The Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN) was established upon unification of three former CNR research institutions active in the fields of nanotechnologies, materials and devices for photonics and electronics, namely, the "Centro di Elettronica Quantistica e Strumentazione Elettronica (CEQSE)" in Milan, the "Centro di Fisica degli Stati Aggregati (CeFSA)" in Trento, the "Istituto di Elettronica dello Stato Solido (IESS)" in Rome. Missions of the Institute are:
(a) Study and development of Photonics not only from the basic point of view of radiation-matter interaction, but also from the point of view of developing materials, devices and systems as well as their applications in science and technology;
(b) Study and development of nanotechnologies for the achievement of nanoscale-size devices;
(c) Development of microelectronic and micromechanical devices as well as study and development of the related materials. The three CNR research institutions, now constituting the three Divisions of the IFN, have a tradition of excellence in their fields.
The Rome Division (former IESS) is a well known research center devoted to the development of micro and nanotechnologies aimed at the development of advanced electronic, optoelectronic and photonic devices. A nanofabrication facility equipped with electron beam lithography, optical lithography, technologies for materials deposition and etching, diagnostics equipments, is located at the center's premises. The most important research fields of the Division are:
(1) Development of semiconductor and superconductor mesoscopic devices as well as development of micromechanical devices on silicon and silicon nitride;
(2) Development of advanced processes for micro and nanoelectronics, high frequency devices, devices for large area electronics;
(3) Development of lithographic techniques using electron beams, X-rays and scanning probes;
(4) Development of advanced diagnostic techniques using conventional as well as synchrotron radiation X-ray sources.
The Milan Division (former CEQSE) is an internationally renowned center for Photonics since more than thirty years. The most important research fields of the Division are:
(1) Physics and technology of solid state laser sources and waveguide devices;
(2) Development of lasers for biomedical applications and diagnosis;
(3) Physics and technology of ultrashort laser pulses (from pico- to femto-seconds);
(4) Development of novel e.m. radiation detectors and of the corresponding instrumentation.
Notable equipment of the Division are: a fabrication facility for particularly long Bragg gratings, a fabrication and characterisation facility for optical waveguides, several time-resolved spectroscopic systems for biomedical diagnosis, a ultra-high-intensity laser source with pulses of less than 10 femtoseconds (unique of its kind).
The Trento Division (former CeFSA) is an internationally known center active in the development and characterization of materials for photonics, electronics and optoelectronics. Main research fields of the Division are:
(1) synthesis and applications of nanostructured materials and surface modifications by supersonic beams of organic molecules, oligomers and clusters;
(2) Deposition and characterization dielectric materials for photonics and optoelectronics;
(3) Development and characterization of planar waveguides and bulk glasses for all-optical devices;
(4) Advanced superconducting devices;
(5) Synchrotron radiation X-ray spectroscopies.
Notable equipments of the Division are: a supersonic molecular-beam apparatus for materials deposition and characterization (unique of its kind), systems for planar-waveguide preparation and characterization, a XEOL apparatus for the detection of X-ray excited fluorescence; devices for the analysis of traces of volatile elements, a characterization system of the back-action noise of SQUID amplifiers.
The staff members of the Institute amount to 58 units, including CNR researchers, technicians and administration staff (36 units) as well as associated personnel from University and IRST (22 units). The Institute has a strong connection with the University and it is characterized by the presence of a large number of young people ( 51 undergraduate and graduate students and postdocts).