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Liberato Manna Write a Message

Senior Researcher Tenured - Research Director
Department Director

Research Line



IIT Central Research Lab Genova


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



Dec 2014-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

2016-current:            Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Genova (Italy), 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



~300 papers in international journals (14 review articles), excluding conference proceedings, 16 book chapters, 1 book



~24,500 citations, H index 71 (ISI Web of Science, April 2018)

~32,000 citations, H index 79 (Google Scholar, April 2018)


Covers of journal issues

 “Semiconductor Nanorods Liquid Crystals”, Nano Letters 2002,

“Nanocrystal Phase Control”, Nature Materials 2003,

“Room temperature-dipolelike single photon source with a colloidal dot-in-rod”, Applied Physics Letters 2010,

“Interlocked branched nanocrystals”, Nature Materials 2011,

“Showcasing research from the recipient of the 2011 Journal of Materials Chemistry Lectureship”, Journal of Materials Chemistry 2012,

“Synthesis of highly luminescent wurtzite CdSe/CdS giant-shell nanocrystals using a fast continuous injection route”, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2014,!divAbstract

“One pot synthesis of monodisperse water soluble iron oxide nanocrystals with high values of the specific absorption rate”, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2014,

“Changing the Dimensionality of Cesium Lead Bromide Nanocrystals by Reversible Post-Synthesis Transformations with Amines”, Chemistry of Materials, 2017,

“Writing on Nanocrystals: Patterning Colloidal Inorganic Nanocrystal Films through Irradiation-Induced Chemical Transformations of Surface Ligands”, Journal of the American Chemical Society , 2017,


Invited talks

97 invited conference presentations, 43 invited seminars/lectures/colloquia at Universities, Research Centres and Companies


Granted Patents and Patent Applications

10 issued patents, 18 patent applications


Teaching Expertise

2017-2018:  Theoretical Chemistry (master course, Univ. of Genoa)

2017-2018:  Electronic Structure of Solids (grad. course, Univ. of Genoa)

2016-2017:  Theoretical Chemistry (master course, Univ. of Genoa)

2016:           Electronic Structure of Solids (grad. course, Univ. of Genoa)

2015:           Fundamentals of Crystallography (grad. course, Univ. of Genoa)

2015:           Electronic Structure of Solids (grad. course, Univ. of Genoa)

2014:           Fundamentals of Crystallography (grad. course, Univ. of Genoa)

2006:           Physical Chemistry of interfaces (undergrad. course, Univ. of Lecce)

2004:           Polymer Science (undergrad. course,Univ. of Lecce)


Organization of conference/symposia

2017:      Chairman of the International Conference “Applied Nanotechnology and Nanoscience (ANNIC)”, Rome 18-20 October, 2017

2017:      Euromat 2017, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 17-22 2017, Symposium organizer

2016:      EuchemS, Seville, September 11-15 September 2016, Symposium organizer

2016:      Co-organizer of the Faraday discussion symposium “Nanoparticles with Morphological and Functional Anisotropy”, 4-6 July 2016

2015:      Co-Organizer of the Symposium “From Molecules to Colloidal Compound Semiconductor Nanocrystals ─ Advances in Mechanism-Enabled Design and Syntheses”, at the 2015 MRS Spring Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

2014:      Chairman of the “Quantum Dots 2014” conference, Pisa, May 2014.

