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Marco Zanella

Post Doc

Former colleague


Genova - Nanochemistry

Disabled Nanochemistry


via Morego, 30


September 2009-now: Senior post-doc in Dr. Liberato Manna group at the Nanochemistry Facility of Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) Genova (Italy).

July 2008-June 2009: Visiting scholar at the chemistry department at University of California  Berkeley (UCB) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Paul Alivisatos.

29 May 2008: PhD defence at Fachbereich Physik of Philipps-Universitaet Marburg (magna cum laude) with the thesis “Synthesis of advanced inorganic colloidal nanoparticles”.

July 2007-May 2008: Senior PhD student in Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Parak group at Philipps University Marburg (Germany) and responsible of the synthesis division. 

October 2007- May2008: Responsible for the new electrochemistry division in Prof. Parak group.

December 2004-June 2007 PhD student in Dr. Wolfgang Parak group and CeNS (Center for NanoScience) member at LMU Muenchen (Germany).

 Research Interests:

Synthesis of colloidal nanomaterials

Assembly on device scale of nanomaterials

Exploitation of nanoparticles for devices fabrication 

Selected Publications




1) Synthesis and perspectives of complex crystalline nano-structures physica status solidi (a), 2006, 203(6), 1329 Stefan Kudera, Luigi Carbone, Marco Zanella, Roberto Cingolani, Wolfgang J. Parak, Liberato Manna.


2) Sequential growth of magic-size CdSe nanocrystals Advanced Materials, 2007, 19, 548–552
Stefan Kudera°, Marco Zanella°, Cinzia Giannini, Aurora Rizzo, Yanqin Li, Giuseppe Gigli,
Roberto Cingolani, Giuseppe Ciccarella, Werner Spahl, Wolfgang J. Parak, and Liberato Manna.
° S. Kudera and M. Zanella contributed equally to this work.

3) Blue light emitting diodes based on fluorescent CdSe/ZnS nanocrystals Appl. Phys. Lett., 2007, 90, 051106 Aurora Rizzo, Yanqin Li, Stefan Kudera, Fabio Della Sala, Marco Zanella and Wolfgang J. Parak, Roberto Cingolani, Liberato Manna, and Giuseppe Gigli.

4) Size determination of (bio-) conjugated water-soluble colloidal nanoparticles - a comparison of different techniques Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2007, 111 (31), 11552–11559, R. A.Sperling, T. Liedl, S. Duhr, S. Kudera, M. Zanella, C.-A. J. Lin, W. Chang, D. Braun and W. J. Parak.

5) A Photo-Switchable Signal Chain for Superoxide Detection using a CdSe/ZnS-Quantum Dot Modified Gold Electrode, Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference, 2007. TRANSDUCERS2007.International10-14 June 2007, 2295–2297, C. Stoll, M. Zanella, W. J. Parak, F. Lisdat.


6) Growth of colloidal hybrid nanoparticles of fluorescent group II/VI particles on top of
magnetic iron-platinum, Journal of Material Chemistry, 2008, (36), 4311-4317, Marco Zanella, Andrea Falqui, Stefan Kudera, Liberato Manna, Maria F. Casula, Wolfgang J. Parak.

7) Biological applications of gold nanoparticles, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008, 37, 1896-1908 Ralph A. Sperling, Pilar Rivera Gil, Feng Zhang, Marco Zanella and Wolfgang J. Parak

8) Photoelectrochemical signal chain based on quantum dots on gold – sensitive to superoxide
radicals in solution, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2008, 24, 260-265 C. Stoll, C. Gehring, K. Schubert, M. Zanella, W.J. Parak, F. Lisdat.

9) Design of an amphiphilic polymer for nanoparticle coating and functionalization, Small, 2008, 4(3), 334-41. Lin Cheng-An J., Sperling Ralph A, Li Jimmy K, Yang Ting-Ya, Li Pei-Yun, Zanella Marco, Chang Walter H, Parak Wolfgang J.


10) Chloroform- and water-soluble sol-gel derived Eu+++/Y2O3 (red) and Tb+++/Y2O3 (green)
nanophosphors: synthesis, characterization and surface modification, IEEE Trans
Nanobioscience, 2009 Mar;8(1):43-50, Ashutosh Pandey, M. K. Roy, Anjana Pandey, Marco Zanella, Ralph A. Sperling, W. J. Parak and H. C. Verma.

11) Synthesis, characterization, and bioconjugation of fluorescent gold nanoclusters toward biological labeling applications, ACS nano, 2009, 3(2), 395-401. Lin Cheng-An J, Yang Ting-Ya, Lee Chih-Hsien, Huang Sherry H, Sperling Ralph A, Zanella Marco, Li Jimmy K, Shen Ji-Lin, Wang Hsueh-Hsiao, Yeh Hung-I, Parak Wolfgang J, Chang Walter H.

12) Evaluation of quantum dots applied as switchable layer in a light-controlled electrochemical sensor. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 2009, 396, 1095-103, Zhao Yue, Waqas Khalid, Marco Zanella, Abbasi Azhar-Zahoor, Kirsten Schubert, Fred Lisdat, Wolfgang Parak.

13) Relaxation times of colloidal iron platinum in polymer matrixes, Journal of Material Chemistry, 2009, 35 (19), 6381-6386, Maria Puerto Morales, Matthieu Bedard, Alejandro G. Roca, Patricia de la Presa, Antonio Hernando, Feng Zhang, Marco Zanella, Abbasi Azhar Zahoor, Gleb B. Sukhorukov, Loretta del Mercato, Wolfgang J. Parak.

