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Dr Caterina Ducati

Research Interests

Electron microscopy of nanostructured materials, in particular for photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications.


High-Resolution Electron Microscopy of Nanomaterials

My main research interest is nanomaterials, and in particular the relationships between their morphology, their crystallographic phase and their electronic properties, for applications in photocatalysis and electronics. Since the beginning of my PhD, I have been working on the characterization of carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanowires, aiming for a better understanding of their growth mechanisms. As a member of the High-Resolution Electron Microscopy Group, I have access to a range of advanced tools for the analysis of materials at the nanoscale.

Nanostructured metal oxides

In collaboration with a group in Milan, we are studying nanostructured transition-metal (Ti, Pd, W, Sn) oxides produced by supersonic-beam deposition. We are interested in determining their phase equilibria and the evolution of their crystal structure during thermal treatment, for application in resistive sensors for toxic gases.

Carbon nanotube and inorganic nanowire growth

High-aspect-ratio nanostructures such as nanotubes, nanowires and nanorods have attracted a keen interest, both in fundamental research and for advanced applications. Although the synthesis of these nanostructures has been achieved through many different strategies, the exact mechanisms that lead to their formation are not clear and need to be elucidated to control the properties and reliability of these nanoscale "building blocks". We are investigating the growth of nanotubes and nanowires, focusing on the rôle of the metal catalyst that assists the synthesis.