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Prof. Gianluca Maria Farinola


Full Professor of Organic Chemistry

Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro


President of the Organic Chemistry Division

of SCI-The Italian Chemical Society (2017-2019)


President of the Organic Chemistry Division

of EuChemS - European Society of Chemistry (September 2018-2021)


Dipartimento di Chimica

Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”

via Orabona 4, I-70126 Bari, Italy

Phone 0039 080 5442064

Mobile 0039 3332176021

Fax 0039 080 5442129




Personal Information

Date of birth: 01/01/1968

Nationality: Italian



1992 "Laurea" in Chemistry, University of Bari (summa cum laude).

1997 Ph.D. Chemical Sciences University of Bari.


Academic career

1996 Assistant Professor (Ricercatore) of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Bari;

2002-2015 Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Bari;

2010  Habilitation Full Professorship in Organic Chemistry (University of Torino);

2014 Three national habilitations for Full Professorship in three different disciplines: Organic Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry and Chemistry for Engineering;

2015 (March 2nd) Full  Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Bari.


Visiting professorships

2018 and 2017 Visiting Scholar at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University (Laboratories Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto)

2015 Invited Visiting Professor at the Chemistry Department, University of Angers (France) – CNRS Laboratoire MOLTECH-Anjou (Laboratories Dr. Jean Roncali)

2013 and 2014 Invited Professor at the University of Strasbourg (France) (Institut de Science et d’Ingégnerie Supramoléculaire – ISIS) (Director Prof. P. Samori)

2009 Visiting Professor University Muenster (Germany) (Laboratories Prof. L. De Cola)



2008 “Innovation in Organic Synthesis Award” of Interuniversitary Consortium CINMPIS

2003 “Medaglia Ciamician” prize of the Italian Chemical Society


Italian Chemical Society (SCI) and EuCheMS

2018-2021 President of the Organic Chemistry Division of EuChemS

2017-2019 President of the SCI Organic Chemistry Division;

2014-2017 Italian representative, secretary and treasurer in the Organic Chemistry Division of EucheMS;

2011-2016 Member of the SCI Organic Chemistry Division Committee;

2005-2010 Member  of the SCI Regional Committee (Puglia);

2002-2003 Member of the Constituent Committee of the SCI Young Group.


Other professional appointments

2016-2018 - Consultant of the Italian Parliamentary Commettee - Commissione Parlamentare Bicamerale Camera dei Deputati / Senato della Repubblica Italiana di Inchiesta sulle Attività Illecite Connesse al Ciclo dei Rifiuti e su Illeciti Ambientali ad esse Correlati.

Spin-off: Co-founder and member of the administrative committee of a spin-off company SYNCHIMIA s.r.l. of the University of Bari started in November 2008.



Gianluca Farinola is author of about 150 publications on international peer-reviewed journals (ISI Web of Science H 33), two international patents, and five book chapters. He has presented his research in 110 invited lectures in national and international conferences and schools, in Universities and Research Institutes.

He is presently coordinating a research group of about 20 people at the Chemistry Department of the University of Bari.

Gianluca Farinola and his group design and synthesize new multifunctional molecular, polymeric and supramolecular photo/electro-active organic materials for applications ranging from organic photonics and electronics to biology. The study covers not only construction and tailored chemical functionalization of molecular structures for control, improvement and introduction of specific properties, but also combination of active organic and organometallic molecules and polymers with biological or inorganic nanostructures resulting in hybrid multifunctional materials with intriguing properties.

In many cases, the structures developed have been used as active layers in organic photonic and electronic devices including OLEDs, organic solar cells, organic field effect transistors and sensors. More recently, various biological applications have been targeted and bio-hybrid functional smart structures have been synthesized.

In the last ten years the investigation also focused on the use of biological polymers (e.g. melanins, biosilica) and functional macromolecules (e.g. photoenzymes) from microorganisms as active materials for applications ranging from optoelectronics to biomedicine.




Invited lectures Overall 110 invitations to give lectures in national and international conferences, schools, universities, research centres and companies. These include invitation to the prestigious Burgenstock conference and to Gordon Conference.


