Development of Methods and Instrumentation

IOM develops strategic experimental infrastructures for CNR and for the country

IOM personnel designs and develops instrumentation and scientific devices for synchrotron beamlines, neutron scattering end stations, and laboratories operated in ultra high vacuum (UHV) and high vacuum (HV) environments.

Specific developments carried out in the individual laboratories are described in the dedicated section of the corresponding web page.

These developments are made possible by a dedicated technical group (GPS) which provides technical and logistical support to researchers in the design, development and commissioning phases of complex experimental equipment, where the design of the system, its partial or total mechanical implementation and fine-tuning require the intervention of technical services.

Development for large scale infrastructures


CNR @Elettra 2.0 - the project for renewing the CNR beamlines 

Since 1994, CNR has been the main institutional partner of Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste ScpA (ST), the company that manages the third generation Italian Sincrotrone (LdS) light source Elettra. The CNR manages 10 beamlines at Elettra, designed and built by expert CNR personnel belonging to the IOM, ISM and IC Institutes. Beamlines are unique research tools for advanced scientific research and serve the Italian scientific community; around 200 experiments per year are carried out along these lines by users selected by an international committee and most of them involve CNR institutes, Italian universities and other national institutions. CNR beamlines also attract the foreign scientific community of top-level institutions, guaranteeing the widest visibility and internationalization of research.

ST is currently carrying out the complete reconstruction of the accumulation ring and its beamlines in the framework of a project called Elettra2.0 financed by MIUR structural funds. The new machine will deliver photon beams in the VUV range - X-rays with a brightness 100-200 times higher than the current one, offering new opportunities for frontier research on advanced materials in extreme conditions and on still unexplored spatial and temporal scales with rays.

The CNR researchers at Elettra, following an extensive consultation with the scientific community of reference to define the priority research topics, propose a project for the renewal of the CNR beamlines, essential to maintain the CNR skills and leading role in science with LdS achieved. over the years with large investments by the organization.

The CNR@Elettra2.0 project will renew the CNR beamline set, reorganize the scientific team by focusing the research groups on coordinated topics and leading experimental techniques, promote greater cooperation with scientists and ST management, implementing more beamlines from jointly manage, so as to rationalize the commitment of highly qualified human resources of CNR-Elettra and optimize access to the new source and its experimental facilities.

The main actions are:
- the surface and thin film spectroscopy groups currently working on 3 different beamlines (ALOISA, BACH, VUV) will jointly manage a single combined laboratory for the study of the electronic, magnetic, chemical and morphological properties of nano-systems, 2D materials and hybrid interfaces;
- the groups of the GasPhase and CIPO beamlines, dedicated to low density / dimensionality matter, will jointly manage a new combined laboratory;
- the other beamlines and laboratories will be designed and managed in collaboration with ST;
- a common support laboratory will be placed at the service of all CNR beamlines and their users.

CNR @Fermi - Spin Polarized Research Instrument in the Nanoscale and Time Laboratory

SPRINT (Spin Polarized Research Instrument in the Nanoscale and Time Laboratory) ​is a new endstation for the generation of high harmonic at high repetition rate (HHG). It is addressed at the study of ultrafast magnetic processes in solid state physics by means of an upgraded vectorial Mott detector and a hemispherical electron analyser, suited to perform narrowband time-resolved valence band photoemission spectroscopy and spin detection. SPRINT represents the only HHG-based beamline for time resolved photoemission spectroscopy and spin polarization at European level.

The upgrade of IN13 @ ILL 

The instrument upgrade focuses on a substantial increase of the neutron flux at the sample. It includes mainly two major issues:

  • the refurbishment of the neutron guide on which IN13 is located. The project is strictly linked to the ILL Endurance project for H24 refurbishment in what concerns beam divergence (defined by the supermirror coating), guide dimensions and more specifically the end-guide position. The replacement of the Ni-coated guides with supermirrors will provide a subsequent increase on neutron intensity, without affecting the energy resolution of the instrument.
  • The conception of a temperature gradient monochromator. The idea consists in applying a temperature gradient to the crystals to let vary the d-spacing due to thermal expansion to modulate the incident energy. The flux increment would then arise from the apparent increase in mosaicity.

Development of new in-operando characterisation methods

Fast STM

Fast Scanning Probe Microscopies capable to follow chemical reactions on surfaces. An add-on electronic module that can be added to commercial STM provides the capability to routinely acquire images of 100×100 pixels at a frame rate up to 100 Hz with atomic resolution and therefore to perform Atom Tracking: tracing the position of selected features on the surface during diffusion, with time resolution down to 10 ms and spatial resolution ≤1 Å. - link to public deliverable report

In-operando STEM

Multi-functional micro-reactors for in-operando characterisation of Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) and compatible with a as broad as possible range of synchrotron based techniques to study the functional properties of catalytic materials under realistic conditions within a single, portable device. - link to public deliverable report

High throughput screening of liquid samples

An automatic sample changer feeding a novel sample holder for volumes in the range of 5-20 μL. allows for precise measurements of very small volumes and also the reduction of sample quality. While avoiding high surface-to-volume effects, typical of systems based on pumping the sample through tubing into capillaries, the automatic sample changer enables the measurement of hundreds of samples without requiring of manual intervention - link to public deliverable report