Oxide nanostructures and glass-based materials for optical technology


Our research is focused on the physical properties of glass and glass-ceramics for applications in photonics and optolectronics. Bulk and film materials are synthesized and investigated looking at the particular optical properties one can obtain and control by doping with active ions and crystalline nano-phases. Doped silica glass and glass-ceramics are technologically interesting for their signal amplification properties in the telecom windows, nonlinear and light-emission properties induced by dopants and crystalline nano-phases, and good optical transmission and compatibility with existent glassy-silica based devices. Fundamental aspects of the study regard the spectroscopy of rare earth ions, point defects, and wide-energy-gap nanostructures in optical hosts. Synthesis techniques have also been optimized to obtain good dispersion of active ions and crystalline nano-clusters in glass-based materials.

Research lines:

  • Optical properties of rare earth ions such as Ce, Gd, Tb, Eu in bulk silica and in Hf-based oxide nanoparticles, studying the interaction with the host matrix, to obtain materials suitable to be used as scintillators in the detection of low-energy ionizing radiations for industrial and medical applications. The role of point defects in crystalline scintillators is also investigated.
  • Light-emission and non-linear optical properties of wide-band-gap oxide nanostructures in glasses, such as Ga2O3 and SnO2 nanocrystals in silicates, analyzing the applicability as light-emitting systems, photo-sensitive optical materials, cubic non-linear components, and transparent conductors.

Research Team

Research Lab

U5 Building, 1st Floor, Room 1100-1105


  • Spectroscopy laboratory: optical absorption, photo- thermo- and radio-luminescence spectroscopy, micro-Raman scattering, refractive index and film thickness measurements, thermostimulated currents and complex impedance spectroscopy. Micro-ATR-FTIR analysis, micro-profilometer, pulsed luminescence spectroscopy and SHG by Nd-YAG laser with second and fourth harmonics.
  • Synthesis laboratory: inorganic chemistry laboratory for sol-gel preparations in controlled conditions, comprising hoods and dry-boxes for the synthesis of bulk samples and films. Film deposition by spin-coating. Samples from aerogel can also be obtained by hypercritical drying process. Furnaces for densification processes in controlled temperature and atmosphere, as well as instrumentation for optical finishing.