Selected Invited lectures at international conferences:


-     MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit 2017, Symposium B11 (Modeling, Characterization, Fabrication and Applications of Advanced Biopolymers—Where Form Meets Function)  November 28-December 1 2017 (Boston USA)

-     Conference on Progress in Organic Optoelectronics, 18-19 december 2017 (Valencia, Spain)

-     10th International Symposium on Flexible Organic Electronics – ISFOE 2017- July 3-6  (Thessaloniki, Greece)

-     Napes Workshop March 27th-28th 2017 (Dublin, Ireland)

-     MRS Fall meeting 2016, Symposium BM6, (Fabrication, Characterization and Applications of Bioinspired Nanostructured Materials) (Boston, USA, November 27th – December 2nd 2016);

-     Journee Scientifique Lumomat (Angers, France November 14th 2016))

-     SPIE Optics + Photonic Conference 2016 (San Diego, August 28th – September 1st  2016)

-     7th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics (Malaga, Spain, July 25-28 2016)

-     27th European Colloquium on Heterocyclic Chemistry (Amsterdam July 3rd-6th 2016)

-     Gordon Research Conference: Electronic Processes in Organic Materials (Barga, Italy, June 5th-10th 2016)

-     NanoSpain 2016 (March 15th-18th 2016, Logrono, Spain)

-     MRS Fall meeting 2015, Symposium E (Engineering and Application of Bioinspired Materials) (Boston, USA, November 29th – December 4th 2015);

-     Living materials 2015 (Taillores, France, July 16-19 2015)

-      ECME 2015 - European Conference on Molecular Electronics (Strasbourg, September 1st-5th 2015).

-     Symposium on Fluorine Chemistry (21stISFC), Como August 23rd-28th 2015

-     European Optical Society Annual Meeting (EOSAM) 2014 (Berlin September 15th-19th  2014)

-     48th Burgenstock Conference – EUCHEM Conference on Stereochemistry (Brunnen, Switzerland, May 3rd 2013);

-     9th Spanish-Italian Symposium on Organometallic Chemistry (SISOC IX) (Tenerife, Spain, February 2012);

-     International Workshop Advances in Photovoltaics and Photocatalysis  (Munich, July 21-22, 2011);

-     Funmarch: Functional Molecular Architectures (Bologna, Italy 2010);

-     4th Eurpean Conference on Organic Electronics and Related Phenomena (ECOER ’07) (Varenna, Italy september 2007);

-     41th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress (Torino, Italy, August 2007);

-     European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) Spring Meeting (Nice, France June 2006);





Selected Invited lectures at international schools:


-     Summer Schools on Advanced Macromolecular Topics of the European Polymer Federation – 2017/8th School “Transport Phenomena In Polymers And Hybrid Materials" May 14th-19th 2017, Gargano, Italy.

-     e-WISPOC 15 (European winter School on Physical organic Chemistry, Bressanone Italy, February 1st-6th 2015).

-     ISOC 15, International School on Organometallic Chemistry (Camerino, Italy, September 5th-9th 2015).

-     International Winterschool on Bioelectronics (Kirchberg in Tirol, Austria February 2014).

-     IX International Krutyn Summer School 2012  (Krutyn, Poland, June2012);

-     ORION International Summer School(Ostuni, Italy, June 2011);.

-     One-p summer school (Erice, Italy, april 2010);

-     European Spring School 2009 European Marie Curie Research training   Network Nanomatch e Threadmill (Peñiscola, Spain April 2009);



Selected invited lectures in universities, research centers and companies


Universiteit Van Amsterdam Department of Chemistry (November 2003); Ciba Specialty Chemicals S.p.A di Pontecchio Marconi Bologna (May 2004); Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (June 2004); Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Dipartimento di Scienze dei Materiali (November 2006); Centech, Center for

Nanotechnology, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität di Münster (Germany, November 2009); IMDEA Nanoscience Institute Madrid, Spain (November 2011); Department of Organic and Farmaceutical Chemistry University of Regensburg , Germany (7 November 2011); Università degli Studi di Perugia, Dipartimento di Chimica (November 2011); Università degli Studi di Firenze e CNR ICCOM Firenze  (November 2012); Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Chimica (January 2013); ENI Ricerche, Istituto di Ricerche Chimiche Guido Donegani (March 2013); Université Bordeaux 1 - CNRS Institut des Sciences Moléculaires (July 2013); Center for Nano Science and Technology @Polimi, Italian Institute of Technology, Milan (October 2013); University of Namur, Department of Chemistry (November 2013); Department of Bioelectronics, Centre Microélectronique de Provence, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne (January 2013); Center for Plastic Electronics Imperial College London (November 2014), Institute of Materials Science University of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC, UAB) (May 2015), Chemistry Department, University of Angers (France) (July 2015); TU Dresden, Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Institute for Materials Science (January 2016), Department of Organic Chemistry University of Geneva (November 2016), Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science (April 2017), Linkoping University (October 2017).









