Institute of applied physics "Nello Carrara" (IFAC)


Competences and methodologies of the institute:

Capacity to carry out a specific and systematic monitoring, thus enabling timely and targeted interventions, in priority areas such as health, the environment, the cultural heritage, and the agri-food industry.

The aim of biophotonics is to develop advanced diagnostics and therapies that are based on photon interaction with bio cells.
The applied research activities are strategically dedicated to satisfying the demands of industrial innovation.

The focus of our research into active materials and devices for telecommunications and sensors is on the development and characterisation of optical waveguides devices. In a series of European networking projects, IFAC has attained a well-established set of results at both a scientific and technological level.

Research activity involves multidimensional signal and image processing for the monitoring, interaction and management of life environments. The main activities concern remote sensing data processing, the development of advanced algorithms and methodologies for such applications as environmental anthropic risk monitoring, the optimization of information access and interaction with the human user.

Remote sensing of the Earth's surface deals with te estimate of the geophysical parameters of the observed areas, such as relfectance, emissivity, surface temperature, soil moisture content, snow water content, vegetation biomass.

With the aim of characterising the physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere, we develop new observational methods, new active and passive instruments, field measurements, models and algorithms for the extraction of geophysical parameters from the acquired data.

Ongoing research lines are studying systems that employ microwaves for remote sensing and dielectrometry, for monitoring of the environment and of the cultural heritage. Physical methods are also developed for the control of the electromagnetic pollution, for electromagnetic compatibility and for the evaluation of the human exposure to EM fields.

After more than 30 years of promising international research on laser cleaning of artworks that proved to be unsuccessful in solving the problems of the yellowing of stones and colour changes in pigments, the research carried out by IFAC has led to a full acceptance and integration of laser techniques as being among the most innovative conservation methodologies for stone, gilded metals, and wall paintings.

The Institute develops innovative diagnostics for studying the cultural heritage for conservation and archaeometry purposes. One example involves reflectance sensors based on optical fibres, which are actually capable of determining which pigment has been employed in each point of a painting.

The main research activity deals with promising new solid-state laser systems, as Ce3+ lasers that emit tunable radiation in the near ultraviolet (290-315 nm).