The CNR-Nanotec Cosenza establishment takes origin from the historical Liquid Crystals Laboratory – LiCryL, active in the soft matter sciences since the early 80’s
The Unit is located in the Calabria University Campus, in close contact with the academic laboratories and with other CNR institutes.
The scientific activities are nowadays mostly focused on the physics and chemistry of the soft matter and on its applications in nano-structured systems for advanced micro/nano- optics/photonics/fluidics. New composite nanostructured materials are realized through bottom-up and hybrid bottom-up/top-down fabrication processes. Plasmonic materials, metamaterials and micro/nano structured materials in general, are engineered following different methods, to be used in many fields, such as the energy harvesting, new sensing platforms and bio-medicine.
The optical, structural and morphological properties of the innovative materials are studied with the support of the thematic laboratories installed at our facility, where the most advanced investigation techniques are available: ultra-fast time-resolved IR-VIS multi-modal non-linear optical spectroscopies , VASE ellipsometry, 2-photons Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy (2P-LSCM) integrated with a Scanning Probe Microscope system, Integrated Confocal Fluorescence Microscope / SNOM for simultaneous far and near field analyses, electronic microscopies (SEM, TEM), X-ray reflectometry (GID) and optical micro-manipulation. A special citation has to be devoted to the only Surface Force Apparatus installed in Italy, allowing for accurate measurements of inter-surfaces forces as small as 100 nN, with Å-accuracy in the separation gap control.
The Unit is also active in the theoretical and observational aspects of plasma turbulence and in the design of new scientific space missions, and advanced data analysis, theoretical modelling and numerical simulations of complex systems, ranging from biomolecular complex systems to space and laboratory plasmas, are routinely carried out.
We care about the valorization of the research outcomes through a constant patenting activity and by offering advanced research and technological services. A large part of the research laboratories contributes to the CNR National User Facility Beyond-Nano – Polo di Cosenza and is accessible to external scientists.