Main research achievements


1) Development of synthetic methods for semiconducting polymers and small molecules

A number of Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling protocols for the synthesis of p-conjugated compounds have developed over the last 15 years in my group. Some of these methods are based on vinylsilanes, which are characterized by high stability and low toxicity. We have used such versatile reactions to synthesize extended polyenic chains and also several classes of conjugated polymers e.g. poly(phenylenevinylene)s (PPVs), poly(aryleneethynylene)s (PPEs) and poly(arylene)s. We have also demonstrated the feasibility of some of these reactions in aqueous environment. More recently, we have focused on C-H activation reaction for direct heteroarylation based polymerization processes as scalable routes to conjugated polymers for plastic solar cells.


2) Synthesis of conjugated polymers and organometallic complexes for OLEDs
Several classes of electroluminescent polymers, and particularly poly(phenylenevinylene)s have been designed and synthesized using organometallic cross-coupling reactions. A special expertise of our group is the synthesis of conjugated polymers, small molecules and organometallic complexes with selectively fluorinated backbone. In fact, fluorination has been demonstrated as a convenient structural modification to increase the stability

of conjugated materials against photooxidation and to tune the emission color over all the visible spectrum. On this topic, we have also collaborated with industrial partners, and especially with Philips research in Eindhoven and Aachen. The first ever reported blue and white electroluminescent fluorinated PPVs were synthesized and tested in OLED devices. Selective fluorination of ligands of electrophosphorescent Ir complexes has been explored as a structural modification able to improve stability and to tune the color of light emitted.


3) Polymers for photovoltaics

Functional polymers for bulk heterojunction solar cells based on different heteroarylene systems, also conjugated with double bonds, have been developed. Fluorination has been explored also in this context as a structural modification able to improve the performances of the resulting materials in polymer solar cells.


4) Functional conjugated polymers for self-assembly and organic electronics
Introduction of sulfur atoms, and particularly thiol groups, on conjugated backbones generates molecular semiconductors endowed with self-assembling ability on various metallic substrates for application in organic electronics. Self-assembly of conjugated polymers with carbon nanotubes have also been investigated in this context.


5) Synthesis of chiral conjugated polymers

Functionalization of conjugated polymers with small enantiopure bio-molecules, such as monosaccarides or amino acids, induces chiral supramolecular architectures in the solid state. Synthetic methods to chiral bio-functionalized

polymers have been studied. The chiral organization of the resulting materials in the solid state has been investigated. Finally, a new generation of high performance enantioselective transistor sensors has been demonstrated based on the chiral bio-conjugated polymers as the active thin films


6) Bio-hybrid materials for optoelectronics and nanotechnology, particularly with photosynthetic microorganisms

More recently my research interest is also focused on the construction of hybrid functional architectures based on the combination of micro-nano structures obtained from photosynthetic microorganisms and tailored organic molecules. The idea behind this work is to explore the possibility to achieve biotechnological production of nanomaterials and materials for photonics and electronics exploiting structures present in microorganisms, and more specifically photosynthetic microorganisms, which have been optimized for specific functions in billions of years of evolution and can be easily obtained on a big scale and at low costs.

In this context we have investigated the bacterial Reaction Center photoenzyme as an efficient photoconverter. This protein has been highly selectively functionalized with organic dyes to extend its absorption spectrum, and we have also covalently bound it to molecular semiconductors and employed the resulting construct as the active material in a photosensitized resistor.

We have also investigated the silica shells of diatoms as nanostructured silica for application in photonics and biomedicine, upon functionalization with organic molecules.

Following the same approach of functionalization of natural or biomimetic materials, we have also studied polydopamine, and in general melanines, and their chemically modified analogues, as active materials in optoelectronic devices.





