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Physical Organic Chemistry

Free Radicals and Antioxidants - FRA

Luca Valgimigli, Riccardo Amorati

Research focuses on the study of mechanisms, kinetics and thermodynamics of radical reactions, particularly of those reactions involved in oxidative degradation of materials and biological systems. Special focus is given yet on their protection, i.e. on the inhibition of oxidative degradation. The team is dedicated to the rational design, synthesis and testing of new antioxidants, with specific interest on their industrial applications. The team is also active in the isolation, structural elucidation, and study of natural antioxidants and their applications in human health and nutrition.

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Free Radicals Chemistry

Marco Lucarini, Elisabetta Mezzina, Paola Franchi

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), is used in our laboratory to characterize paramagnetic species (including organic free radicals) containing one or more unpaired electrons. The use of this technique allows to determine the electronic properties, the life time and the reactivity of the radical species in question. EPR spectroscopy is also used for the study of supramolecular architectures through the introduction of suitable paramagnetic probes. In this way it is possible to obtain information about non-covalent complexes that are complementary to those obtained with traditional spectroscopy techniques.

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Supramolecular chemistry and stereochemistry

Stefano Masiero, Silvia Pieraccini

The group is active in the fields of supramolecular chemistry and stereochemistry. The main focus is on design and synthesis of self-assembled nanoarchitectures with embedded optical, magnetic or electronic properties, suitable for molecular devices. In this context, the hierarchical organization of non-covalent interactions is exploited in solution, in the liquid-crystalline phase and on solid surface. The possibility of controlling order and properties of the systems trough chemical or physical stimuli is investigated with the aim of realizing “molecular switches".
Chiroptical properties, both at molecular and supramolecular level, are explored mainly by Circular Dichroism spectroscopy. A further topic concerns the use of liquid crystals for chiral amplification. The transfer of chirality from the molecular to the supramolecular level can be exploited for the stereochemical characterization of chiral dopants and for designing new nanomaterials.