Monica Bollani is a permanent researcher at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (IFN-CNR) at the Milan branch, in the LNESS (Laboratory for Nanostructure Epitaxy and Spintronics on Silicon). She graduated in chemistry, in 1997 at the Università degli Studi di Milano, defending an experimental thesis on self-assembled organic monolayer systems on silicon surfaces. She obtained a European Doctor of Research in November 2000 in Physics of Materials from the University of Aix-Marseille III (France) with a “very honorable” mention on microscopic and spectroscopic analysis of self-assembled sensors on silicon for applications in opto-nanoelectronics. Between December 2000 and April 2002, she was employed as a fixed-term researcher by the Milano Research Council within the MURST project entitled “Technology and equipment for the monitoring and the safety of internal environments”. She left this position during 2002 for a research post-doc: the subject of this research was the growth of epitaxial SiGe heterostructures by low-energy plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (LEPECVD). This activity was carried out at the ETH in Zurich (Switzerland) until the end 2003, under the guidance of Prof. Hans von Känel. In 2002 and 2004 she won twice in a row an integrative grant from the prestigious Angelo della Riccia Foundation for research carried out at the electron microscopy center in Zurich (ETH University) for high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) on Si-based samples. In December 2004 she was the winner of a concourse for a fixed-term research post at the National Institute of Materials Physics (INFM), to be carried out at the L-NESS laboratory where she continued the research related to the semiconductor growth. In February 2009 she was promoted to a CNR permanent researcher position, at the Milano branch of the IFN. The main working site was yet again the L-NESS and she has enlarged her responsibilities by joining the optical and electron-beam lithography group, mainly dedicated to nanostructurization of low-dimensional systems and to the patterning on Si and Ge substrates for the growth of regular arrays of three-dimensional islands or nanometer-scale mesa structures. Actually, she is responsible of the nano and microfabrication activity on semiconductor materials at LNESS laboratory.

Scientific experience abroad: In addition to the European PhD and 3 years of post doc at ETH in Zurich, she worked for one month (February 2010) in the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (Austria) to develop the use of electron beam lithography (EBL) for the pattern realization with very high resolutions on silicon oxides substrates. She worked for one month (February 2014) in the Molecular Foundry (LBL laboratory) in Berkeley (California) to develop a new nanofabrication approach to realize Ge plasmonic tips. In the February 2016 and October 2016, she hosted at CNR’s LPN laboratory (Marcoussis-Paris, France) to carry out nanofabrication activities within the SPICE project. She worked for 3 months (July-August 2019 and July 2022) at the Molecular Foundry in the frame of proposal “High-index dichalcogenide nanoantennas”.


  • Principal investigator of the European project NARCISO (FET-OPEN, grant n° 828890, “NAtuRal instability of semiConductors thIn SOlid films for sensing and photonic” 2019-2022);
  • She is involved in European FET-OPEN project in the CNR unit (X-PIC project, “e-Xtreme ultraviolet to soft-X-ray Photonic Integrated Circuits”, Grant n°964588) as responsible of validation of new source for lithography. (May 2021 – April 2025).
  • Responsible of the CNR unit in the European project SONAR (Marie Curie project grant N°734690 “Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance in doped semiconductor nanocrystals” 2017-2020);
  • Responsible of the CNR unit in the italian PRIN project NOMEN (NOnlinear photonics with metal-less NAnoantennas and MEtasurfaces) (Feb2020 – August 2023);
  • Work package responsible (devices fabrication) for the Italian ASI project QUASIX (Sorgente integrata di singoli fotoni in silicio per comunicazioni quantistiche nello spazio) (Nov 2019 May 2022);
  • Principal Investigator of the project SPICE between Italy and France, which is a project related to Surface Plasmon Enhanced Inter-sub band cells based on III/V semiconductor materials (2014-2015);
  • Responsible for the CNR unit in the Italian Cariplo Foundation project DefConIV (“Nanostructures for the deformation control of group-IV epilayers and membranes”, 2013- 2015);
  • She has participated in the European project “NanoPHOTO: NANOcrystalline silicon film for PHOTOvoltaic and optoelectroic applications”, active from June 1, 2005 to May 30, 2008 (Sixth Framework programme priority 3 –NPM, project n° 013944), and she is involved in European project “GEMINI, germanium mid-infrared plasmonic for sensing” grant agreement n°613055 (2015-2017);
  • Between 2003- 2018, she has collaborated in several national research projects (PRIN, “Goccia” Grant N° 2008CH534) and within some Cariplo Foundation projects (“NanoDEV”, “NanoGap”, “NanoPAT” and “MANDIS”), relating to the nano-fabrication and nano-manipulation of dislocations for heteroepitaxial integration on silicon. She has participated in the Italian project “Technologies and materials for the efficient use of solar energy” between the CNR and Lombardy County (Decr. Reg. n. 3667 – 2013-2015). She was partner of the Italian SIR project Mid Infrared Nano-optics: approaching plasmonics with Doped Semiconductors (MINDS), (Cod:RBSI14IT0D, 2015-2019) and partner in the Italian project “I-ZEB Verso Edifici Intelligenti a Energia Zero per la crescita della città intelligente” between the CNR and Lombardy county (Decr. Reg. n. 19366/RCC-decreto n° 7784 (2016-2018).


