Carla D. Nunes, Ph.D.

Materials and enviromental catalysis

Researcher at the Centre of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon




Brief CV

Research Interests

Relevant Publications




Brief CV


2000-2003: PhD in Chemistry under supervision of Prof. Isabel Gonçalves, University of Aveiro


2004-2007: Post-doc fellow in the group of Prof. Maria José Calhorda, Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon


2008-2013: Assistant Researcher at the Centre of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon


2013-Present: Associate Researcher at the Centre of Chemistry & Biochemistry of the Faculty of Science, ULisboa


2014-Present : Member of the Directive Board of the Centre of Chemistry & Biochemistry (CQB), 2014-2016, Faculty of Science, ULisboa



Research interests


At this moment the main areas of interest focus on the development of new mesoporous (MCM-41 type) and lamellar (Hydrotalcite

 like) materials. Synthesis and derivatisation of mesoporous materials with coordination compounds. Development of nanoparticles (active and passive) for catalytc applications.

Other research topics consist of organometallic chemistry and of catalysis with special emphasis on the epoxidation of olefins. The characterization techniques include solid-state NMR, FTIR, TGA and powder-XRD among others, usually necessary to accomplish an in-depth characterization of the resulting derivatized materials.

The main aim is to develop selective catalytic systems where waste and by-products are minimized thus leading to more environmentally friendly solutions.

Additional research work is developed towards the environmental application of such systems for photocatalytic degradation of pollutants.



PTDC/QUI/71576/2006: Design of new catalysts for enantiosselective oxidation catalysis

AI/B7/09 CRUP PT-UK Integrated Actions (Windsor Treaty): Clustering issues in environmentally relevant compounds - the role of hydrogen bonding

EXPL/QEQ-QIN/1137/2013: MAROC - Morphology-Activity Relationship in Oxidation Catalysis


Dr. Pedro D. Vaz (ISIS Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, STFC, Oxon, UK)

Dr. Olinda C. Monteiro - Interfacial electrochemisty group (CQB, FCUL)

Dr. Teresa G. Nunes - Solid state NMR (CQE, IST)

Dr. Felix Fernandez-Alonso (ISIS Facility, Rutherford Appleton Lab., STFC, Oxon, UK)

Mesoporous materials

MCM-41 type materials are a class of mesoporous materials that have been discovered in the early years of the last decade of the XXth century. Its structure is composed of  2D channels arranged in an hexagonal array.

This family of materials has been widely used in a variety of application ranging from catalysis to sensors or to membranes.

We develop pure Si-based matrix materials as well as organic-inorganic hybrid matrix materials.

Recently we started to work with chiral matrix mesoporous materials. These are intended to be used in catalytic applications in asymmetric oxidation reactions.

TEM images of organic-inorganic hybrid (left and center) and pure Si-based chiral (right) materials




Hydrotalcite-type anionic clays are lamellar materials, based on Mg (M2+) and Al (M3+) cations, but with a wide range of compositions (M2+ = Mg2+, Zn2+, Ni2+ etc., M3+ = Al3+, Cr3+, Ga3+ etc) is possible. The layers are positively charged and anions (Cl-, NO3-, CO32-, etc...) are needed to balance this charge. They occupy, along with water molecules, the space between layers, and can be exchanged with other more interesting anions, either organic or inorganic.

Such materials can be used either as bulk or as delaminated nanosheets



 Left: XRD powder patterns of a Mg-Al LDH clay intercalated with methionine before and after coordintion to Au nanoparticles;a scheme is also shown emphasizing the layered structure. Right: TEM image of delaminated LDH hybrid material with Au nanoparticles.

