1 Web FBKThe Bruno Kessler Foundation is a private non-profit research centre working for the public interest. Established by the government of the Autonomous Province of Trento, FBK conducts research in the areas of Information Technology, Materials and Microsystems, Nuclear Physics, Mathematics, Italian-German Historical Studies, Religious Studies, and Effectiveness of public policies. By means of an extensive network of alliances and partnerships, FBK also deals with international relationships, European institutions, behavioural economics, conflicts resolution and communications. One of the largest research area of interest is the Center for Materials and Microsystems, in which FBK has a full range of skills, technologies and laboratories.



The Micro Nano Characterization and Fabrication Facility (MNF) group is organized in two main areas (Microfabrication & Materials Characterization). The Microfabrication Area runs two separate cleanrooms, the Detector Cleanroom dedicated to the development of radiation sensors and the MEMS cleanroom where micro devices and sensors for different applications are developed. The Microfabrication activities are organized in three distinct areas (Fabrication – Testing- Packaging) to cover the full chain for development of new devices. The Materials Characterization Area runs different laboratories for the physical/chemical analysis of materials, surfaces and interfaces.


The Functional Material and Photonics Structures (FMPS) research unit has a significant experience in the study and realisation of novel nanomaterials and nanostructures. A dedicated facility allows the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured surfaces and the engineering and realisation of photonic devices. Research activities are driven by both technology trends in equipment/systems and emerging applications, supported by consolidated competences in plasma physics and chemistry, atomic layer deposition, material science, solid state physics, advanced analytical techniques and diagnostics.


The Applied Research on Energy Systems research unit has extensive experience in technology transfer and innovation support gained in numerous projects with industry partners, from the modelling of the technical solution until the development of a real demonstrator suitable for pre-industrial production. Taking advantage of availability of various forms of graphene within the Graphene Flagship, research activities in  daily life energy applications (photovoltaics, energy storage, fuel cells and hydrogen storage) conducted inside ARES could “connect” graphene expertise and energy system developers, supporting the design of  new energy conversion and storage devices exploring novel research routes for future graphene-based material that could better match the energy application needs.


  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for nano morphology and topology characterization;
  • Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) for phisical/chemical characterization of surface potential with nanometric resolution;
  • Scanning Spreading Resistance Microscopy (SSRM) for phisical/chemical characterization of spreading resistence with nanometric resolution;
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) for morphological characterization through imaging with nanometric resolution;
  • X-Ray Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for phisical/chemical characterization through elemental analysis and structural information derived by bonding/oxidation state of the elements itself;
  • Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Analysis (TXRF) and Grazing Incidence X-ray Fluorescence Analysis (GIXRF) for phisical/chemical characterization through elemental analysis of contaminants on surface layers;
  • Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) for compositional analysis of surface layers;
  • Proton Transfer Mass Spectrometry (PTRMS) for phisical/chemical characterization and analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds / Gases; Adsorption desorption studies;
  • Silicon foundry with CMOS like pilot line Patterning of silicon substrates; deposition of metal layers on silicon; deposition of silicon oxide / nitride;
  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for adsorption desorption studies;
  • Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) for Plasma CVD decoration of nanomaterials with oxides;
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) for Plasma CVD of carbon based nanomaterials;
  • Plasma Co-sputternig for synthesis of functional oxides;
  • Atomic Layer Depostion (ALD) for synthesis at atomic scale of oxide materials;
  • Plasma treatments for surface engineering within integrated laboratory where deposition and characterization facilities were connected in UHV conditions in order to allow in-situ analyses;
  • Sol gel deposition of coatings by Spin Coating Deposition (SPC);
  • Plasma functionalization in the Combi-lab : the combinatorial operating mode consist in the possibility to perform different plasma treatments (both functionalizations and depositions) on a single sample in a single experimental session;
  • Surface tribomechanichs & adhesion microscratch test: estimation of friction coefficient and the resitantce to the scratch;
  • Surface hardness characterization with nanoindentation: evaluation of surface hardness and elastic modulus;
  • Wettability characterization through contact angle estimation of hydrophobicity/ hydrophilllicity and estiamtion of surface energy;
  • Surface chemistry characterization with Auger Spectroscopy: elemental analysis and structural information derived by bonding/oxidation state of the elements;
  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD) for material structural characterization (structures, phases, preferred crystal orientations);
  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis;
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Back Scatter Diffraction (EBSD);
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) and Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM).