Physical sciences and technologies of matter

Research activities


In spite the ordinary fund incoming (the one coming from the Ordinary Financing Fund FFO assigned to the research institutions supervised by MiUR) has strongly decreased in the last years, the scientific activity of the Department still remains at very high levels thanks to the ability of most of the research groups working in DSFTM to compete at National and International level, acquiring external funding by many research projects. All the scientific activities of the Department are coordinated within 7 General Projects described in the section below.
The scientific production of the Department, quantified in terms of publications in journals of the Journal Citation Report (JCR), is very high. An analysis carried out by using Scopus (, shows that the subject area "Physical Sciences" is the one with the largest number of products within the total CNR production (17.3% of the total), followed by the subject area "Materials Science" which contains products coming from both the Department of Physical Sciences and Technologies Matter and the Department of Chemistry and Technology of Materials. It is also relevant underlined that the Department hold a large number of patents (200) demonstrating a great attention to the technology transfer activity.


The activity of the Materials and Devices Department is coordinated through 7 research Projects:
// 1 // Innovative materials - The activities are focused on the synthesis of nanostructures based on semiconductors, oxides, organic, magnetic, superconducting and hybrid materials, including the study of interface processes and dimensionality control. In this context, the Department is very active in the study of properties and technological applications of two-dimensional atomic crystals such as graphene and silicene.
// 2 // Sensors and devices - The focus is on the development of micro- and nanostructures for energy conversion, digital processing of information, for advanced sensing (bio-sensors, fiber optic sensors, magnetic sensors, sensors with organic materials, etc.). It is relevant the existence within the Department of important infrastructures and process pilot-line active in areas of high socio-economic impact (energy, health-care, ICT, etc.) through collaborations with Industries.
// 3 // Laser systems and photonic devices - The Department has expertise in the development of laser sources in all spectral regions and in different regimes, spanning from ultrastable lasers for metrology applications to those for the investigation of ultrafast chemical and physical phenomena. The research activity on the radiation-matter interaction spans from the production of plasmas up to the capability of controlling the position of individual atoms.
// 4 // Quantum Science and Technologies - The Department has extensive multidisciplinary expertise ranging from the solid state physics to the atomic gases, photons and polaritons, which give it a leading role in the development of innovative technologies in the field of information handling and transfer. The developed quantum technologies aim to exploit the vast resources of entanglement to produce information processing devices with unbeatable features compared to the traditional systems.
// 5 // Complex systems, soft matter, biophysics - The research activity is focused on the advancement of knowledge in the field of soft condensed matter, complex materials, and biological systems at all levels of scale. This includes a large class of materials whose deformation is strongly dependent on temperature or on the occurrence of thermal fluctuations (colloids, viscoelastic fluids, macromolecular or cellular complexes interconnected by communication networks at various levels, etc.).
// 6 // Plasmas - Within the Department there are established skills both in the field of "cold" plasmas (electronic temperatures of 5000-50000 K) whith applications mainly in the physical-chemical processing of materials, and of "hot" plasma (temperatures up to million Kelvin) with typical applications in nuclear fusion or astrophysics, and in the development of energetic particle or photon sources.
// 7 // Advanced Instrumentation and new methods for the investigation of matter - The Department is actively involved in the design and fabrication of advanced instrumentation to extend the frontier of knowledge in materials science. The aim is to increase the resolution of the experimental characterization techniques (energy, time and spatial resolution) for investigation of physical phenomena at extreme conditions (high pressures, high electric and magnetic fields, high temperatures) or within complex devices. The activity includes the development of new advanced methods for computing and modeling.