Coordination of research project

As Scientific Coordinator

2014-2017 National coordinator of a PRIN Italian National project: “Aqueous processable polymers for plastic solar cells: from materials to photovoltaic modules” (AQUASOL) (The project involves research groups in 4 Institutions: Universities of Bari, Pisa, Roma Tor Vergata and CNR ISMAC Milano) (total cost of the project 370.000 euro).

2012-2015 Coordinator of an industrial research project financed by ENI to the University of Bari (Chemistry Department) concerning the scale-up to the hundreds grams scale of synthesis of conjugated polymers for BHJ solar cells and small molecules for DSSC: “Production of photoactive polymers for photovoltaic cells, production of aromatic intermediates for the synthesis of conjugated polymers and of modified fullerenes and optimization of metal-free dyes for DSSC cells”.

2011-2013 National coordinator of a PRIN National Italian project: “Innovative materials for organic and hybrid photovoltaics” (the project involved research groups in 7 Institutions: Universities of Bari, Catania, Pisa, Genova, Roma Tor Vergata, Lecce and CNR ICM Milano) (total cost of the project 400.000 euro).

2008-2010 National coordinator of a PRIN National Italian project (Research Project of National Interest granted by the Italian Ministery of Universty and Research): “Organic materials for photovoltaics and electro-luminescence: design, synthesis, evaluation” (the project involved research group in 5 Institutions: Universities of Bari, Pisa, Catania, Genova and CNR ISMAC Milano) (total cost of the project 257.000 euro).

2006-2007 Italian coordinator of Italian-German Bilateral Vigoni Project :

“Self-assembling of polymers and organometallic complexes for (electro)luminescent materials” .


As Principal Investigator of Research Unit

2018-2021             Scientific Responsible for the University of di Bari  of the European Project HyPhOE (Hybrid Electronics based on Photosynthetic Organisms) — H2020 FETOPEN-2016-2017 (Total cost of the Unit 500.000 euro) Starting from 1/9/2018

2016-2020             Scientific responsible for the Chemistry Department for the University of Bari of the European Project XF-ACTOR (Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy) (Project ID 727987) - H2020-SFS-2016-3 (total cost for the unit 80.000 euro). 

2012-2015 Scientific Responsible for the University of Bari in the Project : “Molecular NAnotechnology for HeAlth and EnvironmenT (MAAT)” PON project of the national Technological District for High Tech (Total cost  for the Unit 845.000 Euro).

2007-2013 PO Puglia FESR 2007-2013, Project “Regional laboratory for new nano- and biotechnologies for water filtration: design and construction of biomimetic membranes for industrial, commercial and environmental applications" WAFITECH” (2010-2012). (Total cost for the Unit 350.000 Euro).

Industrial projects: Projects and contracts granted by the following companies: Philips (Eindhoven, Aachen) Ciba Speciality Chemicals (Bologna), Pirelli Labs (Milano) Bridgestone (Roma) ENI (Donegani, Novara).

G. Farinola was also in charge as scientific responsible for the Bari Unit in the project “TRIPLED: High Efficiency Materials for the Next Generation polymer Displays and Lighting Applications” granted by the Netherland government, as a contractor of Philips Research, Eindhoven (2004-2007).


Organization of conferences and international schools

As Scientific Committees member and Conference Chairman


2018 Chair of the Symposium FL: “Biological, Biohybrid and Bioinspired Materials: From Electronics and Photonics to Medicine” of CIMTECH 2018 and 8th Forum on New Materials (June 10-14 2018, Perugia, Italy);


2017 Chair of the Symposium BM03 of the MRS Fall meeting 2017 (Biological and living materials in photonics and electronics) (Boston, USA, November 26th December 1st 2017);

2016 Member of the Program Committee of the European Optical Society Annual Meeting (EOSAM) 2016 for the TOM 7 - Organic & Hybrid Semiconductor Materials and Devices;

2016 Co-Chair of the Symposium Orbitaly 2016 – Organic Bioelectronics in Italy (Santa Cesarea Terme, October 26th-28th 2016)


2016 Member of the international advisory board of LUOMAT a Research, Fromation and Innovation Project financed by the Pais de la Loire Region (France)


2015 Chair of the Symposium D of the MRS Fall meeting 2015 (Biological and bio-inspired materials in photonics and electronics: Chemistry, Physics  and Biology) (Boston, USA, November 29th – December 4th 2015);

