Research activities


SDS

Sensors, devices and innovative instrumentation

LD2

Low density and low dimensional systems

FLASH

Ultra-fast processes in materials

MATFUN

Modeling, synthesis and characterization of functionalized materials with magnetic, electronic and optical properties

BIOTEC

Biological processes, materials and diagnostic technologies for life science

 

SDS

The ISM themes in this area are consistent with several scientific issues in the fields of energy, health, agrifood, areospace and security present in the PNR 2014-2020 and in H2020. They represent a contribution to the international scientific and industrial world, pursued according principles of sharing and participation to the global objectives. Some of them are unique within the CNR and, specifically, within the DSFTM, therefore represent distinctive elements for the ISM. The topics are:

  1. nanomechanical sensors
  2. devices and sensors for high temperature and hostile environments
  3. organic / inorganic electronic and photovoltaic devices
  4. sensors based on nanoparticles
  5. innovative instrumentation and methodologies

In this field the ISM can ensure a significant added value with the functionalization of the surfaces,the theoretical modeling,  the advanced morphological-structural, electronic, optical and magnetic characterization techniques (also at interfaces), the  tools for the realization of the prototypal device. The adopted strategy, common to all the topics discussed, aims to achieve a complete “production chain” within ISM, which involves the set of skills and instruments needed to complete a R&D course that goes from the preparation of materials/structures to their characterization, and finally their application for a proof-of-concept demonstration.

Scientific and technological details


 

LD2

The research activities of this area address the study of isolated systems, low-dimensional systems, surfaces and interfaces at the structural, spectroscopic and dynamic level. The study of the dynamics of elementary processes in atoms, molecules, clusters and multiply charged ions provides information on their electronic structure, reactivity and the chemical-physics behavior of prototypal systems relevant in many areas of basic and applied research . The studied low dimensionality materials are nanostructures, functionalized surfaces and thin films. Such materials are obtained by atomic / molecular beam epitaxy, molecular self-assembly on surfaces and surface chemical reactions. Examples are the studies of the magnetic and electronic properties of atoms and molecules on surfaces, clusters, nanowires and magnetic nano-lattices, quantum phenomena in 2D materials, such as graphene and beyond-graphene materials, and the electronic confinement in ultrathin films. Microscopy techniques and various electronic and optical spectroscopies as well as ion spectrometric techniques are used in both the institute laboratories and at national and at international large scale facilities (synchrotron radiation sources and FEL). These activities are supported by theoretical / computational analysis of the quantum chemical processes.

Scientific and technological details


 

FLASH

The theoretical and experimental activities cover  a wide area of the physics of matter and material science. The understanding of the transient phenomena induced by weak or strong electromagnetic fields can help to develop innovative solutions for the preparation of inorganic, organic and hybrids nanostructured systems for potential applications as sensors, in magnetic and optoelectronic devices and in ‘flexible’ electronics. The availability of computational codes in development as the Yambo code or ETSF (European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility), many-body theory, TD-DFT, and non-equilibrium ab-initio methods based on Green’s functions, which represent the new frontier of atomistic simulation, allow a detailed understanding of the electronic excitation processes, optical and time-resolved spectroscopies. The three ultra-fast laser sources ot teh Institute (FemtoLab – Potenza, EFSL – Tor Vergata, Gas Phase Laser – Trieste) then allow, on the one hand, to prepare, to deposit and to treat on surface the nanostructured materials of interest and, on the other, to determine their spectroscopic properties with high temporal resolution using transient absorption (Pump & Probe) and fluorescence techniques. Other high-resolution experimental techniques complete the experimental information on properties of the material such as the relationship between their electronic and atomic structure, the collective and dynamic behaviors and the behavior at interfaces in order to develop methods to control, at the nanoscale, the processes which determine the properties and therefore their applications. Moreover the preferential access to the synchrotron Elettra allows to explore these phenomena taking advantage of the intrinsic chemical sensitivity of the soft X-ray radiation.

Scientific and technological details


MATFUN

ISM has established and recognized expertises in the modeling of new materials, in the production of innovative materials via chemical synthesis (new functional molecules, nanoparticles) and physical techniques (films, multilayers, nanostructures by fs lasers etc.), in the characterization of both structural, morphological and microstructural (neutrons, XRD, spectroscopy of X-rays in Energy Dispersive – EDXD / EDXR, chemical composition) and chemical and physical properties (magnetic, transport, optics, plasmonics). The main themes involve the study of organics, hybrid and nanostructured materials, nanostructured magnetic materials, ionic liquids, materials for the absorption/use of atmospheric CO2 and the modelling of organic and metal-organic semiconductors, 2D materials, semiconductors, defects in semiconductors and magnetic materials.

Scientific and technological details


 

BIOTEC

The scientific activity deals with the study of nano biosystems and the characterization of their interactions with nanostructured materials and biocompatible substrates:

  • Sensing of cellular substrates and environmental stimuli. Their chemical and mechanical transduction in cellular metabolic responses
  • Induction of cell morphological, metabolic or biochemical modification by nanomaterials and environmental stress
  • Innovative methods based on nano-mechanical sensors for the measurement of cell motility at nanoscale. Correlation with stress (pharmacological, pathological or aging) and bio-system health
  • Early detection of tumors by studying biopsy tissues with SNOM and infrared radiation to observe differences at chemical level between normal and cancer cells
  • Raman micro-imaging for the biochemical study of tumors and diagnosis of tissues and cells
  • Realisation / characterization of nanoparticles of gold and silver of various sizes and forms to be used in hyperthermia processes for the killing of tumors and nanoparticle functionalization for drug delivery
  • Structural, electronic and optical characterization of carbon nanostructures and their interaction with biological cells
  • Creation / characterization of innovative nanostructured coatings of metals in orthopedic implants
  • Design, characterization and application of materials for tissue engineering, such as biomedical cements for bone fractures and vertebroplasty and coatings for orthopedic and dental implants
  • Theoretical and experimental characterization of electronic properties and fragmentation channels of complex biomolecules in the gas phase
  • Study of the interaction of radiation / simple biological systems: radiation damage and the rdiosensitising mechanisms for applications in radiotherapy. Deposition of biomolecules via soft landing to produce biosensor.

Scientific and technological details