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Liberato Manna

Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator

Research Line



IIT Central Research Labs Genova


+39 010 2896 502

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Born December 5th 1971, Italian Citizen


Professional Preparation

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Bari, Italy, 2001

M.S. in Chemistry, with Honours, University of Bari, Italy, 1996


Research interests

Synthesis and assembly of colloidal nanocrystals, study of structural, chemical and surface transformations in nanoscale materials, modelling and related applications in energy-related areas, in photonics, electronics and biology.


Areas of Expertise

Functional Inorganic Materials and Devices, Functional Nanostructured Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces, and Applications



June 2018-current    Associated Editor – Nanoscale and Nanoscale Advances

2016-current:            Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Genova (Italy), part-time, unpaid position

Dec 2015-current     Deputy Director for Materials and Nanotechnology programs, the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova (Italy)

2010-current:            Professor of Quantum Nanoscience, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), part-time, unpaid position

2009-current:            Head of the Nanochemistry Department at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova (Italy)

2006- 2009:               Leader of the Chemistry Division at the National Nanotechnology Lab in Lecce (Italy)

2003-2008:                Junior Scientist at the National Nanotechnology Lab in Lecce (Italy)

2003:                         Visiting Scientist at the Center for Nanoscience, Munich (Germany)

2001-2003:                Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley

1999-2000:                Visiting student, University of California, Berkeley



With IIT/CNR affiliations

2020-2023:                Flag-Era JTC2019 "Solution-Processed Perovskite/ Graphene Nanocomposites for Self-Powered Gas Sensors (PeroGaS)", coordinator

2020-2021:                ERC Proof of Concept "In-situ fabricated hydrogen evolution catalysts for alkaline water electrolysis (HyCat)" 

2020-2022:                AI-4-QD “Artificial Intelligence and Data Management for Colloidal Quantum Dot Materials Research”, Bilateral project with Israel, partner

2018-2020:                H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 project (RETAIN, contract n. 794560), Supervisor (PI: Dmitry Baranov)

2016-2019:                H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research IF-GF project (MOPTOPus, contract n. 705444), Supervisor (PI: Ilka Kriegel)

2015-2019:                H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) project (Compass, contract n. 691185), partner

2014-2019:                European Research Council (ERC) FP7 Consolidator grant recipient (TRANS-NANO, contract. n. 614897)

2014-2016:                Fondazione Cariplo, project partner “Green nanomaterials for next-generation photovoltaics (GREENS)”

2013-2016:                FP7-ICT-2013-FET-F “Graphene-Driven Revolutions in ICT and Beyond”, Project Partner

2012-2014:                European FP7 Marie Curie IEF project (NIRPLANA, contract n. 298022), Supervisor (PI: Iwan Moreels)

2012-2014:                European FP7 Marie Curie IEF project (LOTOCON, contract n. 301100), Supervisor (PI: Vladimir Lesnyak)

2013-2016:                European FP7 Marie Curie ITN project (MAGNETICFUN, contract n. 290248), partner

2012-2015:                European FP7 large scale project (SCALENANO, contract n. 284489), partner

2011-2014:                Italian FIRB project (Nanostructured oxides, contract n. RBAP115AYN), partner

2009-2013:                European Research Council (ERC) FP7 starting grant recipient (NANO-ARCH, contract n. 240111), PI

2009-2012:                European project FP7 SMALL, project partner (MAGNIFYCO, contract n. 228622), partner 

2006-2009:                European FP6 Marie Curie TOK Network, scientific leader for NNL (NANOTAIL, contract n. 042459), partner

2006-2010:                Italy-USA Bilateral Project (Italian Min. of Research), scientific leader for NNL (contract n. RBIN048TSE)

2005-2008:                European project FP6 STREP (SA-NANO, contract n. 013698), project coordinator


With Delft affiliation

2018-2021:                H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017 project “Testing the Large-Scale Limit of Quantum Mechanics” (TEQ, contract n. 766900), Partner

                                  Dutch Technology Foundation STW (n. 13903), co-PI

                                  Dutch Technology Foundation STW (n. 12734), co-PI


Awards, recognitions & research highlights:

2019:                         2019 Highly cited researcher, cross field (Clarivate Analytics)

2019:                         Sacconi Medal in Inorganic Chemistry (Italian Chemical Society)

2019:                         The Inaugural MEM-C Annual Lecture (University of Washington, Seattle)

2019:                         The Thirty Second Waite Philip Fishel Memorial Lecture in Chemistry (Vanderbilt University)

2018:                         2018 Highly cited researcher, chemistry (Clarivate Analytics,

2018:                         “Chimici Eccellenze a Livello Internazionale”  Award, Federazione Nazionale degli Ordini dei Chimici e dei Fisici

2018:                         2018 Chemistry of Materials Outstanding Reviewer Award

2017:                         2017 Chemistry of Materials Outstanding Reviewer Award

2017:                         Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

2013:                         American Chemical Society Early Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry


2011:                         Ranked #24 among the top 100 Chemists of the 2000-2010 decade by Thomson Reuters


2011:                         Journal of Materials Chemistry Lectureship Award (Royal Society of Chemistry)

2011:                         Highlighted by ChemComm as among the top emerging investigators in chemical sciences

2010:                         Highlighted by the Journal of Materials Chemistry as among the top emerging investigators in materials chemistry

2009:                         “Emerging Research Front Paper in the field of Materials Science” (ScienceWatch, Thomson Reuters,, October 2009 issue).

2009:                         R&D 100 Award recipient for ‘Cost Competitive Solar Cells’

2007:                         ‘Ugo Campisano’ Young Investigator Award in Materials Science (Italian Institute for Condensed Matter Physics,

2007:                         Ranked #9 among the most cited scientists worldwide working on nanocrystals by ‘Essential Science Indicators’

                                  (Thomson Scientific),

2002:                         ‘Berkeley Lab Technology Transfer Award’.

2001:                         ‘Semerano Award’ (Italian Chemical Society): best PhD thesis in Physical Chemistry in Italy in 2001.

2000:                         ‘Umberto Maria Grassano Award ’ (Italian Association of Physics), best student (ex-aequo) at the Summer School on "Nanotubes and Nanostructures 2000", Santa                                           Margherita di Pula, (Cagliari), Italy, 24 September – 4 October 2000



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