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Created in 2006 as Associate Laboratory by the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. i3N is a partnership between 2 leading research units in fundamental and applied science: CENIMAT (Materials Research Center, NOVA University of Lisbon) and FSCOSD (Physics of Semiconductors, Optoelectronics and Disordered Systems, U. Aveiro). Since 2018 i3N follows a strategic refocus of the main scientific activities in advanced functional materials/devices for nanosciences and nanotechnologies.

After 18 years, i3N has successfully achieved a leading position with strong national and international impact, for example in the fields of photovoltaics, thin-film microelectronics, paper electronics and transparent (oxide) electronics, having contributed in these areas to National and European public policies. i3N is a cross-interdisciplinary institute built on existing institutional strengths, offering world class development and innovation at the leading-edge of research and education. i3N integrates chemists, physics, materials science, engineers and others from Aveiro University and Nova University Lisbon being organized in 6 research groups dealing with the challenges of i3N strategic research fields. In order to address the challenges imposed by the 19 goals of OCDE, research activities fall into 4 Thematic Lines:

» Sustainable Micro and Nanofabrication;

» Green and Clean Energy Systems;

» Nanomaterials Engineering and Functional Interfaces;

» Biomedical Devices and System.


i3N researchers have achieved excellent scientific results, recognized with the award of 6 ERCs grants as well as the number of international projects and patents, along with the scientific papers published on high impact factor journals, like Science, Nature, Progress in Materials Science and Advanced Materials. These achievements make i3N the leading research institute in Portugal in the area of Materials Science and Nanotechnologies.

Supported by a common and relevant activity related to materials and device characterization, device physics, design, modelling and simulation.

During the last years, i3N has consolidated its strategic research activity in order to meet the innovation challenges associated with Nanotechnologies, Nanomaterials and Nanosciences in accordance with the policies established by Horizon 2020 (and now to be implemented with FP9), with the purpose of improving the level of materials science and technology understanding and their use as key-enabler of multi-sector applications. So, i3N vision and mission is:

» To foster top quality science and innovation in Functional Advanced Micro/NanoMaterials and Micro/Nanotechnologies, supported by computational modelling, for socio-economical ends.

» To remain at the international leading edge of research by promoting breakthroughs concepts and exploiting material multifunctionalities, integration in devices and systems, at a nano-scale level and foster the need tank thinking changes towards the development of eco-sustainable products to serve key sectors as the circular economy, internet of things and industry 4.0.

» To promote practical applications of R&D+I results, including the transfer to the industry.

» To provide access of the Institute facilities and equipment to the technical-scientific community. 

» To promote academic excellence by fostering a team-based scientific environment building on the passion, talent and skills of our members that covers key areas of our knowledge in a quite complementary way. 

» To raise public awareness, engagement and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering and technology, by promoting scientific literacy. That is, to open i3N to citizens and with them promote the concepts that will impact in our society.

We believe that the combined strengths of a collaborative team are by far, larger than the sum of the individuals. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in strong relation with Advanced Functional Materials are at the forefront of modern research. The fast-growing economy here requires experts with outstanding knowledge in these areas in combination with the skills to apply it in new products. At i3N we are also training the future generations for academia an industry.