in aqueous and micellar solutions. The target is the use of these systems to reveal the presence of ions in particular in vitro and in vivo cellular tests and to make this approach more promising than other analytical methods.

TiO2 photocatalytic reactions – Mechanistic investigations are in progress on the primary oxidation steps of the TiO2-sensitized photooxidation of organic compounds in aqueous and surfactant solutions, which could provide useful information about the degradation pathways involved in the mineralization of organic pollutants in waste water.


Fausto Elisei ( - Full Professor – COORDINATOR
Raimondo Germani ( - Full Professor
Ugo Mazzucato ( - Emeritus Professor
Loredana Latterini ( - Associate Professor
Anna Spalletti ( - Associate Professor
Benedetta Carlotti ( – Researcher
Catia Clementi ( – Researcher
Pier Luigi Gentili ( – Researcher
Fausto Ortica ( – Researcher
Luigi Tarpani ( - Researcher
Alessio Cesaretti  ( - PhD Student
Chiara Grazia ( - PhD Student
Giuseppina Massaro ( - PhD Student
Alessandra Mazzoli ( - PhD Student
Francesco Nucera ( – PhD student
Danilo Pannacci ( – Technician
Nicomede Pelliccia ( - Technician


G. Favaro (Perugia, Italy), G.G. Aloisi (Perugia, Italy), F. Rossi (Perugia, Italy), C. Emiliani (Perugia, Italy), J.M. Kenny (Perugia, Italy), L. Perioli (Perugia, Italy), V. Ambrogi (Perugia, Italy), E. Baciocchi (Roma, Italy), F. Momicchioli(Modena, Italy), S. Caffieri (Padova, Italy), T. Caronna (Bergamo, Italy) G. Chidichimo (Cosenza, Italy), Francesco Dall'Acqua (Padova, Italy), G. Musumarra (Catania, Italy), G. Orlandi (Bologna, Italy), M. Olivucci (Siena, Italy), C. Viappiani (Parma, Italy); M. A. J. Rodgers (Bowling Green State University) and R.S. Becker (University of Houston), C. Moustrou (Luminy, Francia), W. Novik (Paris, Francia), J. Hofkens (Leuven, Belgio), M. Sauer (Würzburg, Germania), D. Lapotko (Minsk, Bielorussia), J. Van Stam (Karlstad, Svezia), A. Samat (Marseille, Francia), Luis F. V. Ferriera (Lisbona, Portogallo), L. A. Bottomley (Atlanta, Stati Uniti), G. Vermeersch (Lille, Francia), S. Seixas de Melo (Coimbra, Portogallo), M. Sindler (Zagreb, Croazia), A.L. Maçanita (Lisbona, Portogallo).

Research Projects: 

- MIUR: PRIN 2010-2011;
- MIUR: Cluster Chimica Verde 2014-2016;
- MIUR: FIRB 2013;
- Programma Galileo 2013-2014;
- INAIL - Convenzione di Ricerca 2012-2014;
- INFN (progetti Borexino e Darkside);
- PON ITACHA 2012-2014: Tecnologie Italiane per applicazioni avanzate nei beni culturali;
- Progetto europeo CHARISMA (Cultural Heritage Advanced Research Infrastructures: Synergy for a Multidisciplinary Approach to conservation/restoration, FP7 2009-14).



Italian Guests: 


Foreign Guests: 


Ph.D. Students: 


Thesis Students: 


Lecturers Mobility: 


Students Mobility: 


Contracts and Accords: 


Selected Publications: 

1. B. Carlotti, T. Del Giacco and F. Elisei, Competition of C-H and C-O fragmentation in substituted p-methoxybenzyl ether radical cations generated by photosensitized oxidation, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2013, 12, 489-499.

2. B. Carlotti, I. Kikaš, I. Škorić, A. Spalletti and F. Elisei, Photophysics of push-pull distyryl furans, thiophens and pyridynese, ChemPhysChem, 2013, 14, 970-981.

