Spetroscopy of oxides, nanostructures and glasses for optical technology and ionizing radiation detection

light waveguiding in optical fiber

Our research is focused on the physical properties of luminescent materials for applications in photonics, optolectronics and ionizing radiation detection. Bulk materials, films and fibers are synthesized and investigated with special attention at the specific optical properties obtained and controlled by doping with active ions and crystalline nanophases. Fundamental aspects of these studies 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 nanoclusters in glass-based materials and scintillating optical fibers.

Materials for optical technology

We investigate the 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, photosensitive optical materials, cubic non-linear components, and transparent conductors. 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 nanophases, and good optical transmission and compatibility with existent glassy-silica based devices.

Luminescent materials for ionizing radiationdetection

Investigation of the optical properties of a broad range of luminescent materials for ionizing radiation detection (glasses, single crystals, ceramics, nanocomposites). We study the luminescence and scintillation mechanisms, going from the interaction between the ionizing radiation and the material to the interplay between the luminescence centers (e.g. rare earth ions) and the host matrix, and the role of point defects on the scintillation performances. The aim of the research is the production and optimization of scintillating materials suitable for ionizing radiation detection applications in the industrial and biomedical fields, high-energy physics, and dosimetry.

Research Team

Research Lab

U5 Building, 1st Floor, Room 1100-1105


  • Spectroscopy laboratory: optical absorption, photoluminescence spectroscopy, micro-Raman scattering, refractive index and film thickness measurements, and complex impedance spectroscopy. Micro-ATR-FTIR analysis, microprofilometry, pulsed luminescence spectroscopy and second-harmonic generation (SHG) by Nd-YAG laser.
  • Scintallation laboratory: radioluminescence spectroscopy, wavelength-resolved thermally stimulated luminescence below and above room temperature, pulsed X-ray spectroscopy, thermo-stimulated currents.
  • 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 polishing.