Professor Nunzio Motta

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Role in the centre

As a physicist, Nunzio Motta is interested in developing new knowledge in the areas of surface science, epitaxial growth of materials and nanotechnology. His main interest is the study of the growth of materials with a bottom-up approach, where the right balance of kinetics and thermodynamics generates new kinds of nanostructures. Within the Centre of Materials Science, Nunzio leads research programs in the areas of hybrid 2D materials for nanoelectronics and photovoltaics applications, graphene synthesis on SiC nanostructures for next-generation electronics, carbon-based supercapacitors and antennas and new nanomaterials for gas sensing and solar cells. Nunzio brings to the Centre 30 years of expertise in Scanning Probe Microscopy and Electron Spectroscopy, and he has been one of the key players in expanding the capacity of the centre, with the acquisition of state-of-the-art instrumentation like the Omicron UHV Multiprobe system and the new Tescan Plasma-FIB.

Short Biography

Nunzio graduated in Physics from Università di Roma La Sapienza in 1981 and obtained his PhD in 1986 from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. He took an Assistant Professor position at the University of Roma Tor Vergata in 1985 and obtained an Associate Professor position at University of Roma TRE in 2001. In 1991 he was the first scientist in Italy to achieve atomic resolution in Ultra High Vacuum by Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy. His research was recognized internationally with several invitations as visiting professors in European institutions. In 2003 Nunzio moved to Australia, starting a collaboration in 2004 with QUT as Adjunct Professor. He quickly established himself as a leader in nanotechnology, researching polymer solar cells, nanotubes and nanomaterials for gas sensing, obtaining funding from national and international agencies. He established the field of surface science at QUT, leading an ARC LIEF grant for the first Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy in Queensland, followed by several other projects totalling more than AUD$8.5M, and attracting several surface scientists to QUT. In 2010 Nunzio became a Principal Research Fellow and in 2015 was promoted to full Professor. Internationally recognised, he has a strong publishing track record; over 200 papers, more than half in the last decade, cited more than 4000 times. Read more about Nunzio’s citations and H index at Google Scholar. He has also published an edited book and five book chapters. He is associate editor of the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology.

Selected publications

“Graphene-based supercapacitor electrodes: addressing challenges in mechanisms and materials” Horn, M.; Gupta, B.; MacLeod, J.; Liu, J.; Motta, N. Curr. Opin. Green Sustain. Chem. 2019, 17, 42-48.

“Achieving commercial-level mass loading in ternary-doped holey graphene hydrogel electrodes for ultrahigh energy density supercapacitors” Pan, Z.; Zhi, H.; Qiu, Y.; Yang, J.; Xing, L.; Zhang, Q.; Ding, X.; Wang, X.; Xu, G.; Yuan, H.; Chen, M.; Li, W.; Yao, Y.; Motta, N.; Liu, M.; Zhang, Y. Nano Energy 2018, 46, 266-276.

“Graphene growth on silicon carbide: A review” Mishra, N.; Boeckl, J.; Motta, N.; Iacopi, F. Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science 2016, 213(9), 2277-2289.

“Evolution of epitaxial graphene layers on 3C SiC/Si (1 1 1) as a function of annealing temperature in UHV” Gupta B.; Notarianni M.; Mishra N.; Shafiei M.; Iacopi F.; Motta N. Carbon 2014, 68, 563-572.

“Plasmonic effect of gold nanoparticles in organic solar cells” Notarianni, M.; Vernon, K.; Chou, A.; Aljada, M.; Liu, J.; Motta, N. Solar Energy 2014, 106, 23-37.

Projects