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Welcome to my webpage!

I am Marco Altomare, tenure track assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, at the Faculty of Science and Technology (S&T) of the University of Twente (UT).

 

NEWS 2024

  • April 2024: our FORESEE proposal is granted! Funded by TKI for Green Chemistry and Circularity, our project will deal with "Steering formose selectivity through electrochemical reduction of aldehydes". Read more about it on ChemistryNL

 

NEWS 2023

  • Nov. 2023: fresh off the (open access) press! Check out our JACS article on a Metastable Ni(I)-TiO2–x Photocatalyst. We found that illuminating reduced TiO2 in Ni2+ aqueous solutions forms a metastable Ni+/TiO2-x photocatalyst that over time generates H2 at increasingly higher rates, without noble metal catalysts or sacrificial agents. We probed the metastable Ni(I) species by in-situ XAS and EPR spectroscopy. Self-amplifying reaction schemes as observed in this work may have considerable potential for simple one-pot synthesis and use of photocatalysts.
  • Nov. 2023: WE ARE HIRING! 1 Postdoc position in electrochemical upgrade of biogenic carbonyl compounds. Interested to hear more? Reach out to m.altomare@utwente.nl
  • Oct. 2023: WE ARE HIRING! 2 PhD positions in electrocatalysis, materials science and spectro-electrochemistry. Interested to hear more? Reach out to m.altomare@utwente.nl
  • Sept. 2023: We presented our work on "Role of metal/support interaction in dewetted Pt nanoparticles for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution" at the 74th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) in Lyon, France.
  • May/June 2023: European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) 2023 Spring Meeting in Strasbourg, France! We presented our study on a "Metastable Ni(I)-TiO2-x Photocatalyst" in symposium D (Advanced sustainable materials for energy applications).

 

2022

  • Dec. 2022: Dr. Marco Altomare appointed Early Career Advisory Board member for ChemSusChem, from January 2023. Check out the editorial!
  • Nov. 2022: Dr. Marco Altomare appointed Organizing Committee member of the Dutch ElectroChemical Conversion and Materials ECCM graduate school. The next edition of the school will be held in Noordwijk,13-16 June 2023. Pre-registration will open on 1 Feb 2023. Check out the ECCM webpage for more information. 

 

SHORT BIOGRAPHY

I am tenure track assistant professor at the University of Twente (UT) since January 2021.

I am passionate about education and research in the fields of materials science and photo-/electro-catalysis. My group’s research bridges materials science at the nanoscale to heterogeneous catalysis for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. We combine physical vapor deposition and solid-state methods – to design model nanostructured catalysts - with in-situ characterization techniques to elucidate structure-performance relationships and investigate catalyst stability in photo- and electro-catalytic reactions.

I lead the Electro-Chemical Materials Science team (ECMS), which is hosted by the PhotoCatalytic Synthesis group (PCS) of Prof. G. Mul at the Faculty of Science and Technology of UT.


ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION

  • Tenure track assistant professor at Uni Twente, NL
  • Postdoc in materials science at Uni Erlangen-Nuremberg, DE, Schmuki lab
  • PhD in metal oxide photo-electrocatalysis at Uni Milano, IT, Selli lab
  • Master in Chemistry, Uni Milano, IT

 

RESEARCH

During my PhD at Uni Milan IT, I developed photocatalytic materials that drive chemical reactions powered by solar light. I focused on earth-abundant semiconductor materials, namely metal oxides, and investigated their synthesis by electrochemical anodization to produce one-dimensional nanostructures.

I joined Uni Erlangen-Nuremberg DE as postdoc, where I worked on solid-state dewetting, i.e., the heat induced transformation of metal films into arrangements of defined metal particles, to design model photocatalytic materials.

At Uni Twente, I am expanding further my work on dewetting in the fields of photo- and  electrocatalysis. With my team, we aim at investigating controlled dewetting processes to develop model nanostructured metal catalysts and electrodes for photo- and electrochemical conversion. We focus particularly on water splitting and hydrogen evolution.

For more information, see sections Research and Projects, or click here for the full publication record.

Expertise

  • Chemistry

    • Titanium Dioxide
    • Photocatalytic
    • Nanotube
    • Surface
    • Nanoparticle
    • Structure
  • Material Science

    • Nanotubes
  • Physics

    • Arrays

Organisations

Electro-Chemical Materials Science (ECMS) - Altomare research group

The research of my team focuses on materials science at the nanoscale and is diversified over four interlaced themes: solid-state dewetting, electro- and photo-catalysis, and X-ray spectroscopy. Besides, I also lead a responsible research and innovation project studying the societal impact of electrocatalytic technologies.

