Materials Characterization Facility

Overview of Services

The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) has the aim of facilitating and optimizing the access to advanced characterization techniques to the entire IIT network.

Scientists dealing with the development, optimization and applications of materials have an organic access to the full spectrum of available techniques, so as to achieve an exhaustive characterization of materials with a direct line of access to the different laboratories, thanks to the horizontal synergy between laboratories.


The facility consists at the moment of 5 laboratories, devoted to different aspects of materials characterization and equipped with state-of the art instruments. The access to most of the instruments can be granted upon dedicated training sessions with the laboratory manager. In other cases, or for specific highly advanced measurements, instruments are operated only by the persons in charge. The labs included in the Facility are:

Photoelectron Spectroscopies (PES) lab: The lab includes a photoelectron spectrometer (Kratos UltraDLD) equipped for X-ray (XPS) and ultraviolet (UPS) spectroscopies, enabling for both core-levels and valence band investigations. The person in charge for the lab is Dr. Mirko Prato.


X-ray Diffraction and X-ray Fluorescence lab: A Rigaku Smartlab, with 9kW Cu Ka rotating anode and five axis high resolution goniometer is used for advanced X-ray diffraction measurements on a wide range of materials. Additionally, a PANalytical Empyrean system equipped with universal PreFIX optics, Pixcel3D2x2 area detector and programmable XYZ platform, is available for routine measurements. The person in charge for the lab is Mr. Sergio Marras


Scanning Probe Microscopies lab: The lab includes three different atomic force microscopes, designed to cover all the possible applications of AFM, as well as a stylus profilometer and an optical one. The person in charge for the lab is Dr. Marco Salerno


Mechanical characterization lab: The lab includes several instruments for mechanical characterizations, including an Instron dynamometer, a TA Instruments DMTA, two nanoindenters/scratch. The person in charge for the lab is Dr. Luca Ceseracciu


Bio Characterization Lab: The lab is dedicated to the characterization of the interactions between materials and biological matter at several scales. Among the instruments available, a Nanoenabler and a Langmuir-Blodgett trough are available to the users upon training. The person in charge for the lab is Dr. Silvia Dante


Extreme Conditions X-Ray Diffraction Lab: is equipped with two 3rd generation Empyrean diffractometers produced by the Malvern-PANalytical Company. The instruments are provided with a large number of optics, accessories and non-ambient/in-operando stages and chambers which enable them to perform a wide range of characterization techniques based on X-ray diffraction and X-ray total scattering.
The wide variety of research topics at our Institute requires flexibility. The Extreme Conditions XRD lab places an emphasis on working closely with users to adapt equipment configurations to different experimental needs.


Trained users can book instruments from the schedule equipment bar. Untrained user can request to be trained on most instruments or request a service to the Facility staff.


Leadership and Contacts

Dr. Mirko Prato, Facility coordinator

Phone: 010 2896 992

Dr. Luca Ceseracciu, Chief Technician - Mech Lab

Phone: 010 2896 241

Sergio Marras, Chief Technician - XRD Lab

Phone: 010 2896 484

Dr. Luca Goldoni, Chief Technician - NMR
Phone: 010 2896 957

Dr. Silvia Dante, Chief Technician - Bio Lab, Raman

Phone: 010 2896 541

Dr. Matteo Lorenzoni, Senior Technician - SPM Lab

Phone: 010 2896 885

Riccardo Carzino, Senior Technician – XPS - Raman
Phone: 010 2896 426

Dr. Lea Pasquale, Technician - XRF - BET

Phone: 010 2896 514

Dr. Francesco De Boni, Technician - XPS Lab
Phone: ---


Location and hours of operation

Hours Staffed  

Mon - Fri: 8:00 -17:00h  


IIT Central Research Laboratory, via Morego 30 16163 Genova, -1 floor

Links and Resources

Materials Characterization Facility (MCF@IIT) Official site