Paola Luches

Short Bio

Paola Luches graduated in Physics at the University of Modena in 1995 and she received her PhD in Physics in 1999 from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Since 2003 she has been employed as a researcher at INFM and at CNR, and she is presently working at Nanoscience Institute. She spent short research stays at different research institutions, among which A.F. Ioffe Institute”, S. Petersburg, Russia and AGH University in Krakow, Poland. She has been responsible of tens of experiments at synchrotron radiation facilities and, more recently, at table-top ultrafast laser shared facilities and at free electron laser facilities. She took part to several national and international research projects. She is co-author of more than 100 scientific publications and of 3 book chapters. The h-index of her publications is 24 according to WoS and 27 according to Google Scholar. She is a member of “Nano and Physical Science PhD School” board of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia since 2013 and she has been supervising undergraduate students, as well as 6 PhD students. She has given 17 invited talks at national and international conferences, and seminars at different foreign research institutions. She is member of the International Scientific board of IWOX (International Workshop on Oxides) conferences since 2012.

Research Interests

Paola Luches’s research interests are focused on oxide/metal materials at reduced dimensionality in view of their application in energy conversion and storage, catalysis, magnetism, plasmonics. In particular, she has a longstanding experience in the study of model systems, i.e. well controlled films and size-selected nanoparticles, aimed at the understanding of specific processes and of interfacial and surface interactions at the atomic scale. Her present research studies include reducible oxides, like CeO2 as thin films and nanoparticles, and their interaction with metals in the form of supported nanoparticles, dopant ions and substrates. The topics include the understanding and the optimization of reducibility, the interaction with plasmonic nanoparticles, the mechanisms of plasmonic energy transfer from metal nanoparticles to oxides, and the dynamics of photo-excited states. A further research topic concerns the reactivity of reducible oxides towards simple molecules, like H2, in view of the design of innovative electrodes for fuel cells and of efficient, stable and non-critical photocatalytic materials. The efficiency of reducible oxides as antioxidants within biomaterials is also one of her current research lines.

She has a longstanding experience with the use of physical synthesis techniques, like reactive MBE and magnetron sputtering with inert gas aggregation. Characterization tools include surface science methods, namely photoelectron spectroscopies and electron diffraction, scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy, combined with transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron radiation based techniques, like x-ray absorption spectroscopy, resonant inelastic x-ray scattering, nuclear resonant scattering of synchrotron radiation, and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. More recently she developed an expertise on the use of ultrafast spectroscopies like femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and pump-probe x-ray absorption spectroscopy.

Selected Recent Projects

Prototipo di sistema di alimentazione e controllo idrogeno allestito su veicolo dimostratore a Fuel Cells