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Nanoscience

Research activity

Nanoscience is fostering much exciting research activity with a number of very important applications in a broad range of sectors from optoelectronics and photonics to biomedicine.
The PhD program in Nanoscience is designed to train students to carry out experimental and theoretical research activity in some of the most exciting scientific directions with a marked multidisciplinary character in an international environment. Working language of the program is English.
Graduates in physics, biology, chemistry and other scientific fields, with a keen motivation towards research and innovation are strongly invited to apply to this program that, like all SNS PhDs, has no tuition fee and provides four-year fellowships together with research and travel funds to all selected students.
Research and training target two main areas:

  • Nanostructures and nanodevices. Experimental and theoretical research activity in selected scientific directions on the electronic and optical properties of nanostructures, and their application to (opto)electronics and photonics with a special attention to the THz regime. An emphasis is put on (i) one-dimensional systems (both semiconductor nanowires and edge states in quantum Hall systems); (ii) graphene and other two-dimensional materials, their synthesis and applications. Specific experimental and theoretical research lines in (ii) are carried out in collaboration with Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). An additional area of research is dedicated to coherent electron transport ‒ also in the case of hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanostructures ‒ with special attention to its applications to quantum information.
  • Biophysics at the nanoscale with an emphasis on biomedical applications. We develop and apply (i) advanced high-resolution imaging methods, (ii) novel high-efficiency probes and labeling techniques based on nanoparticles, organic chromophores or fluorescent proteins. Laboratory work is completed by molecular modeling and the methodologies developed are applied also in the context of Lab-on-a-chip diagnostics, particularly with architectures based on SAW-actuated microfluidics. Research directions include drug delivery with a special attention on endocytosis and escape processes, peptidic vectors, peptidic sequences or aptamers for cellular and subcellular targeting. Specific projects on the design and crystallography of nanobiostructures and their application to drug delivery are available in collaboration with IIT.

Most students will carry out their research activity within the National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology (NEST) and will benefit from the presence not only of Scuola Normale Superiore research and teaching staff, but also from that of scientists and facilities of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Center for Nanotechnology Innovation) and of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Istituto Nanoscienze) that are located within NEST. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for nanostructure and nanodevice production and characterization, and for nanobiophysics research . Close collaborations exist also with neuroscience and computational chemistry groups at the Scuola Normale Superiore. The Fondazione Gabriele Monasterio will provide expertise and equipment of medical and clinical relevance. 

Teaching activity

Nanoscience is fostering much exciting research activity with a number of very important applications in a broad range of sectors from optoelectronics and photonics to biomedicine.
The PhD program in Nanoscience is designed to train students to carry out experimental and theoretical research activity in some of the most exciting scientific directions with a marked multidisciplinary character in an international environment. Working language of the program is English.
Graduates in physics, biology, chemistry and other scientific fields, with a keen motivation towards research and innovation are strongly invited to apply to this program that, like all SNS PhDs, has no tuition fee and provides four-year fellowships together with research and travel funds to all selected students.
Research and training target two main areas:

  • Nanostructures and nanodevices. Experimental and theoretical research activity in selected scientific directions on the electronic and optical properties of nanostructures, and their application to (opto)electronics and photonics with a special attention to the THz regime. An emphasis is put on (i) one-dimensional systems (both semiconductor nanowires and edge states in quantum Hall systems); (ii) graphene and other two-dimensional materials, their synthesis and applications. Specific experimental and theoretical research lines in (ii) are carried out in collaboration with Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). An additional area of research is dedicated to coherent electron transport ‒ also in the case of hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanostructures ‒ with special attention to its applications to quantum information.
  • Biophysics at the nanoscale with an emphasis on biomedical applications. We develop and apply (i) advanced high-resolution imaging methods, (ii) novel high-efficiency probes and labeling techniques based on nanoparticles, organic chromophores or fluorescent proteins. Laboratory work is completed by molecular modeling and the methodologies developed are applied also in the context of Lab-on-a-chip diagnostics, particularly with architectures based on SAW-actuated microfluidics. Research directions include drug delivery with a special attention on endocytosis and escape processes, peptidic vectors, peptidic sequences or aptamers for cellular and subcellular targeting. Specific projects on the design and crystallography of nanobiostructures and their application to drug delivery are available in collaboration with IIT.

Most students will carry out their research activity within the National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology (NEST) and will benefit from the presence not only of Scuola Normale Superiore research and teaching staff, but also from that of scientists and facilities of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Center for Nanotechnology Innovation) and of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Istituto Nanoscienze) that are located within NEST. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for nanostructure and nanodevice production and characterization, and for nanobiophysics research . Close collaborations exist also with neuroscience and computational chemistry groups at the Scuola Normale Superiore. The Fondazione Gabriele Monasterio will provide expertise and equipment of medical and clinical relevance.