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Plasmonics and Nanophotonics

Plasmonics and nanophotonics are currently considered future milestones of traditional light science. Nanophotonics is where photonics merges with nanoscience and nanotechnology, and where spatial confinement dominates light propagation and light-matter interaction. Plasmonics in particular is related to the use of metal nanostructures with subwavelength dimension to control light behaviour on the nanometric scale. Light interaction with conducting electron density of metals or semiconductors enhances specific features which lead to advanced spectroscopies with unprecedented sensitivity or imaging systems beyond the diffraction limit.
In the European frame, where photonics is recognized as one of the six Key Enabling Technologies for competition and industrial development, main application fields are: solar energy conversion, photovoltaics, biophotonics, optoelectronics, and LED lighting.
At IMM-CNR there is a wide, up-to-grade activity research on plasmonics and nanophotonics, perfectly centred on H2020 framework, supported by more than forty researchers. Main research issues currently under development are:

  • Design, fabrication and characterization of nanostructured plasmonic materials: noble metals nanoparticles, organic-inorganic nanoparticles, silicon nanowires and titanium oxide decorated with nanoparticles of noble metals

  • Design, fabrication and characterization of plasmon-like metasurfaces on hard/soft substrates and on optical fibres tip

  • Development of bio-inspired nanostructured or biological derivative plasmonic devices

  • Development of magneto-plasmonic nanomaterials

  • Development of theoretical-numerical methods for the study of light-matter interaction in plasmonic structures

Beyond applications in social interest fields such as energy, medical diagnostic and environmental monitoring, all the plasmonics and nanophotonics devices are also exploited for fundamental studies in chemistry, biology and physics.


Coordinator: Esposito Emanuela

Plasmonic/catalytic nanostructures for photo-electrochemical Water Splitting

At IMM-CNR Catania we use the plasmonic properties of noble metal nanoparticles (Au or Pt) to improve the photo-electro catalytic activity of n-type 3C-SiC/p-type Si heterojunction solar cells, to...

Plasmonics and Nanophotonics at IMM - Lecce unit

The research group is focused on three principal missions:

to design optically active nanostructures driven by function (noble metals and novel plasmonic metamaterials : 2D materials and...
Tailored Light Trapping in Forest of Decorated Silica Nanowires

Highly disordered (forest) SiO2 nanowires (NWs), obtained by oxidizing SiNWs, have been decorated with metal (Au, Ag) nanoparticles (NPs). These hybrid structures combine strong scattering...

Light emission from silicon nanostructures

Many efforts of the scientific community working in the field of nanophotonics are currently devoted towards the development of a Si-based light source able to be used for the...