Approaching the end of NFFA-Europe, we aim to gather together partners, users and stakeholders to share the achievements of these past four years and to discuss the future of the project. The first day will be devoted to the presentation of scientific results from users and partners of the project as well as to the discussion of innovative models for Nano Science Facilities and current trends in nanoscience. The second day will be dedicated to future perspectives of NFFA-Europe and strategic actions to be undertaken.





session 1


Giorgio Rossi , Project Coordinator, University of Milan and CNR-IOM, Italy

Open-Access Activity in NFFA-Europe’s Research Infrastructures

Luis Fonseca , Transnational Access Activity Manager, IMB-CNM (CSIC), Spain

session 2

Highlights from NFFA-Europe

Chair: Giancarlo Panaccione (CNR-IOM, Italy)

Highlights from NFFA-Europe’s scientific results and exploitation

users who have published high impact papers

NFFA-Europe User Presentation: Self-texturizing electronic properties of a 2-dimensional GdAu2 layer on Au(111): the role of out-of-plane atomic displacement

Lucia Vitali , Ikerbasque foundation/University of Basque Country, Spain

Tuning the electronic properties of two-dimensional (2D) layers is a current focus of interdisciplinary research. Here, we show that the electronic properties of a surface-supported 2-dimensional (2D) layer structure can spontaneously self-texturize at nanoscale [1]. Specifically, we have characterized the 2D layer GdAu2 forming a mismatched interface on Au(111). We demonstrate that the variable adsorption stacking configurations causes local structural relaxation processes which result in a spatially modulated layer-buckling. This is sufficient to periodically open an energy gap of ∼0.5 eV at the Fermi level at well-defined stacking configurations in an otherwise metallic layer. Additionally, this out-of-plane displacement of the Gd atoms patterns the character of the hybridized Gd-d states and shifts the center of mass of the Gd 4f multiplet proportionally to the lattice distortion. These findings demonstrate the close correlation between the electronic properties of the 2D-layer and its planarity. We demonstrate that the resulting template shows different chemical reactivity which may find important applications [2]. We will compare the properties of the 2D-layer of GdAu2/Au(111) with the previously reported GdAg2/Ag(111) [3].



[1]A.Correa, M.Farnesi Camellone, A.Barragan, A.Kumar,  C.Cepek,  M.Pedio,  S.Fabris, L.Vitali; Self-texturizing electronic properties of a 2-dimensional GdAu2 layer on Au(111): the role of out-of-plane atomic displacement,  Nanoscale 2017, 9, 17342

[2] Matteo Farnesi Camellone, Alexander Correa, Ana Barragán, Maddalena Pedio, Stefano Fabris, Cinzia Cepek, Lucia Vitali, Can atomic-buckling control chemical reaction?

The case of dehydrogenation of phthalocyanine molecules on a GdAu2/Au(111). Submitted

[3] A.Correa, B.Xu, M.J.Verstraete, L.Vitali; Strain-induced effects in the electronic and spin properties of a monolayer of ferromagnetic GdAg2,  Nanoscale 2016, 8, 19148

NFFA-Europe User Presentation: Direct-write method to grow individual and 3D superconducting hollow nanowires

Rosa Còrdoba Castillo , Material Science Institute of Aragon and CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain

Superconductors are commonly utilized in several applications such as energy generators and storage due to their unique capability of transferring electricity without energy losses. Miniaturization in superconductors can optimize their functionality and, furthermore, when the miniaturization reaches the nanoscale, in the range of the superconducting coherence length, novel physical phenomena can arise.

Furthermore, three-dimensional (3D) superconductors are expected to promote a change in the development of the next generation of electronic devices. Nevertheless, their fabrication is still challenging and nowadays only a few articles addressing the growth of 3D have been reported.

Here, we report for the first time the fabrication and characterization of 3D superconducting crystalline WC hollow nanowires with diameters down to 32 nm and aspect ratio above 200 (Fig. 1(a) and (b)) [1].

The method is based on using highly-focused beam of He+ ions to decompose a W(CO)6 precursor molecules. The growth of the vertical WC nanowire occurs around the ion beam spot, mainly due to the interaction of secondary electrons with the adsorbed precursor molecules, whereas a cavity at the center of the nanowire is created due to the He+ beam milling effect on the growing material (Fig. 1(a) and (b)).  As shown by transmission electron microscopy, they display grains of large size fitting with face-centered cubic WC1-x phase (inset of Fig. 1(c), which could present a Tc up to 10 K [2]. By studying their magnetotransport properties, we have found that nanowires exhibit 1.5 times higher superconducting critical temperatures (6.4 K) as well as 1.5 times higher upper critical magnetic fields (≈14 T) (Fig. 1(c)) when compared to nanowires grown by an Ga+ FIBID [3].