Invited talks and keynote speaker: Over the years, she has participated in more than 50 conferences, most often with an oral work to share. She was to present a work as invited at the NanoSea congress 2014 in Marseille (France), NanoSea congress 2016 in Messina (Italy), Bilateral workshop Italy-Japan in Colico (Italy, May 2017), SeminNano conference in Como (Italy, Sept 2017), NanoSea congress 2018 in Carquerenne (France), NanoInnovation Congress (Rome, Italy 2018, as keynote speaker), ICPAM 12 congress in Heraklion (Greece, 2018), Materials Congress (Bologna, Italy 2018), SPb-POEM2020 (St. Petersburg, Russia -on line, 27 -30 April 2020), SCT2021 (7-9 April, Paris, France as keynote speaker), SPb-POEM2021 (St. Petersburg; Russia, -online, 25 -28 May 2021), CONMAT2021 (Valencia, Spain, 18-20 Oct 2021), OPTICSMEET2021 (1-3 November 2021, Nice, France), NANO2022 (Siviglia, Spain 5-10 June 2022), EOSAM 2022 (EU project session, 12-16 September 2022, Porto, Portugal).

Decision-making role in congresses or scientific events: She was part of the organizing committee of the 8th ESPS-NIS conference (Como, 14-18 June 2010), of FisMat2013 conference (Milano, 9-14 September 2013)and of MNE 2021 conference (Torino, September 20th – 23rd, 2021). She was also involved in the scientific advisory committee for the XTOP 2014 Conference (Grenoble, Sept. 2014,, for the plasmonic school, scheduled for July 2016 (, for SPIE Photonics Europe, call “Fiber Lasers and Glass Photonics: Materials through Applications”, 3-7 April 2022, Strasbourg, ( and for the international Workshop on Disordered Correlated Media and their Applications (3-4 October 2022, Firenze, Actually, she is in the organizing committee of ICS (22-25 May 2023, “International Conference on Silicon Epitaxy and Heterostructures”

Dissemination activity: Dr. Bollani has also been active in the dissemination area by participating in the “MeetMe Tonight” events (Sept 2012, Sept 2013, Sept 2016, Sept 2019), aimed to a scientific knowledge sharing and more general science introduction to curious people and students (April 2015 ; March 2016). Electromagnetism and physics fundamentals have been the main topics presented. Starting from 2017, she collaborated at the dissemination for Pint of Science and since 2018 she is responsible of the “Pint of Science” events for Milano city ( April 2022: organizing committee for “italian quantum weeks” events at Milano (

Research Activity:

Materials fabrication and characterization

Integrated quantum photonics

Beam shaping and laser micromachining of transparent materials

Research Unit:


Milano office:

P.zza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Edificio 8, 20133 Milano, Italy

phone: +39 02.2399.6104

Como Laboratory (LNESS):

Via Anzani 42, 22100 Como, Italy

phone: +39 031.3327356

home page on LNESS can be found here:

ORCID Id: 0000-0002-0078-5085