 

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I. Team members and research lines

  • Shreyas Harsha (PhD candidate, electrocatalysis) and Rakesh Sharma (Postdoc, electrocatalysis) team up to study the electrochemical performance of dewetted metal nanoparticles. They focus on the effect of catalyst structure and nanoscale effects on the electrocatalytic performance of dewetted nanoparticles (e.g., Pt, Ir). Electrochemical reactions of interest are the hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolysis. Josh Houtz (MSc student) joints efforts focusing on the dewetting of Ir nanoparticles with ultra-low loadings for the OER.
  • Tursun Abudukade (PhD candidate, photocatalysis) and Marco Pinna (PhD, photocatalysis, guest from Uni Como, Italy) join forces to investigate the stability and dynamic behavior of earth-abundant metal co-catalysts, such as Ni and Cu nanoparticles, on metal oxide semiconductors for photocatalytic reactions such as solar water splitting and hydrogen generation. For this, they adopt operando synchrotron techniques such as X-ray absorption/emission spectroscopy. Jakub Skubalsky (MSc student) contributes to this research line studying model photocatalytic surfaces based on oxide single crystals modified with metal nanoparticles by solid-state dewetting.
  • Adam Vass (Postdoc, electrocatalysis) studies the electrochemical conversion of methane to valuable products (methanol, ethane, ethylene) developing a gas-phase electrolyzer based on earth-abundant anode materials (e.g., transition metal oxides such as W, Sn or Ti oxides). He explores mechanistic aspects of methane conversion by operando infrared spectroscopy.
  • Senna Middelveld (Postdoc, responsible research and innovation) Electrochemical conversion processes are expected to contribute in the near future to a transition towards more sustainable ("green") chemicals produced from surplus renewable electricity from wind and solar energy. Senna studies possible socio-technical configurations and pathways related to the electrochemical conversion in the chemical industry, spanning from established processes (water electrolysis and hydrogen generation) to perspective applications (e.g., upgrade of bio-oil, synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, or water treatment). She focuses on assessing the environmental and societal implications of materials (electrocatalysts and electrode materials) and produced chemical compounds.
  • Lasse Wichmann and Lukas Cino ...   
  • Letizia Sorti ...
  • Daniele Fumagalli ...

 

II. Running projects

  • NWO ECCM Tenure Track project "Highly-defined nanostructured electrodes by solid state dewetting" 2021-2025
  • DFG project "Dewetted earth-abundant co-catalysts for photocatalysis" 2021-2025
  • NWO ECCM MVI project "Electrifying the chemical production – Responsible pathways and material choices" 2022-2025; Uni Twente consortium with K. Konrad, L. Franco Garcia, and A. Weber
  • NWO ECCM KICk start project "Gas-phase electrocatalysis for methane valorization (ELEVATION)" 2022-2023; Consortium with G. Katsoukis (Uni Twente, NL), M. Tsampas (DIFFER, NL), R. Palkovits (Uni RWTH Aachen, DE), T. Franken (Uni Erlangen-Nuremberg, DE), and industrial partners VSparticle (NL) and Fumatech (DE) 
  • NWO ECCM DE-NL KIC project ...
  • TKI Green Chemistry & Circularity project...

 

III. Research output 

See below or click here for full publication record


 

IV. Funding  

  • NWO Dutch Research Council
  • Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI)
  • Uni Twente - MESA+
  • DFG German Research Foundation