The fabrication of such materials with excellent properties makes this technique at the cutting edge of nanofabrication methods based on focused beams of charged particles for the development of the broad field of 3D nano-superconductivity.


   “This project has received funding from the EU-H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654360 NFFA-Europe.”



[1] Córdoba R.; Mailly D.; Ibarra A. and De Teresa J. M. Nano Lett. 2018, 18(2), 1379–1386.

[2] Kurlov A. S. and Gusev A. I. Inorg. Mater. 2006, 42, 121–7.

[3] Córdoba R. et al. Nat. Commun. 2013, 4, 1437.




Figure 1: (a) Sketch of the hollow NW growth by He+ FIBID. (b) SEM image of a vertical hollow NW grown by He+ FIBID. (c) Normalized resistance for a NW versus temperature. Left inset shows a HRTEM image of the cross-sectional view of the hollow NW indicated in b). Right inset shows an SEM image (coloured) of a NW connected by four contacts.

NFFA-Europe User Presentation: Is Oxygen on Silver in Ethylene Epoxidation a well Understood System?

Emilia Carbonio , Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, BESSY II and Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany

The nature of the oxygen species active in ethylene epoxidation is a long-standing question.

Under reaction conditions, two broad types of oxygen species are present at the O/Ag surface during epoxidation.1-2 These species can be distinguished by XPS. One type (nucleophilic oxygen) has an O 1s binding energy (BE) of 528-528.5 eV and the other type (electrophilic oxygen) has a BE of 530-531 eV.2-3 The latter has been shown to participate in epoxidation.4 Yet, while the atomic structure of nucleophilic oxygen is known,5-6 the atomic structure of the active species is debated.2,7-9 This electrophilic species was thought to be weakly bound oxygen and, following early assignments,10-11 has been extensively interpreted as being unreconstructed adsorbed or dissolved atomic O.2-3 However, it was recently demonstrated by means of DFT calculations that the spectroscopic features of unreconstructed atomic oxygen do not agree with those measured for the electrophilic species with a BE of 530-531 eV.7  Here, we use both in-situ and UHV X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) to study the interaction of oxygen with a silver surface. We show experimental evidence that unreconstructed adsorbed atomic oxygen has a BE ≤ 528 eV, showing a core-level shift (CLS) to lower BE with respect to the O-reconstructions, as previously predicted by DFT.7-8 Thus, contrary to the frequent assignment, adsorbed atomic oxygen cannot account for the electrophilic oxygen species with an O 1s binding energy (BE) of 530-531 eV. Moreover, we show that adsorbed atomic O is present at very low O-coverages during in-situ XPS measurements and that it can be obtained at slightly higher coverages in UHV at low temperature. These findings suggest that a high coverage of unreconstructed atomic O is not likely to be present at the silver surface under ethylene epoxidation conditions, at odds with the high concentration of electrophilic oxygen thought to participate in epoxidation. This has important implications on the understanding of the role of the different oxygen species in ethylene epoxidation on silver catalysts.


[1] V.I. Bukhtiyarov et al., J Catal, 238, 260 (2006).
[2] T.C.R. Rocha et al., J Catal, 312, 12 (2014).
[3] T.C.R. Rocha et al., PCCP, 14, 4554 (2012).
[4] V.I. Bukhtiyarov et al., Surf Sci 320, L47 (1994).
[5] T.E. Jones et al., J Phys. Chem. C 120, 28630 (2016).
[6] C.T. Campbell et al., Surf Sci 139, 396 (1984).
[7] T.E. Jones et al., PCCP, 17, 9288 (2015).
[8] T.E. Jones et al., Acs Catal 5, 5846 (2015).
[9] T.E. Jones et al. ACS Catal. 8, 3844 (2018).
[10] R.W. Joyner et al., Chem. Phys. Lett. 60, 459 (1979).
[11] C.T. Au et al.,. J Chem Soc Farad T 1, 79, 1779 ( 1983).

