Diamond Based Devices

The aim of this research line is to study prototypes of advanced devices based on MWPECVD diamond films and on layers of sprayed nanodiamond particles. For each application the different and superior properties of the diamond are exploited.

UV Detector Based on MWPECVD Polycrystalline Diamond Films

Diamond properties for radiation detectors:

  1. high radiation resistance;
  2. good chemical inertness;
  3. wide radiation transparency;
  4. low dark current;
  5. wide bandgap EG=5.5 eV;
  6. high resistivity;
  7. high breakdown voltage;
  8. high carrier mobility.


For details see ref. [6]


Diamond is an extremely interesting material for photoemission applications, due to its low electron affinity (EA). The EA of a surface is the barrier that hinders the electrons in the conduction band from escaping into vacuum. If diamond surface is hydrogenated, the EA becomes negative by shifting the vacuum level beneath the minimum of conduction band.


Photocathodes based on MWPECVD polycrystalline diamond films


Ref. [7,9,10]

Photocathodes based on sprayed nanodiamond (ND) particle layers

Ref. [1a,1,2,3,4]

Neutralizer Cathode

Neutralizer cathodes for ion sources in aerospace propulsions are proposed and tested for the good photo- and thermionic electron emission properties of NCD films grown on p-Si substrate.

The emissive properties of NCD are mainly influenced by the deposition temperature that affects the hydrogen incorporation, the grain shape and size.

The fraction volume of the grain boundaries varies the incorporated hydrogen and causes a modulation of the surface electron affinity. The NCD films with a buffer layer (BL) grown at the highest deposition temperature have shown the highest photo- and thermionic emission currents.

For details see ref.[5].


Diamond based thermoluminescence dosimeter

Synthetic diamond has been proposed since it is produced at a cost cheaper than natural diamond, with tunable and reproducible properties and high purity. Very thin PCD films exhibit good linearity with dose

For details see ref. [8].

Facilities & Labs

Microwave Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (MWPECVD) @ Bari




CNR Senior Researcher

Olga De PascaleOlga

De Pascale

CNR Director Technologist



CNR Researcher



Associate PostDoc



CNR Researcher

PaoloFrancesco_AmbricoPaolo Francesco


CNR Researcher



Associate Resercher


  1. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi and G. S. Senesi, Morphological and Electrical characterization of Pillar-like structures in Nanodiamond Layers, IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology,xxx, xxxx, (2016) ISSN:1536-125X; doi: 10.1109/TNANO.2016.2574949.
  2. L. Velardi, A. Valentini, G. Cicala, Highly efficient and stable ultraviolet photocathode based on nanodiamond particles, Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 083503_1-5, (2016) ISSN:0003-9651; doi: 10.1063/1.4942648.
  3. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi, G.S. Senesi, G. Perna, D. Marzulli, D. Melisi, G. De Pascali, A. Valentini, V. Capozzi, Enhancement of surface electrical current on silicon via nanodiamond particles deposited by pulsed spray technique, Phys. Status Solidi A 212, 2862-2868 (2015) ISSN: 1862-6319; DOI 10.1002/pssa.201532080.
  4. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi, G. S. Senesi, A. Valentini Self-assembled pillar-like structures in nanodiamond layers by pulsed spray technique, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6 21101-21109 (2014) ISSN: 1944-8244; Doi:10.1021/am505974d.
  5. G. Cicala, V. Magaletti, A. Valentini, M.A. Nitti, A. Bellucci, D.M. Trucchi, Photo- and thermionic emission of MWPECVD nanocrystalline diamond films, Applied Surface Science 320 798–803 (2014) ISSN: 0169-4332; doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.09.075.
  6. M. F. Muscarella, D. Altamura, R. Brescia, M. Capitelli, G. Casamassima, T. Cassano, R. Celiberto, G. Cicala, D. Cornacchia, A. De Giacomo O. De Pascale, C. Favuzzi, G. Ferraro, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, N. Giglietto, F. Giordano, C. Gorse, S. Longo, F. Loparco, V. Magaletti, B. Marangelli, M.N. Mazziotta, D. Monèger, M.A. Nitti, A. Rainò, A. Romeo, G. Senesi, P. Spinelli, A. Valentini, L. Velardi, A comparative study on comb electrodes devices made of MWPECVD diamond films grown on p-doped and intrinsic silicon substrate, Diamond and Related Materials, 20, 1005-1009, (2011) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2011.05.018.
  7. G. Cicala, M. A. Nitti, A. Tinti, A. Valentini, A. Romeo, R. Brescia, P. Spinelli, M. Capitelli, Effect of Properties of MWPECVD Polycrystalline Diamond Films on Photoemissive Response, Diamond and Related Materials, 20, 1199-1203, (2011) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2011.06.014.
  8. G. Cicala, R. Brescia, M. Nitti, A. Romeo, M. Ambrico, L. Schiavulli, G. Perna, V.Capozzi, Thermoluminescent Response of Thin (< 2 μm) Polycrystalline Diamond Films Grown by Pulsed and Continuous Microwave Plasmas, Diamond and Related Materials 19, 470-473, (2010) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2009.12.006.
  9. M. A. Nitti, M. Colasuonno, E. Nappi, A. Valentini, F. Bénédic, G. Cicala, E. Milani, G. Prestopino, Performance analysis of poly- and nano-crystalline diamond based photocathodes, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 595, 131-135, (2008) ISSN: 0168-9002; doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2008.07.062.
  10. M. A. Nitti, E. Nappi, A. Valentini, F. Bénédic, P. Bruno, G. Cicala, Progress in the production of CsI and diamond thin film photocathodes, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 553, 157-164, (2005) ISSN: 0168-9002; doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2005.08.084.


