Summary and scientific background:
Nicolò holds a tenure-track professorship and is the head of the ‘Ultrafast Nanophotonics and Advanced Functional Materials’ Group at the Department of Physics, Umeå University (Sweden) supported by the Swedish Research Council, the European Innovation Council, the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Kempe Foundations. Currently, he is also a visiting researcher and group leader at the Department of Physics and Materials Science, University of Luxembourg. He is author of more than 50 scientific papers in renowned international journals (including Physical Review Letters, Nature Communications, Advanced Optical Materials and Nano Letters) and co-author of an international patent on metamaterials for nanophotonic applications. He has more than 100 contributions at international conferences, international symposia, and colloquia, more than 25 as invited speaker.
Nicolò studied Physics at the University of Ferrara (Italy) from 2007 to 2012, and earned his PhD in Physics of Nanostructures and Advanced Materials (grade: outstanding cum laude) from the University of the Basque Country and CIC nanoGUNE (Spain) in 2016. As Predoctoral researcher in the Nanomagnetism Group at CIC nanoGUNE, he studied the optical properties of nanostructured magnetic materials, under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Vavassori. In 2015, he received the “Piero Brovetto” Award from the Italian Physical Society for “his contributions in the fields of nanomagnetism and nanooptics and the study of the physical properties of magnetoplasmonic nanoantennas and their application in bio-sensing”. During his PhD, he was Visiting Scientist at the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto School of Science (Finland) in 2014, and at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) in 2015.
From 2017 to 2018, he was Research Associate at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa (Italy) in the Plasmon Nanotechnologies Unit led by Dr. Francesco De Angelis, working on plasmonic nanostructures to control fundamental light-matter interactions, such as absorption and scattering of light, at the nanoscale. Concurrently, he contributed to the design and development of plasmonic nanoarchitectures for single protein sequencing through fluorescence and energy transfer mechanisms enhancement in collaboration with Dr. Denis Garoli, as well as for cell’s membrane and nucleus investigations through surface enhanced spectroscopy in collaboration with Dr. De Angelis.
From 2019 to 2021, he was a Junior Group Leader at the University of Luxembourg in the Ultrafast Phenomena in Condensed Matter Group led by Prof. Daniele Brida, leading a research team working on the FNR CORE Project ‘Ultrafast coherent hybridization of photons and spins in multi-functional magnetoplasmonic metamaterials’ (2020-2022) and the European H2020 FET-Open Project ‘Ultrafast Raman Technologies for Protein Identification and Sequencing’ (2020-2024). Here, he also developed a research line focused on the study of ultrafast phenomena in magnetoplasmonic nanostructures, and on the development of an ultrafast magneto-optical pump-probe spectroscopy setup working in different configurations (e.g., Faraday effect, polar and longitudinal Kerr effect, etc..), in a broad spectral range (from the visible to the mid infrared) and based on the use of few-optical cycle light pulses. In 2019 he was also Visiting Scientist in the Group of Prof. Alfred Leitenstorfer at the University of Konstanz.
In December 2021, he moved to Umeå University (Sweden) to start his own research group. In November 2021 he was awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the Swedish Research Council aiming at studying nonthermal charge and spin dynamics in magnetoplasmonic nanostructures with sub-10 fs time resolution, and a Horizon Europe EIC-Pathfinder Project aiming at studying molecular structure by using advanced computational tools and ultrafast spectroscopy techniques together with international partners from Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg and Sweden. Until now, he was able to collect more than 2.5 M€ (>25M SEK, including start-up packages) to fund his own research as Principal Investigator. In 2022, he became a Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe, an independent association of top young researchers in Europe with logistic and financial support from COST.
Nicolò’s research span a broad range of fundamental and applied aspects of natural sciences, with a special focus on both the fundamental and applied aspects of light-matter interactions in advanced and multifunctional nano- and meta-materials for opto-electronics and information processing, photochemistry and biotechnology, by using frequency- and time-resolved (magneto-)optical spectroscopy, finite-element computational methods and bottom-up/top-down nanofabrication techniques (for a brief introduction on nano- and meta-materials, you can see his TEDx talk entitled Metamaterials matter: smart material of future).
Editorial and Research Integrity activities:
From 2018 to 2021 Nicolò has been an Early Career Editorial Board Member of 'Nano Letters' (published by the American Chemical Society). Currently, he is an Associate Editor of 'Advanced Photonics Nexus' (published by SPIE and Chinese Laser Press) and a Young Editorial Board Member of 'Ultrafast Science', a Science partner journal published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and distributed by the American Associations for Advances in Science (AAAS).
Finally, Nicolò is a certified Research Integrity trainer in the framework of the European Project VIRT2UE, aiming to provide the knowledge and skills to conduct virtue-based ethical research and to foster reflection on scientific virtues in researchers, in line with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. From 2019 until 2021, he was a Research Coach and a pro-bono consultant at the Luxembourg Agency for Research Integrity.