University of La Plata (FI-UNLP), Argentine

The Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquímicas Teóricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA) is an academic institution devoted to the study of basic and applied scientific research problems in the field of chemistry, in general, and physicochemistry. INIFTA operates within the National University of La Plata (UNLP) and is academically dependent on the Department of Chemistry of the School of Exact Sciences. The institute is located in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The INIFTA belongs to Concejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONICET). It has around 100 researchers and another 100 Ph.D. candidates.  It is one of the most well-recognized institutes in the region of Buenos Aires.

Research Group Sensors and Electrocatalysis is interested in fundamental and applied research at the nanoscale for application in sensors, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and energy-related issues.

Equipments and Laboratories

Wet Chemistry Lab
Synthesis of metal nanoparticles and alloys (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt, Ni) Synthesis of Graphene Quantum Dots (GQDs)
Synthesis of Au@GQDs Plasmonic Nanohybrids
Graphene Transfer upon various substrates

Phychem and e-chem Synthesis and Sensors Lab
Synthesis of CVD Graphene on Cu foils and Nickel foams
Electrochemical probe station CHI700D (LSV,CV, Picoampbooster, etc.)
Substrate preparation.
Gas and Vapor sensors  

Optical properties Lab
LAMBDA 1050+ UV/Vis/NIR Spectrophotometer Cary Eclipse Fluorescence Spectrometer
Varian 660-IR Spectrometer


Francisco J. Ibañez, principal investigator

Email: fjiban(at)

Academic function: Senior Scientist at CONICET. Professor at Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, Universidad Nacional de la Plata (UNLP)

Research interests and expertise: Interested in fundamental and applied research including electrochemistry, syntheses of new nanomaterials such as graphene quantum dots derived from CVD graphene, nanohybrids (carbon-metal), nanorods, and plates, etc., surface chemistry, chemical sensors, electrocatalysis, and photocatalysis. Design and theoretical models of small nanomaterials, such as Graphene and Graphene Quantum Dots, used for various applications.

Santiago D. Barrionuevo

Email: sbarrionuevo(at)

Academic function:  Ph. D student.

Research interests and expertise: CVD Graphene synthesis on Cu and Ni scaffolds. Synthesis of graphene quantum dots derived from CVD graphene. Electrooxidation of small molecules (i.e., alcohols) to build up crystalline carbon nanostructures. Synthesis and characterization of nanohybrids formed of Pt-graphene core-shell plasmonic nanoparticles. Study of electronic transport and optoelectronic properties in 2D Materials. Theoretical model and simulations of ultra-small GQDs. Sensors and optoelectronic devices.

Josefina Ventre

email: jventre(at)

Academic function: Ph. D student

Research interest and expertise: Synthesis of graphene and its derivates (graphene oxide, graphene quantum dots, etc.). Nanohybrids of metal-graphene core-shell plasmonic nanoparticles. Bio-sensors and optoelectronic devices.

Lucas F. Melia

Email: lmelia(at)

Academic function: Ph. D student.

Research interest and expertise: Growth of semiconductors II-VI by electrodeposition for technological applications (solar cells, photocatalysis). Electrodeposition of metal oxides from recycled materials which combined with GQDs may be applied toward photodegradation of organic molecules, photoanodes, and solar panels. Design of heterojunction comprised of semiconductors with graphene/GQDs to enhance their optoelectronic properties.

Agostina L. Chapana

Email: achapana(at)

Academic function: Ph. D student

Research interests and expertise: Synthesis of GQDs (Graphene Quantum Dots) and their functionalization with chelating agents, for a selective detection of toxic elements using their outstanding fluorescent properties. Synthesis of nanohybrids from GQDs and metal nanoparticles (MNPs) for achieving plasmonic and fluorescence sensors of toxic analytes. Development of analytical methodologies for determination and monitoring of elemental micropollutants in food and samples of environmental interest. Analyte microextraction techniques. Analytical chemistry. Metal speciation.

Leandro López

Email: leandrolopez(at)

Academic Function: Ph. D student

Research interest: Electrochemistry of metal nanoparticles and nanohybrids (metal-graphene quantum dots), Sensors and optoelectronic devices, studies of corrosion, electrocatalysis, and environmental sensors.