Gian Luca Chiarello

Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry/Industrial Chemistry at DC UNIMI

Expertise: Inorganic synthesis, in situ operando spectroscopy, heterogeneous catalysis; photocatalysis

Gian Luca Chiarello graduated in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Milano in 2004 (mark 110/110) and received his PhD in Industrial Chemistry from the same University in 2007, with two thesis in heterogeneous catalysis under the supervision of prof. Lucio Forni. The PhD thesis was entitled “Metal Oxides: preparation by an Innovative Flame method and Catalytic Applications”. From January to September 2006 he spent nine months during his PhD work at the ETH Zürich in Prof. Alfons Baiker group. After the PhD he covered three succeeding post doc positions: i) from 01/2008 to 12/2010 in photocatalysis at the University of Milano in the prof. Elena Selli group, ii) in 2011 in operando X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany) in prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt group, and iii) In 2012 at EMPA-Dübendorf (Switzerland) in prof. Anke Weidenkaff group, where he has designed a set up for coupling in situ XAS and IR spectroscopies at the SuperXAS beamline of the SLS synchrotron of Villigen, Switzerland. From February 2013 up today he is researcher at the department of chemistry of the University of Milano.

Up today, he has published 31 papers on the most renowned international journals in catalysis and its applications (h-index=13, according to Scopus), 1 international patent and presented more than 50 communications, most of them in oral form, at several international and national scientific congresses.

His research interests span from the preparation, characterisation (including in-situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, XANES and EXAFS, as user at the synchrotron radiation facilities of HASYLAB, ANKA, SLS and ESRF) and testing of different types of catalysts (in particular pure, doped and noble metal deposited both perovskites and TiO2) for several different reactions (Flameless Combustion of Methane, Selective Reduction of NOx by H2 under Lean Burn Conditions, production of alcohols from syngas, Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production and Photocatalytic abatement of pollutants), to the design of novel photocatalytic reactors and spectroscopic set-ups, covering all aspects of heterogeneous catalysis. In particular, he is presently focusing his research on solar to chemical energy conversion through photocatalytic hydrogen production from water and from photo-steam reforming of biomasses. He has won the prestigious Debut in Research Prize – “ENI Award” 2008.



1). G.L. Chiarello, M. Nachtegaal, V. Marchionni, L. Quaroni, D. Ferri, Adding diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy capability to extended x-ray-absorption fine structure in a new cell to study solid catalysts in combination with a modulation approach, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 85 (2014) 074102.

2). D. Ferri, M.A. Newton, M. Di Michiel, G.L. Chiarello, S. Yoon, Y. Lu, J. Andrieux, Revealing the Dynamic Structure of Complex Solid Catalysts Using Modulated Excitation X-ray Diffraction, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 53 (2014) 8890.

3). 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

4). 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.

5). 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.

6). 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.

7). 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.

8). G.L. Chiarello, J.-D. Grunwaldt, D. Ferri, R. Krumeich, C. Oliva, L. Forni, A. Baiker, Flame-synthesized LaCoO3-supported Pd 1. Structure, thermal stability and reducibility, J. Catal., 252 (2007) 127.

9). 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.

10). G.L. Chiarello, I. Rossetti, L. Forni, Flame-spray pyrolysis preparation of perovskites for methane catalytic combustion, J. Catal., 236 (2005) 251.