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Synthetic chemistry for smart applications


Synthetic chemistry for smart applications


Academic year 2021/2022

Course ID
Prof. Pierluigi Quagliotto (Lecturer)
Prof. Claudia Barolo (Lecturer)
Dott. Nadia Barbero (Lecturer)
Dott. Federico Cesano (Lecturer)
Jun Ho Yum (Lecturer)
Dott. Matteo Bonomo (Lecturer)
Degree course
Materials Science
1st year
Teaching period
First semester
Characterizing, Related or integrative
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
CHIM/04 - chimica industriale
CHIM/06 - chimica organica
Class Lecture + Lab Practicals
Type of examination
Written and oral
Organic Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry Fundamentals
Organic Chemistry Nomenclature
UV-Vis Spectroscopy Fundamentals
Fundamentals on the interaction between light and matter

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

Functional organic materials are nowadays at the forefront of research in many technological applications and in some cases they have already entered the market (i.e. OLED large screens or biomedical sensors for example). This course starts from an overview of the most important smart applications of organic materials (such as functional small molecules, hybrid assemblies and polymers), highlights the chemico-physical properties of each of them and proposes different synthetic pathways to obtain the requested materials. Then, it aims to show how, starting from commercially available (or waste-derived) products and through thoughtful synthetic approaches (also involving green chemistry aspects), it is possible to obtain tailored materials. Among a plethora of different applications, the course will mainly focus on photoactive and conductive materials for both energy related and biomedical applications. A group of lessons will be held in laboratory where the concept tackled in the course will find a practical application in the synthesis of organic functional compounds to be applied in specific smart applications. 


Results of learning outcomes

  • Ability to foresee and understand the role of each functional material within a specific smart application
  • Understand and thoughtfully apply the basic principles of organic synthesis to obtain a specific molecule or polymer
  • Understand how to use standard analysis techniques to investigate the structure of the synthesised material
  • Ability to interpret the outcome of the measurements for different types of materials
  • Understand the functional principle of the studied devices and how they are related to technologically meaningful fields



Introduction to smart applications for energy related devices (i.e. conversion, storage, lighting, etc) and for biomedical devices (i.e. sensors, bioimaging, photo activated drugs, etc…)

  • Conventional synthetic approaches for the synthesis of tailored materials. 
  • Old vs New: innovative synthetic approaches (i.e. :Deep Eutectic Solvents and Ionic Liquids: green and sustainable solvents in organic chemistry, microwave techniques, green chemistry principles, etc….)
  • Example of synthesis (from the laboratory to industry) of specific functional molecules (at least one for each smart device analysed)
  • Example of synthesis (from the laboratory to industry) of specific functional polymers (at least one for each smart device analysed). Conductive polymers will be discussed.
  • Example of synthesis (from the laboratory to industry) of specific hybrid materials (at least one for each smart device analysed). Porous polymers will be discussed.
  • Structural characterization techniques for small molecules and specific characterization techniques for polymers. Attention will be also focused on optical and electrochemical properties.
  • Selection of the most interesting technological application of organic funtional material: basic principle of each device
  • How to deal with biological matrices: discussion on specific requirements for effective interplay with organic functional materials in aqueous environment
  • Introduction to bioconjugation approaches for technological applications




  • The laboratory will be held in small groups giving the chance to each student to personally tackle both the synthesis and the characterization of the selected materials and the construction of the related devices (one or two among the one explained during frontal lessons).
  • Synthesis and characterization of functional small molecules
  • Synthesis and characterization of functional polymers
  • Application of synthetized materials in operative devices
  • Characterization of complete devices

Course delivery

The course is starting on 06/10/21 at 2 p.m. in Classroom Diagonale Via P. Giuria 7

For those who cannot come in presence this is the Webex link:



Lectures, Exercitations, Experiences in the Laboratory

Class attendance is optional. Attendance to exercitations is highly recommended. Attendance to the laboratory is mandatory (for at least 70% of the total time).

The course will be carried out in the classroom if permitted by the University's indications regarding restrictions due to the pandemic emergency. The lessons will also be recorded and available on the MOODLE platform asynchronously (on a date subsequent to the lessons held in the classroom).
The laboratory will be carried out mostly in presence in small groups according to the indications of the university and taking into account the restrictions due to the pandemic emergency.


Learning assessment methods

Written and Oral exam


Written Test: some questions will be asked about the lecture topics.

Oral Test: a presentation followed by a short discussion about the laboratory activity.

Before entering the laboratory a text (whose result will not impact on the final grade) will tackle the safety rule to be applied in a research laboratory. To pass the text will be mandatory to access the laboratory experience.

Suggested readings and bibliography


Surfactants and Interfacial Phenomena, M.J. Rosen, J.T. Kunjappu, 4th edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2012, New York.

M. L. Parisi , A. Dessì , L. Zani , S. Maranghi , S. Mohammadpourasl , M. Calamante , A. Mordini , R. Basosi , G. Reginato and A. Sinicropi , Front. Chem., 2020, 8 , 214 

D. Sengupta , P. Das , B. Mondal and K. Mukherjee , Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 2016, 60 , 356 —376

J. Wu , Z. Lan , J. Lin , M. Huang , Y. Huang , L. Fan and G. Luo , Chem. Rev., 2015, 115 , 2136 —2173

A. Hagfeldt , G. Boschloo , L. Sun , L. Kloo and H. Pettersson , Chem. Rev., 2010, 110 , 6595 —6663

A. Carella , F. Borbone and R. Centore , Front. Chem., 2018, 6 , 481

N. Barbero and F. Sauvage , Materials for Sustainable Energy Applications: Conversion, Storage, Transmission, and Consumption , D. Munoz-Rojas and X. Moya, Jenny Stanford Publishing, New York, 2016

Dai Liming, Intelligent Macromolecules for Smart Devices - from materials Synthesis to Applications, Springer, 2004

Rui Yang, analytical Methods for Polymers Characterization, CRC Press, 2020


Students who did not have the opportunity to follow a course of Organic Chemsitry can find this text useful to learn and follow this course:

Bruice, P. Organic Chemistry, Global Edition, 8th edition, Pearson

Links to free and online Organic Chemistry course cna be found in the Moodle section of the course.




Classes will be delivered in presence, streaming and asyncronous way (classes are recorded and uploaded on Moodle).

In order to improve the quality of the lesson, also students attending personally the lesson are invited to connect with a device. All the questions to be asked directly in classroom should be asked by using the device, so any connected user will be able to listen both questions and answers.

In order to connect from remote to the classes, depending on the teacher involved in the specific lesson, one of these links will be available:

Prof. Claudia Barolo:

Prof. Federico Cesano:

Dr. Nadia Barbero:

Dr. Matteo Bonomo:


Class scheduleV

Lessons: dal 04/10/2021 to 04/02/2022

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    Last update: 31/01/2022 11:06
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