14) Identifying spinel phases in nearly monodisperse iron oxide colloidal nanocrystals, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 43(113), 18667-18675, A. Corrias, G. Mountjoy, D. Loche, V. Puntes, A. Falqui, M. Zanella, W. J. Parak, M. F. Casula


15) Discontinuous Growth of II-VI Semiconductor Nanocrystals from Different Materials , J. Phys.Chem. C, 2010, 114 (14), 6205–6215, Marco Zanella, Azhar Zahoor Abbasi, Andreas Schaper,Wolfgang J. Parak.

16) Assembly of Colloidal Semiconductor Nanorods in Solution by Depletion Attraction,
Nanoletters, 2010, 10 (2), pp 743–749, Dmitry Baranov, Angela Fiore, Marijn van Huis,
Cinzia Giannini, Andrea Falqui, Ugo Lafont, Henny Zandbergen, Marco Zanella, Roberto Cingolani and Liberato Manna.

17) Epitaxial CdSe-Au nanocrystal heterostructures by thermal annealing, Nanoleters, 2010, 10 (8), pp 3028–3036, Albert Figuerola, Marijn van Huis, Marco Zanella, Alessandro Genovese, Sergio Marras, Andrea Falqui, Henry Zandbergen, Roberto Cingolani, and Liberato Manna.


18) Assembly of Shape-Controlled Nanocrystals by Depletion Attraction, ChemComm, 2011, 47, 203-205, Marco Zanella, Giovanni Bertoni, Isabella R. Franchini, Rosaria Brescia, Dmitry Baranov and Liberato Manna.

19) Novel hybrid organic/inorganic 2D quasiperiodic PC: from diffraction pattern to vertical light extraction, Nanoscale Research Letters, 2011, 6 (1) 371-377, Petti L., Rippa M., Zhou J., Manna L., Zanella M. and Mormile P.

20) Self-Assembled Multilayers of Vertically Aligned Semiconductor Nanorods on Device-Scale Areas, Advanced Materials, 2011, 23 (19) 2205 -2209, Zanella M., Gomes R., Povia M., Giannini C., Zhang Y., Riskin A., Van Bael M., Hens Z. and Manna L.

21) Sequential Cation Exchange in Nanocrystals: Preservation of Crystal Phase and Formation of Metastable Phases, Nano Letters, 2011, 11, 4964-4970, Li H., Zanella M., Genovese A., Povia M., Falqui A., Giannini C. and Manna L.

22) Steady-state photoinduced absorption of CdSe/CdS octapod shaped nanocrystals, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2011, 13 (3) 15326-15330, Antognazza M. R., Scotognella F., Miszta K., Dorfs D., Zanella M., Zavelani-Rossi M., Manna L., Lanzani G. and Tassone F.

23) Luminescent Solar Concentrators Utilizing Aligned CdSe / CdS Nanorods, Photovoltaic
Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2011 37th IEEE, 2011, 000858-000863, DOI:
10.1109/PVSC.2011.6186087, Martyn Fisher, Marco Zanella, Daniel J Farrell, Liberato Manna, Paul Stavrinou, Amanda J Chatten.


24) Blue-UV-Emitting ZnSe(Dot)/ZnS(Rod) Core/Shell Nanocrystals Prepared from CdSe/CdS Nanocrystals by Sequential Cation Exchange, ACS Nano, 2012, 6 (2), pp 1637–1647 Hongbo Li,Rosaria Brescia,Roman Krahne, Giovanni Bertoni, Marcelo J. P. Alcocer, Cosimo D’Andrea,
Francesco Scotognella, Francesco Tassone, Marco Zanella, Milena De Giorgi, and Liberato Manna

25) Optical phonon modes in ordered core-shell CdSe/CdS nanorod arrays, Physical Review B, 2012, 85, 115413, Andrea Giugni, Gobind Das, Alessandro Alabastri, Remo Proietti Zaccaria,Marco Zanella, Isabella Franchini, Enzo Di Fabrizio, and Roman Krahne

26) Bragg Extraction of Light in Active Photonic Nanogratings Patterned in CdSe/CdS Nanorods-Polymer Nanocomposites L. Petti, M. Rippa, R. Capasso, P. Mormile, M. Zanella, L. Manna

27) Spinning nanorods – active optical manipulation of semiconductor nanorods using polarised light, Nanoscale, 2012, 4 (12), 3693-3697, DOI: 10.1039/C2NR30515A, C.R. Head, E. Kammann, M. Zanella, L. Manna and P.G. Lagoudakis

28) Strong reduction of exciton binding energy in CdSe/CdS nanorods, Lucas Kunneman, Marco Zanella, Liberato Manna, Laurens Siebbeles, Juleon Schins (submitted)

Book Chapters: 

“Core Shell Nanocrystals”, Stefan Kudera, Marco Zanella, Wolfgang J. Parak in ‘Comprehensive Nanoscience and Technology’, Edited by David Andrews, Greg Scholes and Gary Wiederrecht, Elsevier,2010.

1. The article “Assembly of shape controlled nanocrystals by depletion attraction” by Zanella et al. was
highlighted as “hot article” by the editorial board of Chemical Communications, February 2011. See:

2. The article “Sequential cation exchange reactions in colloidal nanocrystals” by H. Li et al. was highlighted by Nano Letters among the most important article of the November 2011 issue.





Center for Nanoscience (CeNS) International Doctorate Program NanoBioTechnology (IDK-NBT) scholarship (2004-2007).

 Certificate for “outstanding academic achievements” within the IDK-NBT doctorate program (2008).

One year scholarship as visiting scholar at UCB-LBNL (Berkeley, CA) (2008-2009).


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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.