Group Coordinator: António Maçanita


Group MPPM integrates the former Molecular Photochemistry Group 4 of CQE (Unit 100) and the former Glasses and Thin Films Group of ICEMS (Unit 84). Both groups have been involved in basic and applied research in colloidal structures at the micro- and nano- scales, metal nanoparticles, organic photoelectronics and inorganic photonic materials. The study of photoluminescent (PL) functional materials, with applications in the energy, information and communications technologies (ICT) and biomedical areas, is the main common ground of the newly emerging Group MPPM, which is divided in two sub-groups MPPM(A) and MPPM(B).

Laser Flash Photolysis

MPPM(A) has a solid experience in the field of kinetics of photo-induced processes/reactions, pioneering the installation and development of transient emission equipment with ns (1984), ps (1994) and fs-time resolution (2010) in Portugal. The sub-group research in 2015-2016 focussed on nine topics, within the areas of functional materials (1-7) and photo-biophysics (8-10), namely:


(1) Spectroscopic and microscopic hybrid carbon based materials. GRAPHENE OXIDE SENSING PLATFORMS, with photoactive molecules in films.

(2) Biosensors based on functionalized metal nanoparticles. Plasmonic hot-spots from dimers of spherical gold nanoparticles by DNA-directed assembly.

(3) Single molecule fluorescence microscopy of poly(amidoamino) dendrimers complexed with porphyrinoids or in covalent multichromophoric (atto655) dendrimer

(4) Ultrafast photophysical processes in conjugated polymers for photovoltaic conversion (PVC);


Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscope

(5) Photophysics of organometallic boron compounds for light-emitting diodes (LEDs);

(6) New photochromic compounds;


7) Single molecule fluorescence microscopy of poly(amidoamino) dendrimers complexed with porphyrinoids or in covalent multichromophoric (atto655) dendrimer;

(8) Photoactive dyes in polyelectrolyte microcapsules. Design of photoactive dual microcapsules for drug delivery, with relevance for cancer theranostics.

(9) Earliest steps of fibrillation of amyloid proteins.

(10) Anthocyanins’ protection of plants from excess of solar light.

Ultrafast transient emission spectroscopy: ps-TCSPC and fs-FUC


MPPM(B) developed solid work on halide and oxide glasses, sol-gel films, lanthanide-doped waveguides and photonic crystals (PCs), glass-ceramics (GCs) and functional nanoparticles (NPs). 
This sub-group has expertise in the area of glasses and sol-gel derived thin films, including the study of their structure by spectroscopic methods (FTIR, Raman, EXAFS and LEIS), together with their optical properties, namely the photoluminescence (PL) in lanthanide-doped glasses and films There is also a long experience in the fabrication and characterization of photonic and non-linear optic (NLO) glasses and GCs and expertise on photonic and magnetic nanoparticles (NPs). In the period of 2015-2016, the research activities were concentrated on three main lines of work:


Ultrafast transient emission spectroscopy: ps-TCSPC and fs-FUC

1) Deposition and spectroscopic characterization of sol-gel derived glassy films for (a) improvement of solar cell efficiency by infrared up-conversion and visible down-conversion, based on Er/Yb and Tb/Yb doping of 1-D photonic crystals (PCs) and (b) white light generation, based on the combination of suitable phosphors and LEDs, with the phosphor PL tailored by lanthanide-doped PC microcavity coatings designed through Transfer Matrix simulations.


(2) Preparation of melt-quenched NLO photonic glasses and GCs with second harmonic generation (SHG) properties and the study of their NLO and PL properties.


(3) Synthesis of magnetic NPs for biomedical applications such as contrast agents in MRI.






