Luisa Sciortino

ORCID: 0000-0002-4725-357X
Scopus Author ID: 35273098000
Web of Science ResearcherID:
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Research experience:

I have worked on the development of the thermal and optical blocking filters of the focal plane detectors of the ATHENA mission of ESA participating in the ongoing design, modeling, and experimental activities needed to define the conceptual design of the filters.  I employed synchrotron-excited X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) to probe the surface (few nanometers) of a prototype filter consisting of aluminum deposited on polyimide. The analysis of the XPS spectra allows estimating the thickness of the native oxide that alters the transmission of the filters. I have studied the effect of temperature on the X-ray transmission around the edges of C, N, and O using synchrotron radiation at the BEAR beamline of the Italian Synchrotron ELETTRA and at the SIM beamline of the Swiss Synchrotron PSI.

Now I am working on new appealing materials as alternative filters for astrophysical mission; in particular, my interest is currently focused on carbon nanotubes (CNT) membrane coated with metals (such as Al, Zr or Nb) for both X-ray mission as Athena, and EUV mission as MUSE. These new materials are rather interesting due to both the expected mechanical properties of CNT and low X-ray attenuation of chemical elements that are found in these membranes. In this regard, I participated to two research projects funded by ESA “CNT-based filters for X-ray Applications”) and “Large area high-performance optical filter for X-ray instrumentation”.

During my Ph.D., I worked both in the laboratories of the Inorganic Chemistry Department of the Università degli di Palermo and in the laboratories of the ISMN-CNR of Palermo. The work was focused on the control of the synthesis and on the study of crystalline structure of nanocomposites of cobalt and gold. During this period, I acquired competence in inorganic synthesis through both bottom-up and top-down methods, and I developed skills in Synchrotron light techniques.

From the 2014 I have begun to exploit my competences in material science in the astrophysical field. I have worked on different themes: the improvement of X-ray mirror figure using active optics for X-ray telescope, in this context I have explored the application of piezoelectric actuators onto the non-optical side of the mirrors for X-ray astronomical applications where very thin mirrors are required in order to enable nesting and reduce the mass. To this purpose she developed a method to deposit nanometric (up to 95 nm) gold and titanium tracks on hot slumped glass. Meanwhile the described research activities, I was interested in the synthesis, in the properties investigation, and in the correlation between structure, catalytic and optical properties, and the sensing ability of the Carbon Dots (CDs), a new class of materials, named fluorescent carbon In this field I contributed to the individuation by use of XPS and HRTEM of a new family of fluorescent Carbon Dots with β − C3N4 nanocrystalline structure. Furthermore, I developed a procedure to embed CDs in solid matrix preserving their optical properties and allowing the interaction with aqueous environment.


Professional activities:

  • Permanent staff at the INAF-OAPA, Technologist May 2023 – today
  • Researcher at the Department of Fisica e Chimica of the University of Palermo Jul 2019 – Dec 2023
  • Post doc at the Department of Fisica e Chimica of the University of Palermo Jun 2012- Jan 2019