Laboratory for Epitaxial Nanostructures on Silicon and Spintronics

Affiliated Institutions


The birth of L-NESS (Laboratory for Epitaxial Nanostructures on Silicon and Spintronics) can be traced to January 1999. At that time, thanks to the vision and determination of Pierluigi Della Vigna (then Vice-president of the Politecnico di Milano (Polimi) Como campus), Leo Miglio (professor of Physics at University of Milano-Bicocca), and Alfredo Dupasquier (Professor of Physics at Polimi and head of the positron annihilation laboratory in Como) a new laboratory for epitaxial growth of materials and devices for micro- and nanoelectronics was founded in Como.

Of course, a center of this type could not be viable without a critical mass of research infrastructure and human resources. Decisive factors in the founding of L-NESS were the financial support for L-NESS building and infrastructure, provided by Polimi president Prof. Adriano De Maio, and the acceptance of Professor Hans von Känel of the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich, to move his semiconductor epitaxy laboratory (including part of its personnel and a large equipment base) from Zürich to Como. The transfer of the research infrastructure from Zürich to Como was arranged through an agreement between ETH Zürich and Polimi. Matching funds for the start-up of L-NESS were provided by the CARIPLO Foundation, the City of Como and the Lombardy region, who formed a strategic alliance to support L-NESS. Finally, the department of Materials Science of the University of Milano-Bicocca supported L-NESS from its early beginnings both financially and with a strong scientific partnership in the field of materials for electronics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics and sensors.

The interuniversity center officially started its operations in 2002, when an agreement was signed between the Polimi and University of Milano-Bicocca, formalizing the participation of the two founding laboratories (Physics Department of Polimi and Materials Science Department of University of Milano-Bicocca) in the new laboratory in Como. The Physics department of the Politecnico agreed to open a new research activity on semiconductor devices at L-NESS in Como, and transferred its activity on epitaxial growth of magnetic oxides for spintronics, headed by Prof. Franco Ciccacci, from Milano to Como. The group of Prof. Alfredo Dupasquier, active in the field of materials characterization using positron beams, also joined the Como laboratory. The L-NESS founding agreement bestows the power to define the research strategy of the center upon a Scientific Committee, consisting of faculty members of both universities, and headed by a director and a vice-director.

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