Research interests

I am a researcher at the Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism in Trento (laboratory established through a joint effort of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and the Fondazione Bruno Kessler).

My interests range from precision measurements (low noise amplifiers, superconducting devices, micro-mechanical and opto-mechanical devices) to fundamental physics experiments (gravitational wave detectors, non-equilibrium properties of thermal noise, mechanical quantum resonators).

I set up many experiments in cryogenic environments, first studying properties of superfluid and superconductors, then using low temperatures to reduce electrical and mechanical thermal noise in sensitive instrumentations. I also contributed to the realization of a cryogenic gravitational wave detector, searching for galactic astrophysical events from 2005 to 2016.

Long-term goals of my current activity are developments in some specific fields of quantum optics (the study of quantum correlations between radiation and mechanical systems, production of 'squeezing' and 'entanglement', non-destructive quantum measurements) and possible applications in other fields of physics (study of macroscopic quantum systems and decoherence, quantum gravity tests, application to gravitational wave detectors).


January 2017 - Predicted by string theory, moduli may provide a significant contribution to the Dark Matter (DM) component of our universe. A search using the cryogenic resonant mass AURIGA detector set a new upper limit to this DM candidate. The paper Search for light scalar Dark Matter candidate with AURIGA detector has been published on Physical Review Letters.

March 2016 - We exploit the optical spring effect to obtain two-mode squeezing in the oscillation quadratures of a thermal micro-oscillator. The paper Dynamical two-mode squeezing of thermal fluctuations in a cavity opto-mechanical system has been published on Physical Review Letters.

June 2015 - In search for an underlying deformed quantum dynamics, we analyze the classical free evolution of high quality factor micro- and nano-oscillators, spanning a wide range of masses around the Planck mass (22 micro-grams). We lower the previous limits on the parameters quantifying the commutator deformation. The paper Probing deformed commutators with macroscopic harmonic oscillators has been published on Nature Communications.

May 2015 - We propose a cavity optomechanical system based on a low loss silicon resonator, tailored to operate at cryogenic temperatures with intracavity power of hundreds of watts. The paper Low-loss optomechanical oscillator for quantum-optics experiments has been published on Physical Review Applied.

January 2014 - We exploit the optical spring effect to improve the classic parametric resonance noise squeezing scheme. The paper Squeezing a thermal mechanical oscillator by stabilized parametric effect on the optical spring has been published on Physical Review Letters.

August 2013 - The paper Fabrication of low loss MOMS resonators for quantum optics experiments has been published on Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. A SEM image of our opto-mechanical micro-oscillator has been selected for the cover of the printed issue.

December 2012 - With an experiment using the gravitational wave bar detector AURIGA, we explore the limits of quantum gravity-induced modifications in the ground state of a mechanical oscillator. The paper Gravitational bar detectors set limits to Planck-scale physics on macroscopic variables  has been published on Nature Physics.

October 2012 - The HUMOR proposal for the study of generalized Heisenberg uncertainty principles (GUPs) with an experiment based on opto-mechanical micro-resonator has been approved by Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare.

August 2012 - We have demostrated that a “low-deformation mirror” can be used to reduce the energy dissipation in an opto-mechanical resonator. The paper A “low-deformation mirror” micro-oscillator with ultra-low optical and mechanical losses has been published on Applied Physics Letters.

November 2011 - The workshop Squeezed light experiments in Italy and future applications to gravitational wave detectors   will take place on 22 November 2011 in Trento.

November 2010 - We observed the effect of correlations between the amplifier noise sources in a feedback cooled LC electrical resonator. The work Active cooling of an audio-frequency electrical resonator to microkelvin temperatures has been published on the European Physics Letters.

July 2009 - We demonstrated that a feedback cooled system departs from equilibrium in a statistical mechanics perspective. The work Nonequilibrium steady state fluctuations in actively cooled resonators has been published on the Physical Review Letters.

December 2008 - Our research on feedback cooling   has been selected as one the Top ten physics stories of the year 2008 by editors and science writers at the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

July 2008 - The paper Feedback cooling of a massive mechanical resonator to submillikelvin temperature, published on the Physical Review Letters, has been selected for a Viewpoint on the American Physical Society publication "Physics".

December 2007 - The project Rarenoise has been recommended for funding by the European Research Council.

June 2006 - Our R&D proposal for a gravitational wave detector based on the DUAL principle has been approved by Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare.

May 2005 - The AURIGA detector is working at its design performances after the upgrade of the low frequency suspensions.