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Dipartimento di Fisica - Politecnico di Milano

Laboratorio di Nano-Ottica (sNOm)


The sNOm Laboratory focusses on the investigation of the fundamental processes and the applications in the fields of:

 Plasmonics and Nano-photonics


Specifically, we are dedicated to the development of plasmonic and nano-photonics platforms for:

- Light steering and modulation at the nanoscale

- Frequency mixing at the nanoscale

- Molecular sensing


sNOm Activities

Light steering and modulation at the nanoscale

(click on the title to download a relevant pubblication on the subject)


Nonlinear light manipulation at the nanoscale

Steering the nonlinear emission from metasurfaces


Frequency mixing at the nanoscale

Harmonic generation via plasmonic nanoantennas

Frequency mixing via dielectric nanoantennas (submitted)


Molecular Sensing

Chiral sensing with Superchiral Bloch Surface Waves in 1D photonic crystals

Sensing platforms based on nonlinear plasmonic metasurfaces



sNOm Facilities

Optical setups:

  • a state of the art home-made confocal microscopes with diffraction-limited resolution capability to investigated nanostructures and nanostructured materials;
  • an optical goniometer to investigate the angular dependence of the optical response of planar samples upon collimated light illumination.

Light Sources:

The optical setups can be coupled with ultrafast lasers delivering laser pulses with time duration of 150 fs with emission from the visible (VIS) to the near-infrared (NIR) and short wave infrared (SWIR) to investigate the nonlinear optical properties of nanostructured materials. In particular, we operate:


  • an ultrafast solid state oscillator (Chamaleon, Coherent Inc.) delivering 150 fs pulses which are tunable in the VIS-NIR (680-1080nm) wavelength range;
  • an ultrafast solid state oscillator (Origami, OneFive/NKT) delivering 160 fs pulses at 1550 nm wavelength (SWIR range).

The set of light sources it complemented by a variety of laser diodes operating in continuous wave from 400 nm to 1550 nm.

Detection systems:

The sNOm lab is equipped with several detection systems

  • fast-response and amplified photodiodes working in the VIS-NIR range;
  • single photon avalanche detectors (SPAD) working both in the VIS-NIR (silicon-based) and in the SWIR (InGaAs-based) region of the electromagnetic spectrum for extreme low light measurements;
  • a VIS-NIR (400nm-1100nm) spectrometer coupled to a cooled charged coupled device (CCD) camera and a SWIR (900 nm-2200 nm) spectrometer coupled to a cooled charged couple device (CCD) camera for the acquisition of spectra in the extreme low-light regime.