Innovation in Smart optical and opto-electronic systems with photopolymers: the European Project “Pulse-Com”

Use a new generation photomobile polymer film that allows devices to move when stimulated by a light source to create smart optical and opto-electronic systems.This is the goal of the European project “Pulse-Com” (Photo-Piezo-ActUators based on Light SEnsitive COMposite) coordinated by the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems “E. Caianiello” (Isasi) of the National research council of Italy.

On April 27th, the final workshop of the project will be organized within the SPIE Optoelectronics conference ( the Cnr-Isasi group is led by Dr. Lucia Petti at the helm of an international partnership which includes companies and institutes from France (University Grenoble Alpes, CEDRAT Technologies and Benkei) Poland (Research and Development Center of Technology for Industry s.a.) and Romania (National Institute of Plasma, Radiation and Lasers Physics, and SITEX45 srl ), ENEA Portici with the NANO laboratory and the team led by Dr. Giuseppe Nenna, scientific director of the project.

Thanks to the long-term collaboration of the two Italian research institutions, the conference “Smart Materials for Opto-Electronic Applications” (Conference 12584) will be held within the SPIE Optoelectronics conference (https: //, organized and chaired by Dr. Ivo Rendina (Cnr-Isasi Director), Dr. Lucia Petti (Cnr-Isasi researcher), Dr. Giuseppe Nenna (ENEA researcher) and Dr. Domenico Sagnelli (Cnr-Isasi researcher).

In the “Pulse-Com” project , the Smart Materials Laboratory of Cnr-Isasi,under the responsibility of Dr. Lucia Petti, was the leader of the WP1 research line focused on the preparation of materials and the design of photomobile (PMP) and piezoelectric (PZL) devices conducted under the guidance of Dr. Domenico Sagnelli, Cnr researcher. While, the Nano Materials and Devices Laboratory of the ENEA Center in Portici was the leader of the WP2 research line, focused on the characterization and optimization of photomobile (PMP) and piezoelectric (PZL) devices under the guidance of Dr. Giuseppe Nenna.

“These are polymeric materials that deform when stressed by both natural and artificial light. In particular, when these materials are in the form of films they are able to deform thanks to the photo-isomerization process. The photomobile polymer with the addition of suitable electrical contacts can be used to make switches remotely controlled by a source. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no devices of this type on the market,” explains Lucia Petti (Cnr-Isasi) coordinator of the European project. “The devices we are going to design will work as actuators, i.e. to move small objects, and can be used as light sensors or even for recovering energy from the sun through their movement. The applications are therefore multiple because they concern everything for which a movement can be used through the use of a light source of any type”, adds Giuseppe Nenna.

The devices will be integrated into more complex optoelectronic systems through high-risk incremental research with the aim of achieving a pioneering industrial implementation. In particular, the implementation will concern cutting-edge applications such as opto-switches and opto-microvalves, reconfigurable optics and energy harvesting systems.

“Pulse-Com” has already produced an Innovation contract signed between CNR, ENEA and an Italian investment fund for the launch of a Proof-of-Concept (POC) ALICE- Actuators based on LIght sensitive CompositE” project, which could be the prelude to the creation of a spin-off.


For more information:
Lucia Petti
Cnr – Isasi
Via Campi Flegrei 34, Pozzuoli (NA), Italy




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