NFFA-Europe User Presentation: Nano-photo-induced-self-marker systems: synthesis and characterization

Ilaria Zanoni , University of Trieste and CNR-ISTEC, Italy

Herein we report the easy incorporation of brightly phosphorescent cationic iridium(III) tetrazole complexes into a silica based ceramic matrix via an easily scalable colloidal process. For this purpose, two cationic Ir(III) emitters bearing 5-aryl tetrazole ligands (R-CN4) were selected: blue [F2IrPTZ-Me]+ and red [IrQTZ-Me]+. The cationic complexes were readily adsorbed to negatively charged silica nanoparticles and trapped in the sol–gel matrix. The sol-to-solid phase transfer was performed by using an innovative spray-freeze-drying technique, leading to the formation of phosphorescent solid micro-granules. The structural and optical characterisation of the Ir(III) complexes together with SiO2 nanoparticles, nanosols (Ir@SiO2) and powders (Ir@SiO2 powders), revealed how the presence of the Ir(III)-based complexes did not alter the morphology of the colloidal silica or granulated phases. Moreover, the ceramic matrix did not interfere with the optical properties of the embedded complexes. The distribution of Ir(III) complexes in the spray-freeze-dried powders was qualitatively evaluated by fluorescence microscopy, revealing how the luminescent particles were homogeneously dispersed all over the silica matrix. Interestingly, release of complex [F2IrPTZ-Me]+ from the corresponding Ir@SiO2 powder in aqueous and organic solutions is almost negligible, therefore suggesting that a strong interaction occurs between the host–silica matrix and the Ir(III) guest complex. In conclusion, we designed a multi-scale process, and obtained luminescent nano-structured powders that preserved their optical properties from the molecular scale to the microscale, providing a self-marking ceramic platform that was stable and can be easily processed at dry or wet dispersed state. Nevertheless as further application of these luminescent nanosol systems, we produced Ir@SiO2 ceramic coated cotton fabrics by dip-pad-dry-cure technique. Exploiting self-marking properties to trace silica nanoparticles functionalization itself on the substrate, we evaluated once more time a negligible release of Ir@SiO2 from fabric if exposed to human skin, showing preliminary a reduce human impact.
These results prove as the integration of such materials in a lot of nano/biotechnology relevant products (LED colour converters; photonics, optoelectronics; photo-induced catalysis; industrial anti-counterfeiting; bio-imaging/targeting/sensing), where long-term stability with high luminescence efficiency is required, will strongly expand the traditional ceramic market.

NFFA-Europe Users Presentation: GeVn complexes in silicon: a viable route toward room-temperature quantum information technologies

Simona Achilli , University of Milan, Italy

The development of on-demand individual deep impurities in silicon is motivated by their employment as a physical substrate for qubits [1], nanoscale transistors [2], single photon emitters [3] and to fabricate Hubbard-like quantum systems [4].
Single-atom silicon devices based on conventional doping elements such as phosphorous [5], arsenic [6] and boron [7] can operate only at cryogenic temperature due to shallow weakly localized ground state impurity levels.
Differently, the implantation of Ge dopants in silicon and the subsequent annealing is expected to generate stable Ge vacancy complexes [8] that are promising candidates to achieve single-atom quantum effects at room temperature.
These hybrid impurities combine indeed the properties of the silicon vacancy, which carries deep states in the bandgap, with the accurate spatial controllability of the defect obtainable through state of the art single-ion implantation of Ge atom.
Two NFFA-EUROPE Theory projects (ID 188 and ID 517) were assigned to UMIL on request of the experimental User Prof. T. Tanii (Waseda University) which developed the ion implantation technique and performed the electrical characterization of GeV-silicon channels, in collaboration with E. Prati (IFN-CNR).
By means of ab initio Density Functional Theory calculation with screened-exchange hybrid functional, that solves the “gap and delocalization problem” of standard DFT, we characterize structural and electronic properties of different GeVn defects.
The calculated excitation energies relative to the addition of electrons into the defect, are in very good agreement with the available experiments, demonstrating the occurrence of a very deep state in the gap. Accordingly, we show that the electrons are more localized than in conventional dopants, decaying in a radius of about 0.5 nanometers from the defect
Being characterized by very large on-site repulsion U and small electronic hopping t (U/t~250) this system is expected to be a platform to study the Mott transition and magnetic correlation.
By mapping the ab initio DFT results in an extended Hubbard formalism we are able to shed light on the transport mechanisms through an array of GeV complexes in silicon showing that both temperature activated and resonanttransport related features contribute to the conductance, in agreement with the experimental findings [10].

