Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

INL and CCDR-N signed new contract to support equipment aquisition


(Left to right: Mariano Gago, Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology; Carlos Lage, President of CCDR-Norte, Mário Rui Silva, manager of ON.2  O Novo Norte, and José Rivas, Director General of INL)

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional Norte (CCDR-N) signed the contract that allows INL to benefit from an additional  €14M assistance, under the Portuguese North Regional Operational Program “ON.2 – O Novo Norte”, financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The official ceremony was held in Oporto and presided over by the Portuguese minister of Science Technology and Higher Education, Mariano Gago.

«With the scientific equipment included in this second grant, INL shall complement its characterization, micro and nanofabrication infrastructures. Among other research units, the new equipment will allow the development of high value projects, such as bottom up research, where nanostructures can be obtained by controlled self-assembly processes of simple building blocks previously built by chemical techniques. This strategy is especially suitable to get nanoparticles (magnetic NPs, quantum dots, etc.) and complex structures obtainable by controlled self-replication processes», explained José Rivas, Director General of INL.

INL also aims to be a reference laboratory in the development of Nanotechnology applications in the area of Nanomedicine. In this research area, multidisciplinary research teams will work with the latest equipment and technologies on diagnosis (point-of-care systems for bimolecular recognition, the development of biomarkers for rapid detection of specific cancer cells, the study and comprehension of physical processes involved in molecular recognition processes), on drug delivery (particularly in the development of carriers and receptors with nanoscale capabilities, and the study of their interactions with target cells) and in the area of neuroscience (studying the interface “nervous system-chip” and developing micro and nanodevices ready to interact with different levels of the nervous system, using them to address several serious diseases), among others….

The INL facilities are funded by Portugal and Spain in equal parts. The state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure is also supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Cross-border Cooperation Spain-Portugal 2007-2013 Program co-finances the construction while the scientific equipment and instruments are co-financed by the Portuguese North Regional Operational Program “ON.2 – O Novo Norte”.

Photo: CCDR-N/Egídio Santos

January 13, 2011 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment

Follow the light in the discovery of the wonders of nano

Ellipsometry is a versatile, non-destructive technique that works in real time in any transparent medium, based on the fact that when light is reflected from a surface of a material its polarization state undergoes some change depending on its own characteristics.

The word ellipsometry was first introduced in a scientific publication by Alexander Rother in 1945, and is based on the fact that the polarization of the light is generally elliptical. In the last years of the XIX century, Paul Drude derived the mathematical equations that allowed the calculation of the optical constants. In the 60’s, due to the availability of computers for numeric processing, ellipsometry suffered a renaissance. Besides measuring the thickness of a film of few nanometers or its optical constants, today, ellipsometry finds applications in different areas like semiconductor and data storage solutions, biosensors, optical coatings, microelectronics, surface chemistry.

The one recently acquired by INL is a spectroscopic imaging ellipsometer. With spectroscopy it is possible to know the optical constants as a function of the wavelength of light, enlightening to greater detail the secrets of complex materials. The imaging feature enables, for example, analyzing biochips without any labeling of the probes, an advantage when compared with techniques based on fluorescence or radioactivity. It is thus possible to examine the surface structure of, for instance DNA, on substrates like glass, silicon or gold with high spatial resolution and also in real-time to measure adsorption reactions by using diverse solid-liquid cells for in vitro conditions.

Follow the light in the discovery of the wonders of nano and be amazed with the beauty!

The photos show INL Engineer, Adelaide Carvalho, the author of this post, monitoring ellipsometry tests. The spectroscopic imaging ellipsometer, recently acquired by INL. Testing the equipment has been her main concern for the last couple of months.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | INL Campus, INL Community, INL Project | 1 Comment

INL project presented in Mexico during NanoMex’10

In the photo, taken in Cuernavaca City on 19 November, you can see the DG of INL with Dr.  Roberto Y. Sato Berrú (on the far left) from the “Centro de Ciencias Aplicadas y Desarrollo Tecnológico ( CCADET) ” and his wife, and Dr. José Manuel Saniger Blesa (on the far right) , Director of the CCADET, from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

In pursue of INL’s outreach program, Jose Rivas, Director General (DG) of the INL, attended the “Simposio: Nanociencias y Nanotecnología” at UAM in Mexico City, 15-16 November and the NanoMex’10 which is the Third International and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Meeting , organized by the National Autonomous University of Mexico  (UNAM), in Cuernavaca City (Morelos) 17-19 November . In this meeting the DG of the INL made the most of the encounters to present the INL and to contact leading important Mexican scientists in the field of Nanotechnology .

The goal of NanoMex’10 is to stimulate high-quality interdisciplinary dialogue on the advance, promises and implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology in order to enrich the national decision-making concerning the distribution of benefits, maximization and definition of responsibilities and, the minimization of unnecessary and unwanted costs.

