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Realization of polymer nanocomposites with photocatalytic properties for application in water treatment. Synthesis of molecularly imprinted materials (polymers or inorganic semiconductors) for the recognition and the removal of organic pollutants.


Maria Cantarella attained her Master Degree in Materials Chemistry with full marks (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Catania in 2011. She worked with a fellowship at the CNR-IPCB institute of Catania since September 2012 to December 2013. In January 2014, she started the Ph.D. course in Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Catania and CNR-IMM. During this period, her research activity was focused on the realization of photocatalytic polymer nanocomposites for water treatment. Furthermore, she spent part of her PhD course at Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden), with an Erasmus grant, working on the synthesis and characterization of molecularly imprinted polymers for the removal of emerging contaminants from water. She attained the Ph.D. (cum laude) in March 2017. Currently, she is a post-doc at the CNR-IMM, working on the synthesis of molecularly imprinted materials. 

She has a remarkable expertise in several characterization techniques and methodology, such as photodegradation tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), optical measurements, contact angles measurements, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), total organic carbon analysis (TOC), flow-injection quartz crystal microbalance analysis (QCM).

She gave several oral contributions to national and international conferences, in particular she held one invited presentation at the XVI Brazilian-MRS.  She received one Young Scientist Award by the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS).

Maria Cantarella is author or co-author of several articles, published in international referred scientific journals. She is reviewer of several international scientific journals.


Scientific Productions

Massimo Zimbone, Maria Cantarella, Federico Giuffrida, Francesco La Via, Vittorio Privitera, Enrico Napolitani, Giuliana Impellizzeri

Laser crystallization of amorphous TiO2 on polymer

Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing [Pergamon], Volume: 157 Pages: 107328

Massimo Zimbone, Maria Cantarella, Gianfranco Sfuncia, Giuseppe Nicotra, Vittorio Privitera, Enrico Napolitani, Giuliana Impellizzeri

Low-temperature atomic layer deposition of TiO2 activated by laser annealing: Applications in photocatalysis

Applied Surface Science [North-Holland], Volume: 596 Pages: 153641

Massimo Zimbone, Maria Cantarella, Giuliana Impellizzeri, Sergio Battiato, Lucia Calcagno

Synthesis and Photochemical Properties of Monolithic TiO2 Nanowires Diode

Molecules [Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute], Volume: 26 Issue: 12 Pages: 3636

Giuliana Gorrasi, Gianluca Viscusi, Giusy Curcuruto, Maria Cantarella, Alessandro Di Mauro, Paola Bernardo, Gabriele Clarizia, Andrea A Scamporrino, Sabrina Carroccio

EVA Films Loaded with Layered Double Hydroxide (LDH) Modified with Methacrylic Anion: Effect of the Nanohybrid Filler on the Photodegradation Phenomena

Polymers [Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute], Volume: 13 Issue: 15 Pages: 2525

Luigi Scrimieri, Luciano Velardi, Antonio Serra, Daniela Manno, Francesca Ferrari, Maria Cantarella, Lucio Calcagnile

Enhanced adsorption capacity of porous titanium dioxide nanoparticles synthetized in alkaline sol

Applied Physics A [Springer Berlin Heidelberg], Volume: 126 Issue: 12 Pages: 1-8

Elena Maria Scalisi, Antonio Salvaggio, Francesco Antoci, Antonio Messina, Roberta Pecoraro, Maria Cantarella, Giuliana Gorrasi, Giuliana Impellizzeri, Maria Violetta Brundo

Toxicity assessment of two-dimensional nanomaterials molybdenum disulfide in Gallus gallus domesticus

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety [Academic Press], Volume: 200 Pages: 110772

Roberto Fiorenza, Alessandro Di Mauro, Maria Cantarella, Vittorio Privitera, Giuliana Impellizzeri

Selective photodegradation of 2, 4-D pesticide from water by molecularly imprinted TiO2

Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry [Elsevier], Volume: 380 Pages: 111872

M Zimbone, G Cacciato, M Boutinguiza, A Gulino, M Cantarella, V Privitera, MG Grimaldi

Hydrogenated black-TiOx: a Facile and Scalable Synthesis for Environmental Water Purification

Catalysis Today [Elsevier],

Alessandro Di Mauro, Maria Cantarella, Giuseppe Nicotra, Giovanna Pellegrino, Antonino Gulino, Maria Violetta Brundo, Vittorio Privitera, Giuliana Impellizzeri

Novel synthesis of ZnO/PMMA nanocomposites for photocatalytic applications

Scientific reports [Nature Publishing Group], Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-12

Maria Elena Fragalà, Alessandro Di Mauro, Domenico A. Cristaldi, Maria Cantarella, Giuliana Impellizzeri, Vittorio Privitera

ZnO nanorods grown on ultrathin ZnO seed layers: Application in water treatment

Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry [], Volume: 332 Pages: 497-504

Cristina Tudisco, Valentina Oliveri, Maria Cantarella, Graziella Vecchio, Guglielmo G Condorelli

Cyclodextrin anchoring on magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles modified with phosphonic linkers

European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry [WILEY‐VCH Verlag], Volume: 2012 Issue: 32 Pages: 5323-5331