2014-2018 Member of the Scientific Commettee of the SISOC – Spanish-Italian Symposium on Organic Chemistry (Editions X, XI, XII);

2011-2019 Member of the Scientific Commettee of the Annual National Conferences of the Organic Chemistry Division of the Italian Chemical Society;

2014 Co-chair of the Symposium: “Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion: Silicon and Beyond” of CIMTECH 2014 and 6th Forum on New Materials (June 2014, Montecatini Terme, Italy);

2013 Co-director of the XIII International Krutyn Summer School 2013 (May 2013, Poland): “Advanced photo- and electrically active molecular and nano-materials at the interface with living systems: challenges and promises for the future bio-medicine”;

2012 Chairman of the International Conference FUTURMAT2(Second International Meeting on Organic Materials for a Better Future: Design, Synthesis and Properties of Organic Compounds for Solar Energy, Lighting and Bio-Medical Applications) (September 2012, Carovigno, Italy);

2011 Member of the International Advisory Board of the International Krutyn Summer School ”Frontiers in organic, dye sensitized and hybrid solar cells” (May 2013, Krutyn, Poland);

2008- present. Member of the Scientific Committee of the “National School on Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics”.


Commissions of Evaluation

2008 Committee for the selection of an assistant professor position (Ricercatore) University of Pisa;

2010-2011 Reviewer panel for the Projects evaluation University of Padova;

2010-2013, and 2016 Referee for PRIN and Junior FIRB national research projects and external reviewer ERC starting grant;

2012, 2013 Reviewer of research project for the “International Center for Frontier Research in Chemistry” – FRC Foundation (Strasbourg, France);

2014 Reviewer of “Strategic Project Grants” of the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada;

Panel for the evaluation for the access to PhD courses of the Universities of Bari (2004, 2006, 20011, 2014), PhD School of Advanced Studies of the University of Camerino (2011, 2012, 2013), PhD courses of the University of Milano Bicocca (2006);

2016 Committee for the selection of an associate professor in organic chemistry at University of Padova and for an associate professor in organic chemistry at University of Lecce;

2016 President of the Committee for the selection of a full professor in organic chemistry at the University of Pavia;

2011-present: Member of the Committee of the PhD School in Chemical and Molecular Sciences, University of Bari.

2018 Member of the commettee for the selection of 1 Dirigente di Ricerca I livello professionale for CNR (Bando n. 367.160 DR - Area Strategica Materiali Avanzati)


Referee of many international journals including Angew. Chem. Int Ed.,  European Journal of Organic Chemistry, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, ChemComm., Advanced Functional Materials, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Nanoscale (RSC), Journal of the American Chemical Society, Science of Advanced Materials, Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry.



Gianluca Farinola has given radio, TV and several press interviews about organic materials for plastic solar cells and OLED lighting, and on bio-hybrid materials, with emphasis on the societal impact of these energy-saving and environmental-friendly technologies. He also delivered several invited lectures in front of non-specialized audience (high schools, Accademia dei Lincei, sport clubs). 


Main Teaching activities

BC and Master degree

Organic Chemistry first course (Degree in Chemistry – First cycle) (2016-2018)

Organic Chemistry and Laboratory (Degree in Biotechnological Sciences-First cycle) (2001-2018);

Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry (Degree in Environmental Sciences-First cycle) (2001-2005);

Organic Material Devices (Degree in Materials Sciences-First cycle) (2002-2011);

Chemistry of Organic Materials (Master degree in Chemical Sciences and in Chemistry and Technology of Materials-Second Cycle) (2012-2018)
Chemistry of Marine Pollutants (Degree in Environmental Sciences-First cycle) (2003-2010).



PhD and Specialization School

Industrial Organic Chemistry (Specialization school in Biotechnological Applictions) (1998-2003).

MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry (PhD courses in Chemical Sciences and in Chemistry of Materials) (2001-2003).

Conjugated compounds for photonics and electronics (PhD courses in Chemical Sciences and in Chemistry of Materials) (2004).

Advanced course on synthesis and characterization of organic compounds (PhD courses in Chemical Sciences and in Chemistry of Materials) (1998, 2005).

Didactics in Organic Chemistry (Specialization school for high school professors)  (2005-2008).

Didactics in Laboratory of Organic Chemistry (Specialization school for high school professors)  (2003-2009).

Pubblicato il: 10/05/2019