Plasma Physics and Technologies

This research area deals with theoretical modelling, experimental applications and diagnostics of plasma.

Elementary Processes in Plasmas are studied by accurate theoretical methods, relating to different classes of processes relevant to many technological fields, from thermonuclear controlled fusion (negative ion sources, divertor region in tokamak), to aerospace (re)entry conditions and astro-chemistry. Thermodynamic and transport properties in equilibrium plasmas have been calculated for complex gas mixtures, of different atmospheres (Earth, Mars and Jupiter). Space Plasmas are typically in very extreme conditions, from very low to very high density: this is the case of dusty plasmas, which deals with the dynamics of dust above airless body surfaces, rings and planet formation. Electric thrusters (Hall-effect and helicon discharges) and plasma-assisted combustion (SCRAMJET) are important for space transportation (satellite guidance, orbit transfer and deep space exploration).

The study of the temporal and spatial evolution of Laser Induced Plasma in different environments by spectroscopic techniques gives the required knowledge useful for a wide range of application fields (e.g. chemical analysis applied to environment, cultural heritage, space, material processing). Theoretical investigations have been also dedicated to verify the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE), commonly considered for calibration-free LIBS.

Plasma sources based on discharges created by direct current, capacitively coupled radiofrequency, inductively coupled radiofrequency and microwaves are characterized by thermal non-equilibrium condition and are modelled by kinetic approaches: polynomial expansion, state-to-state and particle-based (Particle-in-Cell, Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics) methods. These plasmas are studied from an experimental point of view, employing different optical techniques for Advanced Non-Equilibrium Plasma Diagnostics.

In particular Microwave Plasmas are employed successfully for the growth of undoped nanocrystalline (NCD) and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) films, deposited by a microwave PECVD (MWPECVD) technique starting from gas mixtures of CH4 highly diluted (less than 5%) in Ar and H2, respectively.

Plasma surface engineering includes a large area of processes aimed to drastically change the surface properties of materials preserving the bulk ones. The processes can be performed by using both low and atmospheric pressure plasmas, in both direct and remote approach, injecting the film precursors in gas, vapor and aerosol form.


Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes assisted by plasmas, commonly known as plasma assisted CVD (PACVD) or plasma enhanced CVD (PECVD), are versatile in the production of materials with properties needful…

Gas discharges

Plasma sources based on discharges created by direct current, capacitively coupled radiofrequency, inductively coupled radiofrequency and microwaves are characterized by…

Plasma for Nuclear Fusion

The following research lines concern thermonuclear controlled fusion and in particular the most ambitious energy projects in the world today, ITER. Fusion reactor materials

Determination by means of theoretical..

Elementary processes in plasmas

Elementary Processes in Plasmas are obtained at PLASMI Lab by accurate theoretical methods, accounting for the dependence on the excitation of internal degrees of freedom of atoms and molecules…

Thermal plasmas

Equilibrium (or LTE) plasmas are characterized, deriving thermodynamic, transport properties and equilibrium composition, in a wide range of pressure and temperatures, ranging from technological applications to planetary…

Plasmas for aerospace

Numerical codes implementing kinetic, PIC, DSMC and fluid dynamic approaches and including advanced state-to-state chemical-physical models are used for the investigation of plasmas of interest for aerospace applications…

Advanced Non-Equilibrium Plasma Diagnostic

In the last two decades a rapid increase in research on nonequilibrium atmospheric-pressure discharges has occurred.  Applications covers the fields of material science, plasma assisted combustion, plasma medicine…

Plasma technologies for materials & surfaces

Plasma surface engineering embraces a large range of processes aimed to drastically change the surface properties of materials preserving the bulk ones. This includes for instance corrosion protective coatings…

Laser induced plasma

When a laser radiation is focused on a sample (solid, liquid and gas), its electromagnetic energy is transformed in to electronic excitation (free electron, plasmons). If the laser energy exceeds a characteristic threshold…

Latest News

Loretta del Mercato, si aggiudica l'ERC STARTING GRANT 2017

Loretta del Mercato, si aggiudica  l'ERC STARTING GRANT 2017

uno dei bandi più competitivi a livello europeo.

Lecce, 6 settembre 2017 

Lo European Research Council, che promuove la ricerca di eccellenza in Europa, nei giorni scorsi ha reso noti i nomi dei 406 vincitori della selezione ERC STARTING GRANT 2017, il bando tra i più competitivi a livello internazionale.

Su 3085 progetti presentati, 406 i progetti selezionati a cui sono stati destinati i 605 i milioni di euro di investimento. 48 le nazioni di provenienza dei ricercatori, soltanto 17 gli Italiani che condurranno le loro ricerche nel nostro paese, tra cui Loretta del Mercato, ricercatrice dell'Istituto di Nanotecnologia del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche di Lecce.

Un importante riconoscimento alla ricerca nel settore della medicina di precisione condotta presso il CNR NANOTEC, un indiscusso premio al talento della giovane ricercatrice che, a 38 anni e un contratto a tempo determinato, sarà a capo del progetto "Sensing cell-cell interaction heterogeneity in 3D tumor models: towards precision medicine – INTERCELLMED".

Il progetto, il cui obiettivo è affrontare uno dei problemi più spinosi della ricerca sul cancro, ovvero la difficoltà nel trasformare i risultati delle ricerche scientifiche in applicazioni cliniche per i pazienti e che vedrà coinvolto l'Istituto tumori "Giovanni Paolo II" di Bari, si propone di sviluppare nuovi modelli in vitro 3D di tumore del pancreas, alternativi ai modelli animali, ingegnerizzati con un set di sensori nanotecnologici che consentiranno di monitorare le interazioni delle cellule tumorali con il loro micorambiente, verificare l'appropriatezza delle terapie prima della somministrazione ai pazienti oncologici e quindi prevedere la risposta dei singoli pazienti ad una o più terapie antitumorali.

La realizzazione di queste piattaforme 3D multifunzionali consentirà di superare le evidenti differenze intercorrenti tra "modelli animali" ed esseri umani fornendo dati attendibili ed in tempi più rapidi rispetto ai dati ottenuti tramite lunghi e costosi procedimenti di sperimentazione sugli animali. Le tecnologie e i modelli sviluppati saranno estesi anche ad altre forme di tumori solidi nonché impiegati per studi nell'ambito della ingegneria tissutale e della medicina rigenerativa.

Rassegna stampa e Video

Zeiss Microscopy Technology and Complete Correlative Workflow


Zeiss Microscopy Technology and Complete Correlative Workflow

Lecce, Italy, 2017 Wednesday July 19th 

CNR NANOTEC @ Lecce, Aula Seminari – pal. G, Piano Terra

Program - PDF

Zeiss, as microscopy technology leader, provides the unique complete imaging solution ranging from light, confocal, electron, ion and Xray modalities with a complete and straightforward correlative workflow. An overview of different technologies will be presented with a special focus on X-Rray microscopy.


MCS 2017

International Workshop on Micropropulsion and CubeSats

Bari, Italy, 26 - 27 June 2017

Program - MSC2017

This narrow-field, invited-only meeting is the first attempt to bring together the Materials and Micropropulsion communities with a view to contribute to the development of the Global Materials and Micropropulsion Roadmap, and set such meetings to a regular basis.