Research at IFN Trento

Glass photonics and Cryo Quantum Lab are the two main research activities of the "Photonics: Materials, Structures and Diagnostic" Trento IFN UOS. Characterized by a common scientific background, the two activities, thanks to synergistic exploitation of the different competences and transversal technological and scientific interests, contribute to the strategic motivations of the CNR-IFN unit. The main activities concern research, innovation, as well as education through the study of advanced devices, systems and structures for photonics and nanotechnology. The research unit promotes the development and application, both scientifically and technologically, in different fields such as Photonics, Nanotechnologies and Microfabrication, Microelectronic, Lasers and Incoherent Sources, Synchrotron light and X rays, Quantum mechatronics.

Glass photonics activity is the research mainstream of the CNR-IFN CSMFO (Characterization and Development of Materials for Photonics and Optoelectronics) Lab. headed by M. Ferrari. This scientific and technical activity refers to the strategic areas identified by European Union in the Photonics21 technological platform and the corresponding Technological Italian Platforms devoted to Sources and Photonic Sensors, Nanotechnologies, and Concentrated Solar Energy. The interest in glass photonics research is related to the historical fact that breakthroughs in technology and hence new applications that create wealth and improve the quality of life and of the environment come from blue sky frontier research, and in photonics several examples demonstrate that the time lag from research to the market is relatively small. This challenge leads to the development of emerging materials such as nanostructured and nanocomposites systems, metamaterials, glass-ceramics, plasmonic based structures, as well as confined geometries. Examples are photonic crystals, quantum dots of different complexities, such as composite colloidal quantum dots, and different kind of waveguides, integrated optics systems, solar energy conversion photonic structures, microresonators, glass based photonic flexible structures and micro-nano cavities, where the study of the optical and physical proprieties of the materials are strictly related to their technological development.

The Cryo Quantum Lab of CNR-IFN Trento carries out research activities on superconducting quantum technologies, SQUIDs and ultralow noise micromechanical sensors, mainly in the context of fundamental and quantum physics. We also collaborate on the development of the space-based gravitational wave detector LISA.

The Laboratory participates to the Q@TN initiative on quantum science and technology, enjoying the collaboration between different institutions in the Trento Research Area, including University of Trento (UniTN), Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK-Sensors and Devices) and TIFPA - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN).

The Laboratory is hosted in the Povo-0 building of University of Trento (Experimental Gravitation Laboratory area).

Our activities are currently funded by EU projects (LEMAQUME, under the program QuantERA), by INFN (projects QUAX, DARTWARS, Qub-IT) and by the Q@TN program, partly funded by Provincia Autonoma di Trento.