Photos from out labs




Integrated Members

Silvia Marilia de Brito Costa

Antonio Luis Vieira de Andrade Maçanita

Rui Manuel Amaral de Almeida

Maria Clara Henriques Baptista Gonçalves

Luis Filipe da Silva dos Santos

Suzana Maria de Andrade Sousa Paiva

Pedro Miguel Neves Ribeiro Paulo

Roberto Emir Di Paolo Alvarez

Vanda Isabel Roldão Canelas Vaz Serra

Adelino Leitão de Moura Galvão


PhD students


Bruno Miguel Pinto Ferreira

Ying Jiang

João Carlos da Silva Roque

Joana Matos


Collaborators & Other researchers

Maria Isabel Pimentel dos Santos Viseu

Palmira Maria Martins Ferreira da Silva

José António da Costa Patrício Bracons Ferreira

Marco António Gomes Saraiva

Carlos Javier Bueno Alejo

Rocio Estefania Rojas Hernandez





  1. Costa,; Galvão, A. M.; Di Paolo, R.E.; Freitas, A. A.; Lima, J.; Quina, F.H.; Maçanita, A. L. “Photochemistry of the Hemiketal form of anthocyanins and its potential role in plant protection from UV-B radiation”, Tetrahedron (Special issue: Chemistry in the Vine and Wine Sciences), 71, 3157-3162, 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.tet.2014.06.092.
  2. Seixas de Melo, J. S.; Maçanita, A.L. “Unveiling the Eigen-Weller ion pair from the excited state proton transfer kinetics of 3-chloro-4-methyl-7-hydroxycoumarin”, Phys. Chem B (Special issue: Photoinduced Proton Transfer in Chemistry and Biology) 2015, 119, 2604−2610, DOI: 10.1021/jp508782h.
  3. Saraiva, A.; Jorge, C. D.;Santos, H.; Maçanita, A. L., “Earliest Events in α-Synuclein Fibrillation Probed with the Fluorescence of Intrinsic Tyrosines” J. Photochem. Photobiology B, 2016, 154, 16-23,DOI:10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2015.11.006.
  4. Rui M. Almeida, Himanshu Jain, Carlo G. Pantano, “Low-energy ion scattering spectroscopy of modified silicate glasses”, Am. Ceram. Soc. 99 (2016) 1259 – 1265.
  5. Tiago V. Ribeiro, Luís F. Santos, M. Clara Gonçalves, Rui M. Almeida, “Heavily Yb-doped silicate glass thick films”, Sol-Gel Sci. Technol. (DOI 10.1007/s10971-016-4071-7).
  6. R. Faria, M. Margarida Cruz, M. C. Gonçalves, Alexandra Carvalho,Gabriel Feio, M. B. F. Martins, “Synthesis and Characterization of Magnetoliposomes for MRI contrast enhancement“, International Journal of Pharmaceutics 446 (2013) 183 – 190.
  7. Khatua, S; Paulo, PMR; Yuan, H; Gupta, A; Zijlstra, P; Orrit, M,Resonant Plasmonic Enhancement of Single-Molecule Fluorescence by Individual Gold Nanorods, ACS Nano 2014, 8, 4440-4449.
  8. M. Andrade, C. J. Bueno-Alejo, V. V. Serra, J. M. M. Rodrigues, M. G. P. M. S. Neves, A. S. Viana and S. M. B. Costa, “Anchoring of Gold Nanoparticles on Graphene Oxide and Noncovalent Interactions with Porphyrinoids”, ChemNanoMat, 2015, 1, 502 – 510,DOI: 10.1002/cnma.201500133
  1. R. Teixeira, PMR. Paulo and S M B Costa, “Gold Nanoparticles in Core−Polyelectrolyte−Shell Assemblies Promote Large Enhancements of Phthalocyanine Fluorescence”, J. Phys. Chem. C, 119 (2015) 21612-21619 ;DOI: 10.1039/c4cp05373g
  2. V. Vaz Serra, R.Teixeira, S M. Andrade, S.M.B.Costa, “Design of polyelectrolyte core-shells   with DNA to control TMPyP binding”, Colloids Surf B: Biointerfaces.(2016)146,127-135, DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2016.05.047.