ENEA is the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. It is a public agency, conducting research and innovation activities in the fields of energy, climate & environment, safety & health and new technologies, to support Country’s competitiveness and sustainable development. The activities on Materials Science and Technology are related mainly to applied research for the creation of new materials and new components to support energy technologies in view of a sustainable economic development. ENEA is CORE partner of the KIC Raw Materials and has been assigned the CSC Europe. It is involved in the development and applications of Graphene nanocomposites and films for energy applications with the support of the Italian Ministries of Research and of Industry.
ENEA can address the following objectives: development of clean and green CVD processes for the growth, wet processing and functionalization of Graphene films, which can be up-scaled to industrial level, aiming at the substitution of transparent conducting oxides. ENEA will also develop to the industrial level processes for fabrication of 3D all carbon electrodes based on the growth of nanostructured Graphene on carbon paper and other carbonaceous scaffolds. ENEA will be focusing on the use of graphene in the field of Photovoltaics. The technology for the application of graphene to solar harvesting devices is mature in some aspects (TRL4), but the laboratory scale devices still need to improve their performances in order to find space into real world applications.
ENEA is currently focusing its attention on the use of “functional” bi-dimensional layers for applications in the field of photovoltaics. The use of graphene can be alternative to indium oxide based conductive layers. Moreover optical or ferromagnetic function can be conferred to graphene by appropriate surface engineering, with the potential for rare earth element substitution. The main research topics are in the field of: silicon graphene Schottky cells; graphene in solar cell fabrication (tandem cells); upscaling of surfaces and fast growth of materials; functional, electronically or optically active interlayers; studies on magnetic graphene structures.
- X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) for analysis of surfaces and interfaces;
- X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) for material structural characterization;
- Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS) for analysis of surfaces and interfaces;
- UV-Visible spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for characterization of graphene, graphene oxide and functionalized graphene;
- Simultaneous Thermogravimetric and Differential Thermal Analysis (TG/DTA) of carbon based materials in various gaseous environments
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) thermal and chemical stability of carbon based materials in various gaseous environments;
- Sampling and prototyping Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) growth of graphene and transfer onto arbitrary target surfaces;
- Fabrication of 3D all carbon electrodes.