Elena Selli

Elena SelliFull Professor of Physical Chemistry at DC UNIMI

Coordinator of the SmartMatLab Centre

Expertise: photocatalysis, efficient photocatalytic materials and devices for solar energy conversion (solar fuels production) and environmental applications (air and water purification)

Elena Selli graduated in Chemistry cum laude in 1977 at the University of Pisa and at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. In 1978-1981 she was a PhD student of the Scuola Normale, for one year (1978) working at the Institut für Physikalische Chemie of the Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany. Then she was ricercatore universitario confermato (research assistant) of Physical Chemistry at the Scuola Normale Superiore (1981-1983) and at the University of Milan (1983-1998), associate professor (1998-2010) and full professor (from 2010) of Physical Chemistry at the University of Milan.

She has a long experience in teaching courses of Physical Chemistry for the Bachelor degrees in Chemistry; she also teaches Photochemistry to Master students. She is a member of the Board of the Doctorate School in Chemical Science and Technology and former member of the Board on the “Chemistry for the Environment” Consortium (Consorzio La Chimica per l’Ambiente), as a delegate of the Rector. She is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces (C.I.Ma.I.Na.) and responsible for its Photocatalysis research line, local coordinator for the Erasmus program for Chemistry, local delegate of the European Chemistry Thematic Network, and responsible for the Chemical Seminars.

In 2008 she was elected member of the Board of the International Conference of Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy. Since 2012 she is also in the Scientific International Committee of the European Meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications. In 2012 she was elected President of the Italian Photochemistry Group (GIF), Italian section of the European Photochemistry Association. She is member of the American Chemical Society and of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI), in the Physical Chemistry Division (presently in the Board, as vice-President). She also coordinates the Photochemistry Interdivisional Group of the SCI.

She is or has been involved in several coordinated activities, e.g. PRIN, FIRB, COST actions, and has been responsible for research projects financed by Regione Lombardia and Cariplo Foundation. She collaborates with several international research groups and has been recently awarded of an Italy-Japan project for scientific and technological collaboration. She is very active as reviewer for journals of the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and for Elsevier. She has been reviewer of several international research projects. In particular, in 2012 she was Rapporteur of the “Regenerative produced fuels by light driven water splitting” of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

For many years involved in studies on the kinetic aspects of photoinduced processes, in the last decade her interests have been mainly focused on the mechanistic aspects of photocatalysis on semiconductors for environmental and energy applications, and in particular on the effects of surface modification on the photocatalytic reaction paths and in the development of sensitive and efficient photocatalysts, as well as nanostructure-based devices, for solar energy conversion processes, such as hydrogen production from water. She authored or co-authored ca. 150 papers and presented more than 170 communications and talks (also invited) at international and national scientific meetings. Her h-index is 30.



1). E. Selli, G.L. Chiarello, E. Quartarone, P. Mustarelli, I. Rossetti, L. Forni, A photocatalytic water splitting device for separate hydrogen and oxygen evolution, Chem. Commun., (2007) 5022-5024.

2). G.L. Chiarello, E. Selli, L. Forni, Photocatalytic hydrogen production over flame spray pyrolysis-synthesised TiO2 and Au/TiO2, Appl. Catal. B: Environ., 84 (2008) 332-339.

3). E. Selli, C.L. Bianchi, C. Pirola, G. Cappelletti, V. Ragaini, Efficiency of 1,4-dichlorobenzene degradation in water under photolysis, photocatalysis and sonolysis, J. Hazard. Mater., 153 (2008) 1136-1141.

4). G.L. Chiarello, L. Forni, E. Selli, Photocatalytic hydrogen production by liquid- and gas-phase reforming of CH3OH over flame-made TiO2 and Au/TiO2, Catal. Today, 144 (2009) 69-74.

5). M.V. Dozzi, L. Prati, P. Canton, E. Selli, Effects of gold nanoparticles deposition on the photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide under visible light, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 11 (2009) 7171-7180

6). G.L. Chiarello, M.H. Aguirre, E. Selli, Hydrogen production by photocatalytic steam reforming of methanol on noble metal-modified TiO2, J. Catal., 273 (2010) 182-190.

7). M.V. Dozzi, S. Livraghi, E. Giamello, E. Selli, Photocatalytic activity of S- and F-doped TiO2 in formic acid mineralization, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 10 (2011) 343-349.

8). G.L. Chiarello, A. Di Paola, L. Palmisano, E. Selli, Effect of titanium dioxide crystalline structure on the photocatalytic production of hydrogen, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 10 (2011) 355-360.

9). G.L. Chiarello, D. Ferri, E. Selli, Effect of the CH3OH/H2O ratio on the mechanism of the gas-phase photocatalytic reforming of methanol on noble metal-modified TiO2, J. Catal., 280 (2011) 168-177.

10). M.V. Dozzi, B. Ohtani, E. Selli, Absorption and Action Spectra Analysis of Ammonium Fluoride-doped Titania Photocatalysts, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 13 (2011) 18217-18227.

11). M.V. Dozzi, A. Saccomanni, E. Selli, Cr(VI) photocatalytic reduction: effects of simultaneous organics oxidation and of gold nanoparticles photodeposition on TiO2, J. Hazard. Mater., 211-212 (2012) 188-195.

12). M.V. Dozzi, E. Selli, Doping TiO2 with p-block elements: effects on photocatalytic activity, J. Photochem Photobiol. C: Photochem. Rev., 14 (2013) 13-28.

13). F. Riboni, L.G. Bettini, D.W. Bahnemann, E. Selli, WO3-TiO2 vs. TiO2 photocatalysts: effect of the W precursor and amount on the photocatalytic activity of mixed oxides, Catal. Today, 209 (2013) 28-34.

14). A. Naldoni, M. D’Arienzo, M. Altomare, M. Marelli, R. Scotti, F. Morazzoni, E. Selli, V. Dal Santo, Pt and Au/TiO2 photocatalysts for H2 production: Role of metal nanoparticles in tuning charge trapping properties and photoefficiency, Appl. Catal. B: Environ., 130-131 (2013) 239-248.

15). M. Altomare, M. Pozzi, M. Allieta, L.G. Bettini, E. Selli, H2 and O2 photocatalytic production on TiO2 nanotube arrays: effect of the anodization time on structural features and photoactivity, Appl. Catal. B: Environ., 136-137 (2013) 81-88.

16). M. Altomare, K. Lee, M.S. Killian, E. Selli, P. Schmuki, Ta-doped TiO2 nanotubes for enhanced solar light photoelectrochemical water splitting, Chemistry Eur. J., 19 (2013) 5841-5844.

17). J.E. Yoo, K. Lee, M. Altomare, E. Selli, P. Schmuki, Self-Organized Arrays of Single-Metal Catalyst Particles-in-TiO2 Cavities: A Highly Efficient Photocatalytic System, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 52 (2013) 7514-7517.

18). K. Lee, R. Hahn, M. Altomare, E. Selli, P. Schmuki, Intrinsic Au decoration of growing TiO2 nanotubes and formation of a high efficiency photocatalyst for H2 production, Adv. Mater., 25 (2013) 6133-6137.

19). M.V. Dozzi, C. D’Andrea, B. Ohtani, G. Valentini, E. Selli, Fluorine-doped TiO2 materials: photocatalytic activity vs. time-resolved photoluminescence, J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (2013) 25586-25595.

20). G.L. Chiarello, M.V. Dozzi, M. Scavini, J.-D. Grunwaldt, E. Selli, One step flame-made fluorinated Pt/TiO2 photocatalysts for hydrogen production, Appl. Catal. B: Environ., 160-161 (2014) 144-151.