2012:      Co-Organizer of the Symposium “Organized Nanostructures and Nano-objects: Fabrication, characterization and applications” within the framework of the EMRS Fall Meeting 2012, September 17th-21st 2012, Warsaw University of Technology

2010:      Co-Organizer of the Symposium "Science and Technology of Nanotubes and Nanowires and Graphene" at the June 8th-10th 2010 European Materials Research Society Spring Meeting (EMRS2010) in Strasbourg, France

2008:      Chairman of the International Conference ‘Nanoscience with Nanocrystals’ (NANAX3), May 21st-23rd 2008, Lecce, Italy


Editorial Board Membership

Chemistry of Materials (ACS), Journal of Experimental Nanoscience, Journal of Nano-Optics and Nanoelectronics, Particle & Particle Systems Characterization (Wiley), Frontiers in Materials, Chem


Major Research Grants Secured

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

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

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

2015-2018:                H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) project (Compass, contract n. 691185), partner

2014-2018:                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

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

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

Selected Publications

Selected publications from the last 3/4 years:


  • Akkerman, Q.; Rainò, G.; Kovalenko, M.; Manna, L.; Genesis, challenges and opportunities for colloidal lead halide perovskite nanocrystals, Nat. Mater. 2018, doi: doi:10.1038/s41563-018-0018-4.
  • Kriegel, I.; Scotognella, F.; Manna, L., Plasmonic doped semiconductor nanocrystals: Properties, fabrication, applications and perspectives, Phys. Rep. 2017, 674, 1–52.
  • De Trizio, L; Manna, L. Forging Colloidal Nanostructures via Cation Exchange Reactions, Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 10852−10887.

Materials development:

  • Imran, M.; Caligiuri, V.; Wang, M.; Goldoni, L.; Prato, M.; Krahne, R.; De Trizio, L.; Manna, L. Benzoyl Halides as Alternative Precursors for the Colloidal Synthesis of Lead-Based Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b13477
  • Akkerman, Q. A.; Park, S.; Radicchi, E.; Nunzi, F.; Mosconi, E.; De Angelis, F.; Brescia, R.; Rastogi, P.; Prato, M.; Manna, L. Nearly Monodisperse Insulator Cs4PbX6 (X= Cl, Br, I) Nanocrystals, Their Mixed Halide Compositions, and Their Transformation into CsPbX3 Nanocrystals. Nano Letters 2017,17, 1924–1930.
  • Akkerman, Q. A.; Motti, S. G.; Kandada, A. R. S.; Mosconi, E.; D’Innocenzo, V.; Bertoni, G.; Marras, S.; Kamino, B. A.; Miranda, L.; De Angelis, F. Solution Synthesis Approach to Colloidal Cesium Lead Halide Perovskite Nanoplatelets with Monolayer-Level Thickness Control. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 1010-1016.
  • Akkerman, Q. A.; D’Innocenzo, V.; Accornero, S.; Scarpellini, A.; Petrozza, A.; Prato, M.; Manna, L. Tuning the Optical Properties of Cesium Lead Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals by Anion Exchange Reactions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 10276-10281.

Solar cells:

  • Palazon, F.; Pérez-del-Rey, D.; Marras, S.; Prato, M.; Sessolo, M.; Bolink, H. J.; Manna, L. Coating Evaporated MAPI Thin Films with Organic Molecules: Improved Stability at High Temperature and Implementation in High-Efficiency Solar Cells, ACS Energy Lett. 2018, 3, 835–839.
  • Akkerman, Q. A.; Gandini, M.; Di Stasio, F.; Rastogi, P.; Palazon, F.; Bertoni, G.; Ball, J. M.; Prato, M.; Petrozza, A.; Manna, L. Strongly Emissive Perovskite Nanocrystal Inks for High-Voltage Solar Cells. Nature Energy 2016, 2, 16194.

Light emitting diodes:

  • Shamsi, J.; Rastogi, P.; Caligiuri, V.; Abdelhady, A. L.; Spirito, D.; Manna, L; Krahne, R. Bright-Emitting Perovskite Films by Large-Scale Synthesis and Photoinduced Solid-State Transformation of CsPbBr3 Nanoplatelets, ACS Nano, 2017, 11, 10206–10213.
  • Palazon, F.; Di Stasio, F.; Akkerman, Q. A.; Krahne, R.; Prato, M.; Manna, L.Polymer-Free Films of Inorganic Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals as Uv-to-White Color-Conversion Layers in Leds, Chem. Mat. 2016, 28, 2902-2906.

