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Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a Foundation financed by the State to conduct scientific research in the public interest, for the purpose of technological development. It aims to promote excellence in basic and applied research with 4 major Research Domains: Robotics, Nanomaterials, Lifetech, and Computational Sciences and 11 research lines. Research is carried out by 76 independent PIs with scientific expertise spanning from medicine to engineering. IIT has a total staff of around 1600 people from more than 50 countries with its scientific staff consisting of 7% principal investigators (7%), staff researchers and technologists (10%), post docs (38%), and Ph.D. students and recipients of scholarships (44%). IIT’s production includes 10191 publications, over 160 European projects and 19 ERC (European Research Council) projects, more than 600 active patent applications, 17 established start-ups and 26 under due diligence (as of December 2017). The Institute’s scientific activity is pursued at the main laboratory in Genoa, 11 IIT research centres in Italy (in Turin, two in Milan, Trento, Rome, two in Pisa, Naples, Lecce, Ferrara) and two outstations located abroad (MIT and Harvard in the US).

The Marie Curie project MOPTOPus is part of the Nanomaterials Research Domain and within the research line of Nanochemistry ( in which the focus goes towards the study of colloidal inorganic nanocrystals and the development of rational synthetic approaches to exploit the nanomaterials’ compositional diversity, shape, morphology and surface functionality to obtained well-defined optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic features for use in the most disparate fields of science and technology.


The Molecular Foundry located at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, is one of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers sponsored by the United States Department of Energy. It is a User Facility providing users from around the world with free access to cutting-edge nanoscience instruments, techniques and collaborators in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment for nanoscience. The Molecular Foundry is a vibrant research community that brings together Molecular Foundry staff scientists, technical support staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborating guest scientists and is open to scientists from academia, industry, and research institutes worldwide. Users submit a User Project that is solicited to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists that study nanoscale phenomena in diverse disciplines (materials science, physics, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, biology and chemistry). Access free of charge is being granted after a peer-reviewing process. Research is performed in seven interdependent facilities: Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures, Nanofabrication, Theory of Nanostructured Materials, Inorganic Nanostructures, Biological Nanostructures, Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis, National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM).

The MOPTOPus project is primarily a collaboration with the Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures and the Inorganic Nanostructures facility. MOPTOPus exploits state-of-the-art characterization and manipulation tools ranging from electron microscopy, to optical microscopy and scanning probe microscopy, as well as the laboratories of the Inorganic Nanostructures facility, which deals with the design and synthesis of nanocrystals of several different materials and their optical, electronic and structural characterization.