3. B. Doherty, A. Daveri, C. Clementi, A. Romani, S. Bioletti, B. Brunetti, A. Sgamellotti and C. Miliani, The Book of Kells: A non-invasive MOLAB investigation by complementary spectroscopic techniques, Spectrochim Acta A, 2013, 115, 330-336.

4. F. Rosi, C. Clementi, M. Paolantoni, A. Romani, R. Pellegrino, B. G. Brunetti, W. Nowik and C. Miliani, Study of Raman scattering and luminescence properties of orchil dye for its nondestructive identification on artworks, J. Raman Spectroscopy, 2013, 44, 1451-1456.

5. T. Cavattoni, T. Del Giacco, O. Lanzalunga,  M. Mazzonna and P. Mencarelli, Structural Effects on the C−S Bond Cleavage in Aryl tert-Butyl Sulfoxide Radical Cations, J. Org. Chem., 2013, 78, 4886-4894.

6. M. Penconi, F. Ortica, F. Elisei and P.L. Gentili, New molecular pairs for low power non-coherent triplet-triplet annihilation based upconversion: dependence on the triplet energies of sensitizer and emitter, J. Lumin., 2013, 135, 265-270.

7. P. L. Gentili, Small steps towards the development of chemical artificial intelligent systems. RSC Advances, 2013, 3, 25523-25549.

8. P. L. Gentili, Processing Fuzzy Logic by Molecules, Fuzzy Logic: Applications, Systems and Technologies, Editor Dinko Vukadinovic, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2013, pag. 133-152. (ISBN: 978-1-62417-151-2)

9. A. Di Michele, R. Germani, G. Pastori, N. Spreti and L. Brinchi, Effects of temperature on micellar-assisted bimolecular reaction of methylnaphthalene-2-sulphonate with bromide and chloride ions, J. Colloid Interface Sci., 2013, 402, 165-172.

10. M. V. Mancini, N. Spreti, P. Di Profio and R. Germani, Understanding mercury extraction mechanism in ionic liquids, Sep. Purif. Technol., 2013, 116, 294-299.

11. M. Tiecco, G. Cardinali, L. Roscini, R. Germani and L. Corte, Biocidic and inhibitory activity screening of de novo synthesized surfactants against two eukaryotic and two prokaryotic microbial species, Colloid and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2013, 111, 407-417.

12. L. De Matteis, R. Germani, M. V. Mancini, G. Savelli, N. Spreti, L. Brinchi, G. Pastori, Investigations to optimize the catalytic performance of CPO encapsulated in PEG 200-doped silica matrices, J. Molecular Catalysis, B: Enzymatic, 2013, 97, 23-30.

13. A. Di Crescenzo, L. Bardini, B. Sinjari, T. Traini, L. Marinelli, M. Carraro, R. Germani, P. Di Profio, S. Caputi, A. Di Stefano, M. Bonchio, F. Paolucci and A. Fontana, Novel surfactant hydrogels for the dispersion of carbon nanotube-based catalysts, Chemistry - A European Journal, 2013, 19, 16415-16423.

14. V. Ambrogi, L. Latterini, F. Marmottini, C. Pagano and M. Ricci, Mesoporous silicate MCM-41 as a particulate carrier for octyl methoxycinnamate: Sunscreen release and photostability, J. Pharm. Sci., 2013, 102, 1468-1475.

15. M. Nocchetti, A. Donnadio, V. Ambrogi, P. Andreani, M. Bastianini, D. Pietrella and L. Latterini, Ag/AgCl nanoparticle decorated layered double hydroxides: synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial properties, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 2383-2393.

16. S. Rinaldi, E Fortunati, M Taddei, J.M. Kenny, I. Armentano and L. Latterini, Integrated PLGA-Ag nanocomposite systems to control the degradation rate and antibacterial properties, J. Appl. Polym. Sci.. 2013, 130, 1185-1193.

17. N. Rescignano, L. Tarpani, R. Tiribuzi, S. Montesano, S. Martino, L. Latterini, J. M. Kenny, I. Armentano, Protein encapsulation in biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles: morphology, fluorescence behaviour and stem cell uptake, Macromolecular Bioscience, 2013, 13, 1204-1212.