Photodetectors & photoconductive properties of materials:

  • Dogan, S.; Kudera, S.; Dang, Z.; Palazon, F.; Petralanda, U.; Artyukhin, S.; De Trizio, L.; Manna, L.; Krahne, R. Lateral epitaxial heterojunctions in single nanowires fabricated by masked cation exchange, Nat. Commun. 2018, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-02878-w.
  • Arciniegas, M., P.; Castelli, A.; Piazza, S.; Dogan, S.; Ceseracciu, L.; Krahne, R.; Duocastella, M.; Manna, L. Laser-Induced Localized Growth of Methylammonium Lead Halide Perovskite Nano- and Microcrystals on Substrates, Adv. Funct. Mater., 2017, doi: 10.1002/adfm.201701613.
  • Almeida, G.; Dogan, S.; Bertoni, G.; Giannini, C.; Gaspari, R.; Perissinotto, S.; Krahne, R.; Ghosh, S.; Manna, L. Colloidal Monolayer β‑In2Se3 Nanosheets with High Photoresponsivity, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 3005−3011.
  • Palazon, F.; Dogan, S.; Marras, S.; Locardi, F.; Nelli, I.; Rastogi, P.; Ferretti, M.; Prato, M.; Krahne, R.; Manna, L. From CsPbBr3 Nano-Inks to Sintered CsPbBr3−CsPb2Br5 Films via Thermal Annealing: Implications on Optoelectronic Properties, J. Phys. Chem. C 2017, 121, 11956−11961.
  • Arciniegas, M. P.; Di Stasio, F.; Li, H. B.; Altamura, D.; De Trizio, L; Prato, M.; Scarpellini, A.; Moreels, I.; Krahne, R.; Manna, L. Self-Assembled Dense Colloidal Cu2Te Nanodisk Networks in P3HT Thin Films with Enhanced Photocurrent, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2016, 26, 4535–4542.

Composites and their mechanical properties:

  • Arciniegas, m. P.; Castelli, A.; Ceseracciu, L; Bianchini, P.; Marras, S.; Brescia,R.; Manna, L.; Assembly of Branched Colloidal Nanocrystals in Polymer Films Leads to Enhanced Viscous Deformation Resistance, Nano Lett. 2016, 16, 6154−6163.

Applications of plasmonic materials in photothermal theraphy:

  • Ghosh, S.; Avellini, T.; Petrelli, A.; Kriegel, I.; Gaspari, R.; Almeida, G.; Bertoni, G.; Cavalli, A.; Scotognella, F.; Pellegrino, T.; Manna, L.Colloidal CuFeS2 Nanocrystals: Intermediate Fe D-Band Leads to High Photothermal Conversion Efficiency, Chem. Mat. 2016, 28, 4848−4858.


  • Shinde, D. V.; De Trizio, L.; Dang, Z.; Prato, M.; Gaspari, R.; Manna, L. Hollow and Porous Nickel Cobalt Perselenide Nanostructured Microparticles for Enhanced Electrocatalytic Oxygen Evolution, Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 7032-7041.
  • Najafishirtari, S.; Brescia, R.; Guardia, P.; Marras, S.; Manna, L.; Colombo, M.Nanoscale Transformations of Alumina-Supported Aucu Ordered Phase Nanocrystals and Their Activity in Co Oxidation, Acs Catalysis 2015, 5, 2154-2163.


Awards & research highlights:

2017:                           2017 Chemistry of Materials Outstanding Reviewer Award

2017:                           Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

2017:                           International award  “Apulians in the World” (Apulian Region, Italy)

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 worldwide.

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

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

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),

2005:                           Top nine innovators in Italy younger than 35 (Financial magazine ‘Il Sole 24 ore’)

2002:                           ‘Berkeley Lab Technology Transfer Award’.

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

2000:                           ‘Umberto Maria Grassano Award’ (Italian Association of Physics).


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.