“Photonics is the science of light. It is the technology of generating, controlling, and detecting light waves and photons, which are particles of light. The characteristics of the waves and photons can be used to explore the universe, cure diseases, and even to solve crimes. Scientists have been studying light for hundreds of years. The colors of the rainbow are only a small part of the entire light wave range, called the electromagnetic spectrum. Photonics explores a wider variety of wavelengths, from gamma rays to radio, including X-rays, UV and infrared light.” (Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 – IYL 2015)

CNR- ISM has a long tradition in the manipulation, transport and use of VUV radiation and soft-X rays at large scale research infrastructures to investigate basic phenomena like electronic correlation, molecular self-assembling, polimerisation and chiral asymmetry in isolated systems, in low dimensional materials, on surfaces or at interfaces. X-ray radiation is also at the base of original methodologies to characterize the aging of devices, like solar cells.

The new labs in Potenza and Rome Tor Vergata, which make use of fs lasers with wavelengths ranging from the UV to mid IR aim to observe and to control chemical physics processes on the typical nuclear motion scale. Powerful ns laser find application in the production of materials with non stechiometrich composition via pulsed laser deposition or surface treatment of material.

Light is also at the core of the several microscopy techniques developed at CNR-ISM and used in several branches of science, from material science to life sciences.