18. U. Costantino, F. Costantino, F. Elisei, L. Latterini and M. Nocchetti, Coupling physical chemical techniques with hydrotalcite-like compounds to exploit their structural features and new multifunctional hybrids with luminescent properties, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 13254-13269.

19. S. Rinaldi and L. Latterini, Development of Versatile Synthetic Procedures to Prepare Colloidal Silver Nanoparticles with Defined Properties, in Silver Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Uses and Health Concerns, I. Armentano J.M. Kenny Ed., Nova Publisher p. 3-14.

20. V. Ambrogi, L. Latterini, F. Marmottini, C. Tiralti and M. Ricci, Oxybenzone entrappend in Mesoporous silicate MCM41, J. Pharm. Innov., 2013, 8, 212-217.

21. L. Latterini and L. Tarpani, Driving the interactions between organic nanoparticles and phospholipid membranes by an easy treatment of the stabilizer shell, Langmuir, 2013, 29, 11405-11412.

22. A. Iagatti, R. Flamini, M. Nocchetti and L. Latterini, Photoinduced Formation of Bi-Thiophene Radical Cation Via a Hole-Transfer Process from CdS Nanocrystals, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2013, 117, 23996-24002.

23. P. Lombardi, F. Ortica, G. Ranucci and A. Romani, Decay time and pulse shape discrimination of liquid scintillators based on novel solvents, Nucl. Instr. Meth. A, 2013, 701, 133-144.

24. G. Favaro, F. Ortica and A. Romani, Role of heteroaromatic cycles in the inter- and intra-molecular dynamics of excited aryl ketones, J. Photochem. Photobiol. C, 2013, 16, 22-45.

25. G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, … et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Measurement of geo-neutrinos from 1353 days of Borexino, Phys. Lett. B, 2013, 722, 295-300.

26. G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, … et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Lifetime measurements of 214Po and 212Po with the CTF liquid scintillator detector at LNGS, Eur. Phys. J. A, 2013, 49, 92_1-92_8.

27. M. Pallavicini, G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Recent results and future development of Borexino, Nucl. Phys. B-Proc. Sup., 2013, 235-236, 55-60.

28. A. Ianni, G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Neutrinos from the sun and from radioactive sources, Nucl. Phys. B-Proc. Sup., 2013, 237-238, 77-81.

29. D. Franco, G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Solar neutrino results from Borexino, Nucl. Phys. B-Proc. Sup., 2013, 237-238, 104-106.

30. G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, … et al. (Borexino Collaboration), SOX: Short distance neutrino Oscillations with BoreXino, J. High. Energy Phys., 2013, 2013, 038_1-038_12.

31. G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, … et al. (Borexino Collaboration), Cosmogenic Backgrounds in Borexino at 3800 m water-equivalent depth”, J. Cosmol. Astropart. Phys., 2013, 2013, 049_1-049_26.

32. T. Alexander, … F. Ortica, N. Pelliccia, A. Romani, … et al. (CTF-RD Darkside Collaboration), Light Yield in DarkSide-10: a Prototype Two-phase Argon TPC for Dark Matter Searches, Astropart. Phys., 2013, 49, 44-51.

33. G. Bellini, … F. Ortica, A. Romani, … et al. (Borexino Collaboration), New limits on heavy sterile neutrino mixing in 8B-decay obtained with the Borexino detector, Phys. Rev. D, 2013, 88, 072010_1-072010_7.

34. T. Alexander, … F. Ortica, N. Pelliccia, A. Romani, … et al. (CTF-RD Darkside Collaboration), DarkSide search for dark matter, J. Instrum., 2013, 8, C11021_1- C11021_05.

35. F. Casadio, C. Miliani, F. Rosi, A. Romani, C. Anselmi, B.G. Brunetti, A. Sgamellotti, J. L. Andral and G. Gautier, Scientific investigation of an important corpus of Picasso paintings in Antibes: new insights into technique, condition and chronological sequence, J. Am. Inst. Conserv., 2013, 52, 184-204.