i3N map

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 10 years, i3N has successfully achieved a leading position with strong national and international impact been a pioneer in the fields of paper and transparent (oxide) electronics. Following the extensive international networks where i3N members are involved, has originated between 2013-2017 i3N the coordination/participation on 56 international projects and proudly secured 5 ERC grants (2 AdG, 1 CoG & 2 StG). i3N has 249 members including 53 academic staff, 41 Pos-Docs, 57 PhD students, 15 technicians/administratives and 83 collaborators. Here we would like to highlight that 30% of her members are coming abroad, aligned so with the international culture promoted by i3N. i3N is a cross-interdisciplinary institute built on existing institutional strengths, and offers world class, in the area of development and innovation at leading-edge of research and education, organized in 6 research groups in order to address the challenges of i3N strategic research fields:

  • Sustainable Micro and Nanotechnology
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Nanomaterials Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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

During the last years, i3N has consolidated its strategic research activity in order to overcome the innovation challenges associated to 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 enabler to serve 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 computing modelling, for socio-economical ends.
  • To remain at the international leading edge of research by promoting breakthroughs concepts and exploiting materials 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 application 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, orders of magnitude larger than the sum of the individuals. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in strong relation with Advanced Functional Materials are the front 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.