It is an initiative nano-UNAM, a group initially formed by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Sciences and Humanities, the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Center for Applied Sciences and Technological Development and the Environmental Nanotechnology University Program. A partir de 2009, nano-UNAM articula 11 entidades y un programa universitario. Since 2009, nanoUNAM is conformed by 11 UNAM’s entities and a research university program.

November 26, 2010 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment

INL opens second tender for scientific equipment

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) has opened a new tender for the selection of entities entrusted with the supply of scientific material and instruments.

The contract is divided into 50 lots within 7 sets, namely: Surface Characterization, Electron and Scanning Probe Microscopy (Set I); MENS/NEMS Process and Characterization (Set II); Optical Microscopy (III); Biochemistry Laboratory (IV); Radio Frequency and Electrical Device Characterization Laboratory (V); Packaging and Micromolding (VI); and Nanochemistry Laboratory (VII). Details are available here.

The INL facilities are funded by Portugal and Spain in equal parts. The new scientific infrastructure is also supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

While the scientific equipment and instruments are co-financed by the Portuguese North Regional Operational Program “ON.2 – O Novo Norte”, the construction of the new scientific infrastructure is supported by the Cross-border Cooperation Spain-Portugal 2007-2013 Program. Both programs are financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

November 10, 2010 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment

Second INL Annual Meeting in April

It’s time to gather again. The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory will hold its second annual meeting, in Braga, (Portugal) next April 12 and 13. The meeting will take place in the new building.

The event will comprise scientific presentations form all INL Post-doc researchers and two Poster Sessions with posters from both INL PhD Programmes.

During the meeting the participants will have the opportunity to make a detailed visit to the INL facilities. INL researchers shall also be updated on the next INL activities. Several members of the INL International Advisory Board, also present in Braga for the annual Advisory Board Meeting, will also attend the meeting, which gives all members of the INL community the opportunity to discuss with them science and their impressions about the INL project.

See you soon in Braga!

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Braga, INL Community, INL Project | 1 Comment

Another look at INL construction site


Construction work at the INL is going on nonstop. Here is a look at the building where most of the Labs and offices will be. If you want to know more about the INL project, visit us at

February 23, 2009 Posted by | INL Campus, INL Project | Leave a comment

INL International Advisory Board Meeting in Braga


A research laboratory in the forefront of knowledge and technology like the INL needs advice of leading experts. The next meeting of the INL International Advisory Board will be held in Braga  on Friday, January 23rd, 2009. The significant track records and achievements of all members will offer a uniquely exciting opportunity to succesfully advance in different areas of INL project.

INL International Advisory Board Members:

*Roberto G.M. Caciuffo
European Commission Directorate General Joint Research Centre
Institute for Transuranium Elements Karlsruhe, Germany

*Thomas Jovin
Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry
Göttingen, Germany

*Emilio Méndez
Director of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials-Brookhaven National
Laboratory – Upton, US

*Christopher B. Murray
Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering
University of Pennsylvania, US

*Aristides A. G. Requicha
Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Robotics,
University of Southern California, US

*Mihail C. Roco
National Science Foundation – US

*Heinrich Rohrer
Nobel Laureate in Physics

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Braga, INL Project | Leave a comment


The Program for the first INL Workshop is almost ready. All our young researchers have already confirmed their participation. And our post docs are getting their. We are only waiting for one single ‘yes’. It’s an extra effort for everybody, that is clear, but it will be worth it.

You can expect two and half days of intense and collaborative work, good Portuguese food and some leisure too. The workshop will be held from Monday 24th (9:30 am) to Wednesday 26th (2:00 pm).

A detailed presentation of the INL building project along with a site visit is planed. There will also be learning session regarding innovative learning tools, with the collaboration of a specialised company. Presentations on Entrepreneurship and Technology transfer by venture capital experts are also being carefully prepared.

In the following days all participants will receive a detailed schedule for the workshop. We are confident it is going to be a success.

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources, INL Project | Leave a comment

UK NanoForum in London

INL is present at the UK NanoForum. This third annual UK NanoForum comprises a one-day conference and exhibition brought over 100 senior international delegates from more than 20 countries, together with the best of the UK’s nanotechnology community.

Breakout sessions cover three main domains: Healthcare for the Modern Age, Clean Technologies and Intelligent Connected World.The sessions will provide a platform for discussion on how nanotechnology can meet these global challenges.

The exhibition will showcase the very best of UK nano to an international audience and, along with a programme of technology pitches, will provide the perfect environment for partnering. With a focus on international trade, investment and collaborations, UK NanoForum 2008 will be a networking forum for industry, academia, technology purchasers and those seeking to develop joint ventures.

October 28, 2008 Posted by | INL Project, Nano News | Leave a comment


One week. That is the time you have left to apply. November 2nd is the deadline to present your candidacy for the three postdoctoral positions availableat the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory.The same time limit applies for the six technician positions. You can find out more about the recruitment process at

Don’t pass off this chance to be part off the emerging INL community!

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources, INL Project | Leave a comment