The main research interests of participants from the NanoSoftLab at the Institute for Chemical and Physical processes (IPCF) are optical nanotechnologies, the development of nano-sensors based surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, near-field optical microscopy and tip-enhanced optical spectroscopy, optical trapping of nanostructures and chiral micro-resonators, calculations of the light scattering properties (T-matrix formalism) in dielectric and metal nanoparticles, synthesis of silicon nanowires for energy applications and of metal nanoparticles for enhanced spectroscopies, Raman and Fluorescence spectroscopy of nanostructures and complex fluids, the structure of ionic liquids, as well as liquid-phase dispersion of carbon nanotubes and exfoliation of graphene flakes for composites with enhanced electrical and thermal properties.
Research infrastructures and facilities include a Raman/Fluorescence micro-spectrometer (excitation: 364, 515, 633, 785 nm, light detection 300nm to 1.6 micron, Raman mapping, sample temperature controller, diamond anvil cell), an FT-Raman micro-spectrometer (1064 nm, mapping capability), FT-IR spectrometry, optical tweezers (back focal plane interferometer, higher-order Bessel beams), a Raman tweezers apparatus (488, 515, 561, 633, 785nm, coupled to 19cm focal length spectrometer, single photon counting APD and CCD detectors), an electron beam metal evaporator, scanning near-field optical microscopy (aperture type, homemade), a white-light supercontinuum laser, and photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy.
Please contact P. G. Gucciardi (group leader, nanospectrsocopy), O. M. Maragò (optical trapping), A. Irrera and S. Trusso (synthesis of nanostructures), B. Fazio (spectroscopy of nanostructures) or A. Iatì (light scattering calculations) for further information.
One group is devoted to the fabrication of magnetic and plasmonic materials spatially confined at the nanoscale and to their characterization. Dielectric samples are produced by either PLD or MBE techniques, while metal nanostructures are fabricated via EBL. Nanostructure investigation is performed by various optical microscopies, including confocal microscopy and scanning probe techniques such as SNOM, STM, AFM and MFM. The group is also equipped with low/high energy electrons (LEED and RHEED), x-ray and ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopies (XPS and UPS) as well as electron spectroscopies, magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE), and Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM) for further in depth in-situ characterization. (Contact: Michele Celebrano, Marco Finazzi)
Another group is focused on ultrafast spectroscopy. Its research activity concerns the development of laser sources for the generation of ultrashort optical pulses (in the femtosecond regime) tunable from the near-infrared to the visible-ultraviolet and their application to the study of dynamical processes in materials. Coupling of femtosecond lasers to microscopy systems allows spectroscopical studies with high temporal and spatial resolution. (Contact: Margherita Zavelani-Rossi)
The experimental activity of the above mentioned two groups takes advantage of the collaboration with a third group devoted to theoretical research and numerical simulations, with well-established expertise in photonic lattices, plasmonic structures and metamaterials. Within the present COST action, the group is focused on the modeling of the ultrafast transient plasmonic response and third-order optical nonlinearity exhibited by plasmonic nanostructures (Contact: Giuseppe Della Valle)
Dr Antonio Cricenti is the Research Director responsible for the Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratory of the Istituto di Struttura della Materia (National Research Council) in Rome. His research interests include surface physics, nanostructures, and biological materials. Facilities and Expertise of the Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratory: Low temperature (3 K) Scanning Tunneling Microscope, several STM/AFM/SNOM microscopes operating in air, nanoRaman, Molecular Beam Epitaxy system, X-Ray diffraction, Design and realization of Scanning Probe Microscopes.