Relevant Publications

M. Nolasco, M. R. R. Felício, T. G. Nunes, P. Vaz, A. Botas, P. R. Claro, R. Ferreira, R. O. Freire, P. D. Vaz, L. D. Carlos, C. D. Nunes, Modelling the Luminescence of Extended Solids: the example of a Highly Luminescent MCM-41 Impregnated with a Eu3+ b-diketonate complex, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C4TC01072H

C. I. Fernandes, M. D. Carvalho, L. P. Ferreira, C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, Organometallic Mo complex anchored to magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as highly recyclable epoxidation catalyst, J. Organomet. Chem., 2014, 760, 2

I. J. Marques, P. D. Vaz, A. C. Fernandes, C. D. Nunes, Advantageous delivery of Nifedipine from inorganic materials showing increased solubility and biocompatibility, Microporous Mesoporous Mater., 2014, 183,192

C. I. Fernandes, M. S. Saraiva, T. G. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, C. D. Nunes, Highly enantioselective olefin epoxidation controlled by helical confined environments, J. Catal., 2014, 309, 21

M. S. Saraiva, C. D. Nunes, T. G. Nunes, M. J. Calhorda, Mo(II) complexes of 8-aminoquinoline and their immobilization in MCM-41, Applied Catal. A: Gen., 2013, 455, 172

C. I. Fernandes, C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, Clays in organic synthesis - preparation and catalytic applications, Current Organic Synthesis (invited article), 2012, 9, 670.

N. U. Silva, T. G. Nunes, M. S. Saraiva, M. S. Shalamzari, P. D. Vaz, O. C. Monteiro, C. D. Nunes, Photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B using Mo heterogeneous catalysts under aerobic conditions, Applied Catal. B: Environ., 2012, 113-114, 180

N. U. Silva, C. I. Fernandes, T. G. Nunes, M. S. Saraiva, C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, Performance evaluation of mesoporous host materials in olefin epoxidation using Mo(II) and Mo(VI) active species: inorganic vs. hybrid matrix, Applied Catal. A: Gen., 2011, 408, 105

C.I. Fernandes, N.U. Silva, P.D. Vaz, T.G. Nunes, C.D. Nunes, Bio-inspired Mo(II) complexes as active catalysts in homogeneous and heterogeneous olefin epoxidation, Applied Catal A: Gen., 2010, 384, 84

P. D. Vaz, C. D. Nunes, A new role for layered double hydroxides hybrid materials - uptake and delivery of small molecules into the gas phase, New J. Chem., 2010, 34, 541

M. S. Saraiva, C. D. Nunes, T. G. Nunes, M. J. Calhorda, The effect of immobilization on the catalytic activity of molybdenum h3-allyldicarbonyl complexes with nitrogen donor ligands bearing N-H groups, J. Mol. Catal. A, 2010, 321, 92

M. Vasconcellos-Dias, C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, P. Ferreira, P. Brandão, V. Félix, M. J. Calhorda, Heptacoordinate tricarbonyl Mo(II) complexes as highly selective oxidation homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, J. Catal., 2008, 256, 301

C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, A. C. Fernandes, P. Ferreira, C. C. Romão, M. J. Calhorda, Immobilization of Sertraline Drug in Micro and Mesoporous Material, Eur. J. Pharm and Biopharm., 2007, 66, 357

P. D. Vaz, C. D. Nunes, M. Vasconcellos-Dias, M. M. Nolasco, P. J. A. Ribeiro Claro, M. J. Calhorda, Vibrational study on the local structure of post-synthesis and hybrid mesoporous materials - are there fundamental distinctions?, Chem. Eur. J., 2007, 13, 7874

C. D. Nunes, P. D. Vaz, P. Brandão, J. Rocha, P. Ferreira, N. Bion, M. J. Calhorda, Hybrid mesoporous materials with a flexible 1,4−diazobutadiene chelating ligand. Synthesis and Characterisation, Microporous Mesoporous Mater., 2006, 95, 104

C. D. Nunes, A. A. Valente, M. Pillinger, J. Rocha, I. S. Gonçalves, Molecular Structure-Activity Relationships for the Oxidation of Organic Compounds using Mesoporous Silica Catalysts Derivatised with Bis(halogeno)dioxomolybdenum(vi) Complexes, Chem.- Eur. J., 2003, 9, 4380

C. D. Nunes, A. A. Valente, M. Pillinger, A. C. Fernandes, C. C. Romão, J. Rocha, I. S. Gonçalves, MCM-41 functionalized with bipyrdyil groups and its use as a support for oxomolybdenum (vi) catalyst, J. Mater. Chem., 2002, 12, 6, 1735



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