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“Investments for your future”

PROJECT: SPFM technologies in ionic reactions of soil residual solutions and production of carbon nanotubes nanocomposites for energy and environmental applications (SPFM-LA)

Project co-financed through the European Fund of Regional Development


2.1.2 Operation: “High-level scientific R&D projects that will be attended by specialists from abroad”


For detailed information about other programs co-financed by the European Union, please visit

[box type=”shadow”]The content of this publication does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union or the Romanian Government. [/box]


Bucharest, 30th May 2013





UNIVERSITY POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, headquartered in Splaiul Independenței, nr 313, has been runing as of June 18th, 2010 the project called “SPFM technologies in ionic reactions of soil residual solutions and production of carbon nanotubes nanocompisites for energy and environmental applications (SPFM-LA)“, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, on the basis of the financing contract signed with Autoritatea Națională pentru Cercetare Științifică (National Authority for Scientific Research). The total value of the project is 6.611.800,00 lei, of which the non-refundable financial assistance is 4.980.000,00 lei.

The project is implemented in Bucharest for a duration of 40 months.

A team of Romanian researchers from the Center for Surface Science and Nanotechnology at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, headed by Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enachescu – an international specialist in surface science, made for the first time in Romania 3rd generation solar cells based on carbon nanotubes, produced in their own laboratory and with their own equipment. The main properties of the obtained carbon nanotubes, which are 70,000 times thinner than a hair, are their electric current density – 1,000 times higher than that of copper, Young’s modulus closed to diamond’s (the hardest material in the nature), the tensile strength – which is 14 times higher than that of Kevlar, and the heat conductor capacity – almost equal to that of aluminum.


This press release presents the outstanding scientific achievements obtained during the project from its very beginning in June the 16th, 2010 up to present.

The project addresses two of the most important topics of current interest in Europe and worldwide, namely:

– the improvement of wastewaters – practical contributions to green politics, of an unpolluted environment

– applications for environmental decontamination, and clean&renewable energy.


The main objectives of the Project have already been achieved, namely the implementation of SPFM (Scanning Polarization Force Microscopy), the production of nanocomposites based on carbon nanotubes and the production of 3rd generation solar cells based on carbon nanotubes.


The strategic objectives of the project were met as follows:

– Characterization using SPFM and improvement of wastewaters, with specific objectives:


1.1 measuring the spatial distribution (nanometer resolution) of liquid films that wet surfaces using SPFM. Also, using the same technique, was determined the nano-scale distribution of ions on surfaces coated with thin liquid molecular films, their mobility and exchange reactions with the substrate.


1.2 determining the structure and configuration of the molecules in the liquid solutions which are in contact with the surfaces of the minerals in the ground, using spectroscopic techniques, preferably Sum Frequency Generation (SFG) or Raman microscopy.


1.3 investigation of the role of molecular layers at the change of the molecular structure to interface, to the wetting level of the surface of interest, and to the blocking of the diffusion of ions, as well as of the reactions of the ions from the toxic substances and the substrate.


– Production and characterization of carbon nanotubes nanocomposites, where the specific objectives were pursued:

1.4 The controlled production, characterization and optimization of the deposition of carbon nanotubes using the laser ablation technique:

– a characterization of the properties of adherence and local durability of the nanotubes to the used substrate, through adhesion force measurements and nanoindentations, using the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) technique and also investigating local electronic conductivity by measuring the local current-voltage characteristic using conductive AFM cantilevers.

– a morphological characterization of the carbon nanotubes using AFM-STM (Atomic Force Microscopy – Scanning Tunneling Microcopy) and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), confocal Raman microscopy

1.5 3rd generation solar cells based on carbon nanotubes:

– thin layers as organic matrices containing carbon nanotubes

– transparent electrodes based on carbon nanotubes


The research team led by Professor Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enachescu – an internationally renowned specialist – has achieved outstanding results in achieving its goals as a result of a very good strategy of project implementation. Professor Enachescu returned to Romania in 2009 after having spent ~15 years in the great laboratories of the world, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California (USA), and built at the University Politehnica of Bucharest one of the best Romanian physics research teams. Prof. Enachescu and his team created the first laser ablation chamber to produce carbon nanotubes in Romania, a technology that currently can only be found in just a few other labs around the world.

The results of the project:

– the successful implementation in Romania of the most advanced nanoscale characterization technique of the contact/wetting angle, respectively the Scanning Polarization Force Microscopy (SPFM) technique;

– the successful implementation in Romania of one of the most powerful pulsed laser ablation systems, namely an ablation system assisted by an excimer laser operable in a high and ultra-high vacuum level environment for the growth of ultra-thin layers, starting from atomic monolayers. The system is equipped with RHEED in order to monitor the number of the deposited atomic layers;

– the design and implementation of an innovative design for an ablation chamber for carbon nanostructures growth by implementing a pulsed ablation technique assisted by excimer laser.

Using these especially unique techniques in Romania, during the research activities needed to achieve the project objectives, it was possible to achieve scientific results of one of the biggest scientific values, not only at a national level, but also at international level. Some of them are:

– measurement at nanometer-scale of the wetting angles of the liquid nano-droplets through the SPFM technique and finding their spatial distribution

– the characterization of micro and nano-scale corrosion using the SPFM technique

– the implementation of a variety of carbon nano-structures by pulsed laser ablation technique, i.e. graphene, nano-onions and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)

– the implementation of 3rd generation solar cells

– the start of the patent procedure for the ablation chamber design for the synthesis of carbon nanostructures using excimer laser ablation technique.

The Project results were showed to and recognized by the national and international scientific community after their presentation at domestic and international professional conferences or after their publication in national and international expert magazines and journals, i.e., 7 ISI articles accepted and/or submitted for publication, 2 articles published at conferences, 12 conference participations in Romania and abroad.

The synergy with other national and international projects:

The results obtained during the project have enabled the integration of research topics proposed in the development of scientific partnerships with scientific entities of the highest international level within some other projects, some of them being:

  • “LAB FAB for smart sensors and actuators MEMS”, FP7-ENIAC – Nanoelectronics, (2013-1015), Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enachescu – Project Manager
  • “Actinides and Heavy Metals interactions on proteins and their biosensing”, IFA-CEA France Partnership, (2012-1014), Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enăchescu – Project Manager
  • “Biomaterials synthesis for polyesters industry with applicability in the production of ballistic protection equipment”, PN-II CDI, (2012-1015), Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enăchescu – Project Manager
  • “Technologies for leathers with self-protection properties by surface modification with oxide and metal nanoparticles for advanced applications”, PN-II CDI, (2013-1015), Dr. Liana Anicai – Project Manager
  • „A new generation of solar cells based on carbon nanotubes”, PN II-CAPACITATI-BILATERALE (2013-2014), Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enăchescu – Project Manager


For further details, please contact:

The Surface Science and Nanotechnology Contact Center

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Marius Enachescu

Project Manager

University Politehnica of Bucharest

Splaiul Independentei 313060042 Bucharest



For detailed information about other programs co-financed by the European Union, please visit

[box type=”shadow”]The content of this publication does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union or the Romanian Government. [/box]