Ass.-Prof. Dr. Laerte Patera
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Assistant Professor, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2020 - 2022
Principal Investigator, Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Munich, Germany
2016 - 2019
Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, University of Regensburg, Germany
Visiting PhD student, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, USA
2013 - 2016
PhD in Nanotechnology, Graduate school in Nanotechnology, University of Trieste, Italy
Graduate research assistant, Institute of Materials (IOM), National Research Council (CNR), Trieste, Italy
2010 - 2012
Master's degree in Physics, University of Milan, Italy
2006 - 2010
Bachelor's degree in Physics, University of Milan, Italy
Main Research Areas and Recognition
- 2D-covalent organic frameworks:
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are materials formed by the linkage of organic building blocks to create periodic structures with predefined topologies. This peculiar characteristic enables the construction of tailor-made systems for applications in (photo-)catalysis and optoelectronics.
In our lab, we synthetize atomically thin COFs with tailored structures. Novel approaches for the synthesis of extended crystallites with domain sizes up to several micrometers are currently under development. The formation of extended COFs is achieved through on-surface synthesis, which makes use of atomically flat surfaces as templates to confine polymerization reactions in two dimensions. The 2D-COFs are characterized at the atomic scale by high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), shedding light onto the reaction pathways leading to the growth of COFs.
- Imaging excitions in photoactive framworks:
Excitons are fundamental light-induced excitations, composed of bound electron-hole pairs. While they lie at the heart of photochemistry, their short-lived nature makes their experimental study a real challenge.
In the context of the recently awarded ERC starting grant (WEPOF), we are working on novel imaging techniques based on scanning probe microscopy to resolve photoexcited states in organic frameworks.
- Single-site catalysis:
Over the past few years, single-site catalysts have attracted special attention in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, due to their unique chemical activity and selectivity.
By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and near-ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS), we study the mechanisms governing single-site catalyzed polymerization in model systems under realistic reaction conditions.
Grants and Awards
2021 - 2022
ERC Starting Grant
Catalysis Research Center, Associated PI Technical University of Munich, Germany
Individual Research Grant, German Research Foundation, Germany
Gustav-Hertz Prize, German Physical Society, Germany
NEST Prize 2019, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and NEST Laboratory, Italy
Best Ph.D. Career Award, University of Trieste, Italy
Fernando Tommasini Award, University of Trieste, Italy
Graduate Scholarship, AREA Science Park, Trieste, Italy
Current Funded Research Projects
Improved understanding of exciton dynamics could lead to higher-performance photoactive materials.
WEPOF European Research Council
Marco Thaler and Laerte Patera representing the research at the physical department for the new image film "Chemie-Studium in Innsbruck" (1:30 min)