Institute for Complex Systems - Sapienza - CNR

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ISC Sapienza Sergio Brutti
Sergio Brutti Profile Page
Sergio Brutti


I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Rome Sapienza on May 19th 2000 (final mark: 110/110 cum laude). In January 19th 2004 I got the PhD degree: my final dissertation title was: "Thermodynamic stability and reactivity at high temperature of metallic borides and silicides" ; supervisor G. Balducci. The research results obtained during my PhD internship were published in a series of 14 papers. In particular the studies about the novel superconductive phase MgB2 captured the interest of the scientific community gaining about 90 citations in few years. As a part of my PhD I realized an innovative and unique gas inlet system coupled to a high temperature mass spectrometer in order to investigate gaseous and gas-solid processes under thermodynamic control. In the final part of my PhD internship, I visited T.Terai laboratories at the University of Tokyo for a research stay.
After my PhD I had several important post-doc experiences in Italy and abroad in research groups focused on materials science and in particular in materials for energy application.
(1) in 2004 I worked in the Electrochemistry and Nanotechnology for Advanced Materials group led by B.Scrosati, University of Roma Sapienza, to study experimental investigation of some pyrolitic nanostructured carbons as anodic materials in secondary lithium-ion batteries.
(2) In 2005 I was academic visitor at the Material Modelling Laboratory (MML) led by D.G.Pettifor, Oxford University (UK) where I was introduced to the most advanced first principles calculation techniques for materials properties prediction.
(3) In 2005-2006 I worked in G.Cerri (Un.Roma Tre) research group by coordinating a small research team in the Solar Energy Facility. This experience was carried out under the umbrella of the TEPSI project (Italian National FISR grant) and in collaboration with the HYTECH project (European Community - FP6, c.n. 502704).
The topic was the investigation of thermochemical cycles in solar reactors for hydrogen production without CO2 emission. In the view of the excellent results obtained, I was nominated by the Italian Government as representative in the IAEA meeting about Nuclear Hydrogen Energy Applications in Vienna, September 1-3
(4) In 2007-2008 I newly focused on computational materials science in collaboration with the High Temperature Physical Chemistry Group (Coordinator: G.Gigli) at the Un. of Roma Sapienza: my study of the energetics of mixed valence Yb germanides was an unique example in the literature of an experimental-theoretical paper on rare earth materials thermodynamics.
(5) In 2009 I was post-doc fellow in the K.Aifantis group (Aristotelis University of Thessaloniki-Greece) to carry out a research project on the characterization of nanostructured composite materials for application in lithium ion-batteries.
(6) From 2009 to 2011 I worked as a joint post-doc in B.Scrosati group (Un.Roma Sapienza) and in P.G.Bruce group (Un.St.Andrews, UK) funded by the ALISTORE-ERI consortium. The research project focuses on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials (nanotubes, nanowires, nanoparticles, mesostructures) based on metal oxides for application in lithium-ion batteries.
(7) From december 2011 I am permanent researcher at the Department of Chemistry, University of Basilicata. My research interests focus on new materials for advanced energy applications.
From 2008 I have been principal investigator in three different research projects granted by the Caspur Cosortium in the field of computational chemistry: "Electronic and dynamic properties of MgB2 and related superstructures", “DFT modelling of metallic nanoparticles for lithium intercalation” and “Thermodynamic
modelling by first principles calculations of metallic substitutions in the TiO2 lattice”.
I was funded by the Italian Ministry of Education within the scheme "FIRB 2010 Futuro in ricerca" as research unit leader for the progect "Hydrides as anodes for high capacity lithium ion batteries". The project is starting in march 2012 and will last four years; it is organized on two closely interactive research unit. The total approved cost of the project is 921 000 Euros.
In 2009 I have been invited as speaker at the HTMC-XIII conference held in Davis (California, US) to present my research results in the lecture “Ab initio thermodynamics at finite temperatures of the intermetallic phases: the Re-B system”.
In 2011 I have been invited as speaker at the MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco (US) to present the leacture "Nanostructured TiO2 for Lithium batteries".
I am author of 33 articles on peer-reviewd international journals and 3 conference proceedings.

Here at the ISC-Sapienza I am unit leader of the project "Hydrides as high capacity anodes for Li-ion cells" in collaboration with Dr.Annalisa Paolone and Dr.Oriele Palumbo. The national project leader and responsible of the other research unit is  Dr. Priscilla Reale from the University of Rome Sapienza.

In the following a brief abstract describing the aim and goals of this project is reported.

Lithium ion batteries are currently used as power sources for wireless telephones, laptops and other portable electronic devices: this mobile market is rapidly expanding due to the worldwide demand. Great research efforts are constantly under way all around the world to further improve the technology and to face the transition to new challenging application fields (automotive, energy storage from intermittent “green” sources), which requires higher energy and power. However the planned mass commercialization of hybrid or electric vehicles requires to venture well beyond the present state of the art by increasing the battery performances and, even more important, by achieving higher safety standards. The ambition of this project is to pursue an effective and unique knowledge-driven breakthrough in Li-ion technologies by developing the revolutionary concept of a lithium-ion/metal-hydride battery, thus uprising the usual concept of a rechargeable Li-ion electrochemical cell. This innovation has the potential to overcome both safety and performance limitations of the current state-of-the-art Li-ion technologies. Indeed the exploitation in negative electrodes of metal hydride conversion reactions to give LiH, instead standard intercalation or alloying processes, can potentially unlock outstanding improvements both in the energy levels and in the battery safety. The final grand target of this project is to develop a prototype of a complete Li-ion cell with an hydride-conversion reaction (HCR) anode, a cathode material and a liquid electrolyte, able to give prolonged galvanostatic cycling with improved performances compared to graphite. The achievement of this target can potentially open the door to a technology capable to support a massive commercialization of “green cars”.



Contact Info

Sergio Brutti
Researcher, Associate

I am at the Department of Chemistry, Unviersity of Basilicata.


This user has no published articles.