[1]. Pla, J. J. et al. “A single-atom electron spin qubit in silicon.”, Nature 489, 541 (2012).
[2]. Shinada, T. et al. “Opportunity of single atom control for quantum processing in silicon and diamond.” in Silicon, Nanoelectronics Workshop (SNW), 1–2 (IEEE, 2014).
[3]. Aharonovich, I., Englund, D. & Toth, M. “Solid-state single-photon emitters.” Nat. Photonics 10, 631 (2016).
[4]. Fratino, L., Semon, P., Charlebois, M., Sordi, G. & Tremblay, A.-M. “Signatures of the Mott transition in the antiferromagnetic state of the two-dimensional Hubbard model.” Phys. Rev. B 95, 235109 (2017).
[5]. Tan, K. Y. et al. “Transport spectroscopy of single phosphorus donors in a silicon nanoscale transistor.” Nano Lett. 10, 11–15 (2009).
[6]. Hori, M., Shinada, T., Guagliardo, F., Ferrari, G. & Prati, E. “Quantum transport property in FETs with deterministically implanted single-arsenic ions using single-ion implantation.” In Silicon Nanoelectronics Workshop (SNW), 1–2 (IEEE, 2012).
[7]. Khalafalla, M., Ono, Y., Nishiguchi, K. & Fujiwara, A. “Identification of single and coupled acceptors in silicon nano-fieldeffect transistors.” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 263513 (2007).
[8] Suprun-Belevich, Y. & Palmetshofer, L. “Deep defect levels and mechanical strain in Ge+ implanted Si.” Nucl. Instr. Methods Phys. Res. B 96, 245–248 (1995).
[9] S. Achilli, N. Manini, G. Onida, T. Tanii, T. Shinada, E. Prati, “GeVn complexes for silicon-based room-temperature single-atom nanoelectronics”, Sci. Rep. 8, 18054 (2018).
[10] S. Achilli, N. Manini, N. H. Le, T. Tanii, T. Shinada, E. Prati, G. Onida, “Quantum transport in GeV:silicon channels”, in preparation.

Coffee break
Highlights from JRA results, , training opportunities and contributed papers
LFoundry –NFFA collaboration proposals. An opportunity to meet industrial needs

Onofrio Antonino Cacioppo , LFoundry s.r.l., Italy

Joint Research Presentation: X-ray nano-optics: new opportunities for large scale facilities in photon science

Christian David , Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland

Joint Research Presentation: From Proteins to new Materials, from Picoseconds to Hours, In Situ and In Operando

Heinz Amenitsch , Graz University of Technology, Austria

Joint Research Presentation: Highlights in training and mobility for young researchers

Arantxa Uranga del Monte , Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain


session 3

Latest Models for Nano Science Facilities

Chair: Giorgio Rossi (University of Milan and CNR-IOM, Italy)

Introduction and moderator

Giorgio Rossi , Project Coordinator, University of Milan and CNR-IOM, Italy

New Model for Integrated Actions – Viewpoint of the European Commission

Laura Esposito , European Commission - DG Research and Rinnovation, Research Infrastructures, Belgium

LEAPS and ERF models of Large Scale Facilities coordination

Caterina Biscari , ALBA Synchrotron, Vice Chair of LEAPS, Spain


Jana Kolar , CERIC-ERIC, Executive Director, Italy

Integrated Infrastructure in Transmission Electron Microscopy

Etienne Snoeck , CEMES-CNRS, Director, France

Open Discussion
Coffee break

session 4

Trends in Nanoscience, Impact and Innovation, FAIR data and EOSC

Chair: Ennio Capria (ESRF, France)

Nanocatalysis: from single atoms, to well defined supported clusters and 2D materials

Gianfranco Pacchioni , University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

The importance of regulations for innovation in nanomaterials

Pascal Colpo , EC Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy

Data Management in Nanoscience and link to European Open Science Cloud

Brian Matthews , Science and Technology and Facilities Council, United Kingdom

Open discussion
End of Sessions
Social Dinner



NFFA-Europe: Future Perspectives

session 5

Future perspectives for NFFA

Chair: Luis Fonseca (IMB-CNM, CSIC, Spain)

Workplan until 2020

Cristina Africh , Operation Project Manager , CNR-IOM, Italy

NFFA-Europe Access Review Panel report

Michèle Sauvage , SOLEIL Synchrotron, France

NFFA-Europe Science and Innovation Advisory Panel report

John Wood and/or Luca Giannini , ATTRACT, United Kingdom / Pirelli Tyre, Italy

Perspectives connected with future calls

Giorgio Rossi , Project Coordinator, University of Milan and CNR-IOM, Italy

Broadening the user community

introduced by Luis Fonseca , Transnational Access Activity Manager, IMB-CNM (CSIC), Spain

