Facilities & Labs

The scientific activities are focused on the physics and the chemistry of soft matter and on its applications in structured systems for advanced micro/nano-optics/photonics/fluidics.
New composite nanostructured materials are realized through bottom-up and hybrid bottom-up/top-down processes. Plasmonic materials, metamaterials and micro/nano structured materials, engineered by different methods, are fabricate and used in many fields, as energy harvesting, new sensing platforms and bio-medicine.
Our mission is to design, fabricate and characterize soft materials, including composites and hybrids, organic and biological. The manufacturing approach is twofold: firstly, nonlinear optics nano-microlithography is implemented in combination with micro-optical manipulation for realization of 2D / 3D structures made of polymer / nano-particles and integrable nano-structured micro-fluidic devices. Secondly, by a bottom-up approach, molecular self-assembling is exploited in order to get mesoscopic structures, from nanometer to micrometer scale, useful for optical and opto-fluidic applications.
Optical, structural and morphological properties are studied with the support of the thematic labs of our facility, where the most advanced investigation techniques are available: Ultrafast time-resolved IR-VIS multimodal non-linear optical spectroscopies, Ellipsometry, 2P Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy integrated with an AFM system, Integrated Confocal Fluorescence Microscope / SNOM for simultaneous far and near field analyses, electronic microscopies (SEM, TEM), x-ray reflectometry (GID), optical micro-manipulation, SFA allowing for accurate measurements of inter-surfaces forces as small as 100 nN, with a Å-accuracy in the separation gap control, 250 sqm ISO 5 clean room supplied with thin film preparation and surface treatments equipment.
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 by offering advanced research and technological services.


  1. Organic materials for devices. Synthesis of organic material and organometallic materials for optoelectronic. Complete setup for sample preparation and characterization of the following properties: Photoconductivity, Charge mobility, Photorefractivity
    Preparation and test of Organic Field-Effect Transistors (OFET).
  2. Soft Matter Nanofabrication. Bottom-Up approach. Molecular self assembly by Langmuir techniques Functional nanoparticle – liquid crystal composite materials. Periodic defect patterns in complex and anisotropic fluids. Nanoparticles patterning in anisotropic fluids. 3D anisotropic polymer structuring by TPP. Optical photoreduction of salts

Micro/nano fabrication

  1. 250 sqm ISO 5 clean room. Glass cells realization (>0.5 µm gap). Plasma cleaner, spin coater, hot plates, rubbing machine for surface treatments. Multiple source thermal PVD in glove box. Langmuir-Blodgett trough. Wet benches for chemical etching. DC Magnetron PVD.
  2. Laser nanolithography 3D 2P direct polymerization system Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT. In-house developed photo-resists for 3D hybrid polymeric/metallic structures.
  3. Microfluidics and PDMS/SU-8 processing. UV mask lithography lab with Spin Coater, UV led insulator for photolithography, hot plate for hard/soft baking.
  4. Holographic Multibeam Optical Tweezing for microparticles manipulation/positioning

Structural and morphological characterizations lab

Scanning electron microscope SEM/ESEM high/low vacuum for conductive, dielectric, biological samples. Transmission electron microscope LEO 922 OMEGA EFTEM for materials science and biological research. BRUKER D8 Discover X-RAY reflectometer/diffractometer equipped with stationary anode source Cu, Euler cradle, Gobel Mirror, V-groove. WITec Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope alpha300 S including full AFM and confocal capabilities. V-VASE (Variable Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometer) by Woollam for measurement of complex reflectance ratio in the spectral range 190 – 3300 nm

Non-Linear Optical Spectroscopies lab

Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy SFG-S with both vibrational resonance -VR and electronic-vibrational double resonance – DR for noninvasive investigations at molecular scale of optically accessible interfaces. The technique is able to investigate both the conformation and the average orientation of the molecules at the surface.
Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (< 1 ps). This ultrafast laser source is coupled with a time-resolved spectrofluorimeter composed by a Spectrograph (Czerny-Turner), a streak camera system (range 200-850nm) and a time-correlated photon counting in the NIR

Bio lab

Axio Observer Z1+SLM 710, inverted 2P laser scanning confocal microscope + IR pulsed Laser for organic and biological observation integrating a Bruker Catalyst AFM, for combined high-res AFM/Fluorescence analyses in air or fluid in several modes. Enables PicoForce-quality force measurements, epi-fluorescence, TIRF, FRET, FRAP.
Bruker MULTIMODE 8 SPM SYSTEM for contact and non-contact atomic force, lateral force and tapping mode magnetic force and electric force microscopies.
Surface Force Apparatus for probing nanomechanics and nanotribology of materials, complex fluids and surface coatings, allowing direct measurements of normal, adhesive and friction forces between solid surfaces

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.

  • 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.

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