Dr. Maria Chiara Spadaro studied Physics at the University of Messina in 2012. In 2016 she got her PhD in Physics and Nanoscience from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The same year, she was awarded to the Best PhD Thesis SISM Award for Transmission Electron Microscopy applied to Material Science. In 2018 she received the Laura Bassi SIF Award and other Awards related to her scientific outcomes. After postdoctoral appointments in Modena, Lausanne and Swansea, since 2019 she is Marie Curie Fellow at ICN2 and Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University. Dr Spadaro research interests are focused on the controlled preparation and investigation of ultraprecise nanoscaled materials, particularly with electron microscopy related techniques, such as imaging (transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy), spectroscopy (electron energy loss spectroscopy in STEM and -energy dispersive X-ray in STEM) and post-imaging treatment (strain analysis, exit wave reconstruction and peak finding). She possesses expertise also in advanced 3D atomic model and image simulation of nanostructured materials, in particular she leads the corresponding activities within the GAe-N group in ICN2. She was involved in several R&D projects at national (NEWLI, ANAPHASE) and European (CritCat, REDOX) level and other international collaborative research projects, also with Industry. She is currently leading also the working package WP2 for the Spanish MINECO project ANAPHASE.

She published more than 20 papers in indexed journal (ISI WoS), including: Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, ACS Catalysis, Nano Research and Nanoscale.

She possess 9 invited talks, including lectures and seminars at many conference and research institutions world-wide, and more than 20 as contributed presentations.

She is member of ARTmeetsNANO Commettee and organised 3 european meetings/symposium. She possess also a wide academic experience, as she supervised many undergrad and grad students since her PhD period.


Atomic-resolution Transmission electron microscopy for Nanomaterials for Clean Energy applications – AT ONCE

AT-ONCE project aims to develop a new and comprehensive methodology to improve catalytic materials via their characterisation at atomic resolution, for the understanding of the main mechanisms involved in energy related catalysis processes. Electron microscopy is the canonical technique to investigate individual systems with properties of interest in catalytic reactions. Transmission EM (TEM) and scanning TEM (STEM) offer the means to obtain information on the size and shape of individual systems (nanosheet, flakes or nanoparticles). Furthermore, performing further analysis on the TEM acquired images, it is possible to evaluate the strain field that originates, as an example, from the lattice mismatch of the constituent materials. To unambiguously investigate specific TEM or STEM images characteristic features, EM image simulation is required by using multislice algorithms and other methods. By combining transmission electron microscopy based tools with electron spectroscopies, such as electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) or energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), it is possible to determine also the chemical composition together with coordination state determination. Combining these techniques it is possible to extrapolate, with unprecedented resolution, structure-related properties and performances of the single catalyst, down to the single particle level. AT-ONCE focuses on hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions, but the developed methodology will provide substantial insight also for the material optimization and understanding process for other type of reactions.

BIST centres

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees