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Chemical, Physical and Biological sensors

This IMM working group is oriented towards the preparation of sensitive organic, inorganic and mixed materials for different transducers techniques with the objective to realize innovative classes of sensors. The list of materials and investigated transduction techniques involved are:

  • Innovative graphene-, metal-, and metal oxide- based nanostructures for sensing applications; 
  • Sensors based on electrical transduction systems or  electromagnetic  manipulation (carbon-based nanomaterials, TiO2 mesoporous layers);
  • Sensors for health, environment and food applications (DNA, toxins, proteins) and/or chemical elements (cyanides, heavy metals) in liquids;
  • Hydrogel-based wearable and portable sensors for chemical and biological parameters;
  • Optical sensors for continuous monitoring of time-evolving biological processes;
  • “Lab-on-Fiber” for biosensig applications (integration onto the optical fiber tip of metallic nanostructures supporting surface plasmonic resonances);
  • Holographic Optical Sensors for Heavy Metal;
  • Nanostructured semiconductors based sensors for chemical, physical and biological monitoring (porous silicon based sensors, light detection by silicon);
  • Procedures for chemical, physical and biological devices (platforms with integrated microfluidics, micro-patterned PDMS structures);
  • Fiber optic based sensors for aerospace applications (design, fabrication, implementation and use of sensors and sensor’s network for monitoring of physical parameters (temperature, strain, stress, displacement, acceleration);
  • Biological/chemical sensors based on silicon nanowires (SiNWs) disordered nanostructures;
  • Room Temperature Semiconductor X-Ray planar/segmented detectors for medical, security, astrophysics applications;
  • Optochemical sensors and biosensors, fabrication of nanostructured plasmonic transducers by chemistry or physical routes. Plasmonically-active noble metal substrates for surface enhanced spectroscopies (mainly SERS, TERS spectroscopy) for single molecule detection. Theoretical modelling  tools based on Finite Elements Methods, Mie, discrete dipole approximation (DDA); Biofunctionalisation of nanobiosensor surfaces. Development and validation of portable prototypes of optical sensors based on SPR transduction.
  • Physical sensors (High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC)  Phase-II upgrade to satisfy the  requirements of a higher radiation dose;
  • MEMS-based ultra-low power gas sensors and detectors. Sensor prototyping, development of custom based electronics like USB-pen MOX array drivers and signal processing algorithms. MEMS-based thermal conductivity detectors (TCDs) for portable micro-gas-chromatographic applications;
  • Graphene-based sensors. C-CVD grown graphene (G), in form of membranes with crystalline domains with 1 to 4 layers or of 3D porous foams, is focused mainly on the development of Biological sensors; Gas sensors; Pressure sensors.


Coordinator: Francioso Luca

MEMS-based ultra-low power gas sensors and detectors

IMM Bologna has a strong expertise in miniaturization of metal-oxide gas sensors (MOX sensors). The approach targets high-TRL prototypes by developing full wafer-level production processes of...

Low-cost sensors based on transition metal-oxide nanostructures

Low-cost synthesis (chemical or electrochemical bath deposition) of nanostructures joins with simple sensor fabrication in lab to exploit the large potentialities of these innovative materials....

Sensors based on electrical transduction systems and electromagnetic manipulation for environmental and biological applications

Carbon-based nanostructures and porous metal oxides are investigated as sensitive layers for the fabrication of electrical sensors for environmental and biological applications. Furthermore, an...

Innovative metal-based nanostructures for sensing applications


Plasmonic effects in metal nanostructures have known an increasing employment in the realization of sensing devices for gas detection. Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are evanescent...

AlN-based flexible pressure sensors

It is well assessed that AlN-based (inorganic) flexible pressure sensors represent a highly competitive alternative to polymers-based piezoelectric devices, since, in spite of their relatively...

Sensors for health, environment and food applications


The main goal of the activity is the design and fabrication sensoristic systems based on optical and/or electrical devices for biological molecules...