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Michele Manca Write a Message

Group leader and scientific responsible of Dye Solar Labs @ IIT-CBN


CBN@UniLe Lecce


+39 0832 1816 225


MM accrued more than twelve years’ experience in the development of engineered nanomaterials and micro-/nano-fabrication technologies for a large spectrum of applications, ranging from organic light emitting devices to multifunctional photoelectrochemical systems for energy conversion and storage. 

In April 2004 he got his master graduation in MATERIALS ENGINEERING (with full marks) at University of Salento. One month later he started to work as research fellow at the National Nanotechnology Laboratory of CNR and was involved in a European project aimed at the development of efficient organic light emitting sources (project OLLA - FP6-IST program). In this framework he dealt with design and fabrication of micro-structured refractive elements capable of maximizing the light out-coupling efficiency of white emitting OLEDs.

In 2006 he got a master in OPTICAL MODELLING at University of Santiago de Compostela (SPAIN) 

In 2009 he got his PhD graduation in NANOSCIENCE at the Istituto Superiore di Formazione Universitaria (ISUFI) of University of Salento, while being involved into several projects aimed at the development of micro- and nano-patterned optical surfaces with applications in the fields of lighting and photvoltaics.

In 2010 MM moved his research focus to 3rd generation solar cells and began to work on the realization of nanostructured hybrid organic/inorganic photovotaic systems. In the same year he was hired at IIT to promote the creation of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and technologists with skills on material science, micro-/nano-fabrication technologies and electrochemistry in the growing IIT center of Lecce, named Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies (IIT-CBN), where he is nowday coordinating a multifaceted line of strategic research activities focused on the implementation of engineered photoelectrochemical systems for solar energy conversion and storage. The most relevant technological achievements delivered by his research group  refer to development of highly efficient nanostructured metal-oxide electrodes with finely controllable nano-architectures, whose peculiar prerogatives have been advantageously exploited in both electrochromic and energy storage devices.


In 2006, contextually to the activation of his PhD studentship, he was involved in an ambitious R&D project funded by the company ASTRON FIAMM. The project was aimed to the development of efficient and affordable OLED-based illumination systems to be used as automotive back-lights. He worked on the design and fabrication of the micro-optics and on their successful integration into the final car’s component.
From 2007 to 2009 MM was in charge as process engineer at the National Nanotechnology Laboratory of CNR in a R&D project funded by a well-established industrial national company operating in the field of illumination systems, named iGUZZINI ILLUMINAZIONE. In this framework he worked on the development of micro-structured optical systems enabling a precise control of the photometric output as well as an innovative and aesthetic lighting design. He also addressed several crucial issues related to the scale-up and industrialization of the micro- and nano-fabrication technologies implemented in that framework.
From 2010 to 2013 he partecipated to an European Project aimed at the development of “Efficient Solar Cells based on Organic and hybrid Technology” (project ESCORT - FP7 ENERGY 2010.2.1-2). He was responsible of activities carried out by IIT and coordinated a WP devoted to the implementation of engineered multi-layered electrodes based on the usage of shape-tailored TiO2 colloidal nanocrystals. He had the honor to present the most relevant technological achievements delivered in this framework during the European workshop on PV clusters held in Barcelona in November 2013.
From 2011 to 2014 MM managed the activation a technology-transfer program and the installation of an R&D joint lab supported by an industrial company operating in the sector of renewable energies- named TOZZIgreen SpA. The project was aimed at setting-up a feasible industrial process to realize PV-powered electrochromic windows over a relatively large area. 
From 2013 to 2015 MM coordinated the activities carried out at IIT-CBN laboratories in the framework of a national program funded by Italian Minister for Research and Education (MAAT - Molecular nAnotechnology for heAlth and environment - PON-02_00563_3316357) as responsible of work package devoted to the implementation of multifunctional photoelectrochromic devices, capable of conjugating both the photovoltaic and the electrochromic functionality.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.