Publications

2024
Alanine Formation in a Zero‐Gap Flow Cell and the Role of TiO2/Ti ElectrocatalystsChemPlusChem, Article e202300763 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Englezos, C., Raman, A., Jonker, D., Ramos, N., Altomare, M., Gardeniers, H. & Susarrey-Arce, A.https://doi.org/10.1002/cplu.202300763Investigating the platinum electrode surface during Kolbe electrolysis of acetic acidSurfaces and Interfaces, 44, Article 103684. Nordkamp, M. O., Ashraf, T., Altomare, M., Borca, A. C., Ghigna, P., Priamushko, T., Cherevko, S., Saveleva, V. A., Atzori, C., Minguzzi, A., He, X., Mul, G. & Mei, B.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfin.2023.103684
2023
Metastable Ni(I)-TiO 2-x Photocatalysts: Self-Amplifying H2 Evolution from Plain Water without Noble Metal Co-Catalyst and Sacrificial AgentJournal of the American Chemical Society, 145(48), 26122-26132. Altomare, M., Qin, S., Saveleva, V. A., Badura, Z., Tomanec, O., Mazare, A., Zoppellaro, G., Vertova, A., Taglietti, A., Minguzzi, A., Ghigna, P. & Schmuki, P.https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.3c08199Metal oxide semiconductor nanomaterials for heterogeneous photocatalysisIn Sustainable Nanomaterials for Energy Applications (pp. 6). Institute of Physics (IOP). Wenderich, K. & Altomare, M.https://doi.org/10.1088/978-0-7503-3531-7ch6Structure, materials, and preparation of photoelectrodesIn Photoelectrocatalysis: Fundamentals and Applications (pp. 83-174). Elsevier. Altomare, M., Nguyen, N. T., Naldoni, A. & Marschall, R.https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-823989-6.00005-9
2022
Amorphous NiCu Thin Films Sputtered on TiO2 Nanotube Arrays: A Noble-Metal Free Photocatalyst for Hydrogen EvolutionChemCatChem, 14(23), Article e202201052. Pinna, M., Wei, A. W. W., Spanu, D., Will, J., Yokosawa, T., Spiecker, E., Recchia, S., Schmuki, P. & Altomare, M.https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202201052
2021
Metallic nanoparticle-on-mirror: Multiple-band light harvesting and efficient photocurrent generation under visible light irradiationNano Energy, 90(Part B), Article 106609. Tesler, A. B., Sannomiya, T., Hejazi, S., Mohammadi, R., Vogel, N., Altomare, M. & Schmuki, P.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2021.106609Hydrogenated anatase TiO2 single crystals: defects formation and structural changes as microscopic origin of co-catalyst free photocatalytic H2 evolution activityJournal of Materials Chemistry A, 9(44), 24932-24942. Will, J., Wierzbicka, E., Wu, M., Goetz, K., Yokosawa, T., Liu, N., Tesler, A. B., Stiller, M., Unruh, T., Altomare, M., Schmuki, P. & Spiecker, E.https://doi.org/10.1039/d1ta04809kComparison of the sputtered TiO2 anatase and rutile thin films as electron transporting layers in perovskite solar cellsNano Select, 3(5), 990-997. Shahvaranfard, F., Li, N., Hosseinpour, S., Hejazi, S., Zhang, K., Altomare, M., Schmuki, P. & Brabec, C. J.https://doi.org/10.1002/nano.202100306Biochar Nanoparticles over TiO2 Nanotube Arrays: A Green Co-Catalyst to Boost the Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic PollutantsCatalysts, 11(9), Article 1048. Pinna, M., Binda, G., Altomare, M., Marelli, M., CARLO, D., DAMIANO, M., Spanu, D. & Recchia, S.https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11091048

Other contributions

Full publication record

Selected publications:

  • M. Altomare*, N.T. Nguyen, A. Naldoni, R. Marschall. “Chapter 3. Structure, materials, and preparation of photoelectrodes” Textbook “Photoelectrocatalysis: Fundamentals and Applications” 2023 1st Edition, Elsevier; Editors: L. Palmisano, S. Yurdakal; eBook ISBN: 9780128242421; DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-823989-6.00005-9

Research profiles

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

Dewetted materials for photo- & electro-catalysis

Solid-state dewetting, or simply dewetting, is based on the metastable nature of thin metal films, which when heated up to sufficiently high temperatures tend to agglomerate forming particles. This phenomenon occurs via surface diffusion of metal atoms due to the high surface-to-volume ratio of thin films.

Dewetting received large attention in the past for causing failure of micro- and nano-electronic components. Thus, it has been regarded as detrimental for technology advancement and has been widely investigated to understand mechanistic aspects and prevent its occurrence. Our research takes a different perspective: controlled dewetting opens for unique design concepts for functional metal nanoparticles. 

Since metal particles are crucial towards a variety of technologies and applications, for example heterogeneous catalysis, my team studies controlled dewetting phenomena to produce supported metal nanoparticles with defined properties, e.g., size, composition, morphology and structure, for application in photo- or electro-catalysis.

2024

  • April 2024: our FORESEE proposal is granted! Funded by TKI for Green Chemistry and Circularity, our project will deal with "Steering formose selectivity through electrochemical reduction of aldehydes". Read more about it on ChemistryNL

2022

  • June 2022: Dr. Marco Altomare appointed Organizing Committee member of the Dutch ElectroChemical Conversion and Materials ECCM graduate school. The next edition of the school will be held in Noordwijk,13-16 June 2023. Pre-registration will open on 1 Feb 2023. Check out the ECCM webpage for more information.

2021

Organisations

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