Enriching the catalogue with non-partner facilities

introduced by Roberto Gotter , Project IPR manager, CNR-IOM, Italy

Structuring multi-annual schools (science and data management)

introduced by Giorgio Rossi , Project Coordinator, University of Milan and CNR-IOM, Italy

IDRP evolution and adoption

introduced by Stefano Cozzini , CNR-IOM, Italy

Increasing impact on Innovation

introduced by Ennio Capria , Networking Activity Manager, ESRF, France

The point of view of stakeholders

short statement of each stakeholder present for the discussion

Coffee break
Brainstorming and Schedule of strategic actions
Buffet Lunch
End of Meeting


Scientific Committee

Prof. Giorgio Rossi Università degli Studi di Milano and CNR-IOM (Chair)

Dr. Giancarlo Panaccione CNR-IOM

Dr. Ennio Capria ESRF

Dr. Luis Fonseca CSIC-CNM


Organizing Committee

Dr. Elisabetta Travaglia CNR-IOM (Chair)

Dr. Cristina Africh CNR-IOM

Dr. Augusta Cappucci CNR-IOM

Dr. Regina Ciancio CNR-IOM

Dr. Roberta Ferranti CNR-IOM

Dr. Kaori Fujii CNR-IOM

Dr. Riccardo Brancaleon (Promoscience)

Dr. Matteo Tinta (Promoscience)

Dr. Daniel Zotti (Promoscience)



Roma, Passeggiata di Ripetta 25
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Tel. 0039 3349569188 


IT Support

Stefano Bigaran (CNR-IOM)

Practical Info

How to reach the location

Palazzo Greppi is located in the centre of Milan, 600m away from the Duomo, and therefore easily reachable on foot.

GETTING to Milan City Centre ('PIAZZA DUOMO')

By plane

Directions from Linate Airport

People arriving at Linate city airport can reach Milan city centre either by bus or by taxi: The city bus - line 73 – runs from the airport (arrival area) to via Gonzaga/Duomo in about 20 min. From there, walk for 6 minutes to via Sant’Antonio 12.

Directions from Malpensa Airport

People arriving at Malpensa airport can take the Shuttle bus to Milano Centrale Railway Station (about 50 min; bus ticket: 10 euros, one way, 16 euros return) or the Express train to Cadorna Station (40 min.), Garibaldi Station (50 minutes) or Central station (60 min). (Train ticket: 13 euros one-way/20 euros return)

  • From Milan Central Station, please take the yellow line (metro M3), direction SAN DONATO, and stop at Duomo.
  • From Cadorna Station, please take the red line (metro M1), direction SESTO SAN GIOVANNI, and stop at Duomo.
  • From Garibaldi Station, take the green line (metro M2), direction GESSATE, change in Milan Central Station, and then please take the yellow line (metro M3), direction SAN DONATO, and stop at Duomo.

Directions from Orio al Serio Airport

People arriving at Orio al Serio airport can take the Shuttle bus (about 50 min.) to Milano Centrale Railway station:

  •  From Milan Central Railway Station, please take the yellow line (metro M3), direction SAN DONATO, and stop at Duomo.

By train

All international trains arrive at Milano Centrale Railway Station. Once there, please take the yellow line (metro M3), direction SAN DONATO, and stop at Duomo.

By taxi (024040; 028585; 026969)

Reaching Milano city centre by taxi directly from the airports is practical, but more expensive. If landing in Malpensa or Orio al Serio airports, it is advisable to first reach Milan city centre using public transportation and then use a taxi (as an alternative to metro) to reach your accommodation. A taxi from Malpensa or Orio al Serio airports costs about 100€, while a taxi from Linate, which is roughly 7 km away from the city centre, can cost around 30€. Prices can change depending on the traffic jam.


Recommended hotels

Special rates will be offered to the worshop participants at the following hotels:

Ca’ Monteggia

Hotel Canada

Hotel Brunelleschi

Hotel Palazzo delle Stelline

NH Collection Milano President

To make a reservation, contact the hotel directly specifying that you attend a workshop organized in collaboration with the University of Milan to obtain discounted fares.

If you need further assistence in finding a hotel, please contact the Support to the Organization.

For more information please contact
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This research project has received funding from the EU's H2020 framework programme for research and innovation under grant agreement n. 654360 from 1/9/2015 to 31/8/2019
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