Chemical sciences
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Francesca Nunzi
  • Francesca Nunzi
  • 42 ore - Francesca Nunzi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2021
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Introduction to energy. Classification of energy resources.
Solar energy and electricity: inorganic photovoltaics.
Silicon solar cells, organic and sensitized.
Storage and transport of energy. Fuel cells
Reference texts
1. Chimica Ambientale, Baird e Cann, Zanichelli, 2013
2. A. W. Culp Priciples of Energy conversion, McGrawHill in Maidenhead, 1991.
3. V. Balzani, N. Armaroli Energy for sustainable world: from the oil to a sun-powered future, Wiley-VCH, 2011
4.C. Kittel Introduzione alla fisica dello stato solido, Bollati Boringhieri
5. Nanostructured and Photoelectrochemical Systems for Solar Photon Conversion, M. D. Archer, A. J. Nozik, Imperial College Press, 2008
6. Physics of solar cells, Peter Wurfel, Wiley-VCH 2009
Educational objectives
The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge to be able to independently deal with the issues surrounding the current energy problem, with particular reference to chemical issues.

In particular, the students who attended the course:
- They know the physical and chemical principles related to production, conversion and storage of energy;
- They know the physical and chemical principles connected with the conversion of solar energy, the mode of operation of solar photovoltaic cells and electrochemical devices for the accumulation of electricity;
- They know the most suitable techniques, processes and materials for the optimization of devices for converting and storing energy.
In order to be able to exhaustively understand the contents of the Course, it is necessary that the student has acquired the fundamental concepts of phtochemistry, electrochemistry and inorganic chemistry. Moreover, the expertise acquired through the Chemistry of the Atmosphere and the Chemistry of the Environmental Courses can be very helpful towards a full understanding of the Course's contents.
These prerequites are considered valid both for attending and not attending students.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:
- lectures on the subjects of the course.
Other information
Teacher's e-mail:
(please, replace "_at_" with "@")
Learning verification modality
The exam includes a final oral test with a duration of about one hour. The student is required to illustrate in depth one of the subject developed in the Course. Afterwards, some general questions are proposed on the various topics discussed during the Course.
For information on support services for students with disabilities and/or DSA please visit the web page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa.
Extended program
Definition of energy concept. Energy forms and transformations. Energy units. Energy conservation. Definition of energy efficiency. The global energy landscape and national estimates, reserves, future scenarios. Classification of energy sources. Energy from combustion reactions: fossil fuels. Renewable and alternative energy sources: solar, biomass, geothermal energy, wind energy, hydropower, hydrogen. Solar power and electricity: thermal conversion, photovoltaic conversion. An introduction to solid state physics: crystal lattice structures; diffraction of x-rays by crystals and reciprocal lattice; the free electron gas; energy bands theory; semiconductors. Inorganic photovoltaic silicon solar cells, thin-film solar cells, organic solar cells. Solar fuels: natural photosynthesis systems (antenna and reaction centers natural) and artificial photosynthesis. Chemical energy: reactions of photo-oxidation. The photolysis of water. Photo-sensitized solar cells (cells Graztel). Dyes Graztel cells. Energy storage and transport: the hydrogen age. Fuel cells.
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