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European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Florence, Italy
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Contact: Paolo Foggi Email

LENS, the European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy, founded in 1991, is a center of excellence of the University of Florence. Research interests include photonics, biophysics, chemistry and atomic physics. Three different main research areas (BIOPHYSICS, PHOTONIC MATERIALS, ATOMIC PHYSICS) and more than twenty research topics, corresponding to active laboratories, are presently running. Laser light as a probe to investigate the world of the living: single molecule techniques for the manipulation and detection of biomolecules in vitro and in vivo and imaging methodologies for analysis of biological structures and of various events in cells, tissues and living animals. Self-organization in complex molecular liquids or in mixtures, at equilibrium or photo-excited, in relaxation or propagation processes, at room or in extreme conditions. Light transport and spectroscopy from light quantum properties, to linear and highlynonlinear interactions with matter, from atoms to solid state nanostructures, from random to periodic mesoscopic systems. LENS provides Transnational Access to its research facilities to European researchers through the LASERLAB-EUROPE Consortium and the Eurobioimaging Research Infrastructure (LENS is an Adv. Light Microscopy Italian Node).


Excellence: The intense research activity is aimed to maintain its level of international excellence, taking advantage of the uncommon concentration of diverse instrumental apparatuses and of the wide spectrum of competences available at LENS. Relevant achievements were obtained in the fields of atomic physics, of light propagation in complex systems, of the physics of liquids, of very high pressure physics and chemistry, of molecular dynamics and ultrafast molecular processes, of non-linear imaging of biological systems. In the last nation-wide evaluation of the Italian research institutes, LENS scored the first place among the small size research institutions both for Physics and Chemistry.

- Dissecting myosin-5B mechanosensitivity and calcium regulation at the single molecule level, L. Gardini, et al., Nat. Commun. 9, 2844 (2018), DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05251-z
- Whole-Brain Vasculature Reconstruction at the Single Capillary Level, A.P. Di Giovanna, et al., Sci. Rep. 8, 12573 (2018)
- Quantitative assessment of passive electrical properties of the cardiac T-tubular system by FRAP microscopy, M. Scardigli et al., PNAS 114, 5737-5742 (2017)
- Vibrational Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Water, F. Perakis et al., Chem. Rev. 116, 7590-7607 (2016)
- Melting dynamics of ice in the mesoscopic regime, M. Citroni et al., PNAS 114, 5935-5940 (2017)