1a. A. Valentini, D. Melisi, G. De Pascali, G. Cicala, L. Velardi, A. Massaro, High-efficiency nanodiamond-based ultraviolet photocathodes, 2016 (Patent n. WO 2017/051318). 


Method for the production of high efficiency photocathodes for ultraviolet based on nanodiamonds, comprising providing a support (10; 20, 21) capable of conducting electrons, and producing a photosensitive layer of nanodiamonds (30) on the support (10; 20, 21).

Production of the photosensitive layer includes providing nanodiamond particles in the form of powder, hydrogenating the nanoparticles in a H2 plasma, preparing a dispersion of the hydrogenated particles in a solvent, and spraying the dispersion onto the support and waiting for the solvent to evaporate from the support, the spray and waiting cycle being repeated several times in order to obtain a continuous photosensitive layer.


Development of a diamond film detector for ultraviolet radiation, Progetto Strategico ATS PS_136 of Regione Puglia, Italy (2007-2010), Progetto Strategico ATS PS_136 della Regione Puglia, Italy (2007-2010)

HALL: Sistema di propulsione al plasma per la crescita dell’industria aerospaziale pugliese, Progetto Partenariati Regionali per l’Innovazione, ATS: HALL HXGY200, della Regione Puglia, Italy (2012-2014)

APULIA SPACE: Esperti nell’uso di tecnologia abilitanti nel settore dello spazio, Progetto PON03PE_00067_6, Italy (2014-2016).

Latest News

Technology Trasfer in Nanotechnology

Technology Transfer in Nanotechnology: Challenges and Opportunity

Lecce, 18/19 ottobre 2018

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne

JRC in collaboration with the National Research Council (Cnr) is organising a workshop on Technology Transfer in Nanotechnology,

which will take place in CNR Nanotec (Lecce, Italy) on 18 and 19 October. This workshop is organised in the framework of the TTO-CIRCLE initiatives.   The aim of this event is to explore how technology transfer activities can be used as a mechanism to help EU industry, particularly Start-ups and SMEs, and Government in deploying and adopting Nano-technology. Practical examples will be presented to illustrate the potential of technology transfer in this area.   The workshop will gather technology providers, industry executives, technology transfer officers, policy makers and financial intermediaries to share experiences and lessons learned. One of the key objectives is to discuss policy implications at all levels that could help accelerating the adoption of Nanotechnology by the European manufacturing industry. More informations: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/communities/community/european-tto-circle/event/technology-transfer-nanotechnology Download Locandina

Nanotechnology Transfer Day

26 Luglio 2018 - Lecce

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne Siglato l’accordo lo scorso maggio tra CNR NANOTEC e Pairstech Capital Management, ha preso il via la collaborazione con PhD TT per la valutazione della ricerca

E’partita la collaborazione con PhD TT per la valorizzazione della ricerca sulla base dell’accordo siglato lo scorso Maggio tra CNR NANOTEC e Pairstech Capital Management, società di gestione patrimoniale che fornisce agli investitori istituzionali e privati un insieme di veicoli di investimento, al fine di valorizzare i risultati della ricerca svolta all'interno dell'Istituto.

Giovedì 19 Luglio dalle ore 11 alle ore 14 nella sede del CNR Nanotec di Lecce si è tenuto un incontro sul trasferimento tecnologico nel settore delle nanotecnologie applicate al settore biomedicale.

L’evento è stato organizzato dall’ufficio di Trasferimento Tecnologico del CNR Nanotec che ha inaugurato con questa giornata un ciclo di eventi mirato a presentare agli attori dell’ecosistema dell’innovazione nel settore delle nanotecnologie i vari modelli e alcune best practice di trasferimento tecnologico. In questa prima giornata il dott. Heber Verri e la dott.ssa Paola Urbani hanno presentato il nuovo modello di trasferimento tecnologico PhD TTãIndex Model.

PhD TT è una realtà italiana completamente indipendente specializzata in trasferimento tecnologico, è un acceleratore organizzato per il Go to Venture Practice, orientata al mondo delle Lifes Sciences.

PhD TT ha sviluppato un nuovo modello di trasferimento tecnologico: il PhD TT©INDEX MODEL dedicato alla generazione di valore dell'innovazione, focalizzato alla riduzione dei rischi delle opportunità di investimento a sostegno della ricerca.

I ricercatori intervengono attivamente nell'analisi iniziale di fattibilità e nella costituzione della futura società (start-up), con l'obiettivo di attrarre capitale di rischio utile a sostenere la fase del trasferimento tecnologico nella visione della "Research for go-to-market".

Il modello PhD TT nasce da un bisogno del mercato, quello di far dialogare due mondi estremamente diversi tra loro: il mondo della ricerca e il mondo degli investimenti.

PhD TT supporta tutte le attività in collaborazione con il TTO - CNR Nanotec con un team di lavoro esperto e grazie a un comitato scientifico-economico qualificato.

In occasione dell'evento del 19/7 u.s. al CNR Nanotec di Lecce, PHD TT ha presentato il proprio track record, dove si sono potuti valutare in dettaglio i casi di successo di intervento del PhD TT©INDEX MODEL.

  Comunicato Stampa Photo Gallery

Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery

A workshop in honour of Giorgio Parisi’s 70th birthday

September 19-21, 2018 - Roma

Sapienza University

With the occasion of celebrating Giorgio Parisi 70th birthday, the conference "Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery" brings to Rome many among the world-leading experts in the field of complex systems. In order to properly represent the many fields of research where Giorgio Parisi gave a relevant contribution in his studies of disordered systems, the conference covers a broad spectrum of topics: from  fundamental and rigorous analysis of the statistical mechanics of disorder systems to applications in biology and computer science. These subjects are deeply interconnected since they are characterized by the presence of glassy behavior.