National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos - Institute of Physical Chemistry, Patriarchou Grigoriou


Polycarpos Falaras
153 10 Aghia Paraskevi Attikis

Polycarpos Falaras
Tel: +30 210 6503644




The National Centre of Scientific Research "DEMOKRITOS" (NCSRD) is the first and largest research centre in Greece, and employs about 1000 persons, 200 among them being permanent research scientists, working at eight (8) research Institutes covering the major part of the exact sciences spectrum (Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Technology and Radiation Protection, Materials Science, Telecommunications and Informatics, Microelectronics, Physical Chemistry, Biology, Radioisotopes and Radiodiagnostic Products).

The primary objective of the Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC) of the National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" (NCSR "D") is the fundamental research in physical chemistry which is pursued by both experimental and theoretical methods. Current research activities focus on nanomaterials, functional molecular and supramolecular materials, biomolecules and natural products, but also on equilibrium, transport, catalytic and photoinduced processes as well as environmental technologies and renewable energy issues. Under the coordination of Dr. P. Falaras (the Director of IPC), the IPC participates to the "Clean Water" project with 2 groups:

1. Photoredox Conversion and Solar Energy Storage Laboratory (PCSE)

The PCSE lab specializes in photonduced processes involving solar energy conversion to electricity and photocatalysis. In the field of photocatalysis heterogeneous photocatalytic processes and related applications are investigated, via the preparation and characterization (Raman, optical and electrochemical) of functional photonic materials in the nanometer scale. The scientific effort of the PCSE lab aims at improving the efficiency of photocatalytic processes via: a) increase of the photocatalyst effective surface area; b) efficient separation of the photogenerated charge carriers (e- and h+); c) photocatalytic sensitization into the Vis light region-shift of the absorption onset; d) judicious balance of photocatalytic and superhydrophilic properties on multi-dynamic surfaces able to photochemically decompose harmful organics, kill bacteria and viruses and being easily self-cleaned; e) increased anticancer and anticoagulant action of titanium dioxide on neoplasm and inflammatory cells. In the course of the project the PCSE laboratory colaborates with Researchers of the IPC disposing high expertise in pore structure characterization of both porous materials and membranes with the purpose to conjoint photocatalytic activity with membrane technology. Their research activities during the CLEANWATER project primarily focus on the development of photocatalytic nanofiltration membranes and photoreactor engineering.

2. Catalytic - Photocatalytic Processes Laboratory (C-PCP)

The C-PCP carries out research on catalytic photocatalytic reactions for solar energy utilization, environmental detoxification and environmentally friendly processes. In particular aggregates of metal oxides, mainly TiO2, and polyoxometallates (POM) mainly of W, are used in photochemical reactions for: (a) photodegradation of organic pollutants to CO2, H2O and inorganic anions, (b) reduction-removal of metallic ions (c) synthesis of metal nanoparticles and (d) selective oxidation-synthesis of organic chemicals.

Current research interests: (a) immobilization of photocatalysts in optically active and/or inert substrates, (b) synthesis of nanocomposite films of polymer/POM with layer by layer (LbL) technique, characterization and investigation of their photocatalytic properties (c) photocatalytic synthesis of metallic nanoparticles deposited in nanostructured multilayer films (d) sensitisation of photocatalysts towards the visible light and (e) development of new methods of analysis for trace organic pollutants.



  • photoinduced processes
  • nanostructured materials
  • photocatalytic nanofiltration membranes
  • photoreactor engineering
  • pollutants photodegradation