Ricercatrice di FISICA DELLA MATERIA [FIS/03]
Ufficio: DFA 262a
Telefono: 5440

Ricercatore di Fisica della Materia, attività di ricerca principale nel campo di nanotecnologie e scienza dei materiali.

Attualmente in congedo per attività di ricerca presso il Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) e ETH Zurigo, Svizzera dove si occupa di sviluppare tecniche di nano e micro fabricazione di ottiche per raggi X.

Un esempio è visibile qui

Background in materials science for several kinds of applications, from fundamentals of semiconductors to nanotechnology, from microelectronics to environmental applications and X-ray Optics. She has a long experience in applied research with the key role of interfacing between Academia and Industry. Curious researcher with a strong willingness to face up new projects and learning new things, with a proven track record of successful fund rising, project management and a resolute personality.

Guest professor at ETH Zurich and guest scientist at Paul Scherrer Institute, she is developing a new technology for X-ray optics fabrication in collaboration with the TOMCAT-PSI research team.

EU Project REGPOT-2012-2013-1 WATER (Winning applications of nanotechnology for resolutive hydropurification). Leader of workpackage (#2 “Reinforcement of human and technical capital”, budget € 2 million over € 4 million total for 6 WPs). She was responsible for: writing the EU successful proposal (7% chance of success, in the top 10 of funded projects); recruitment of new employers; training activities on science communications and IP management; setting up a new laboratory; managing partners, human resources and local organization; research coordination. Main achievements: successful in time delivery for full planned activities; establishing new research lines and reporting in high impact factor journals in less than two years on entirely new topics; improving the research network with new scientific partners and industrial stakeholders; completely restyling the social impact and visibility of the research group both at international and local level; realization of a new lab in 4 months including building works, gas lines, electrical and safety systems; enlarging the human resource of the group of 25% with multidisciplinary competences (biology, chemistry, engineering, communication) by rising additional funding and collaborations; 2 large international conferences and several workshops organized, 20 talks presented at international conferences, several upon invitation; one patent.

Manager of the ion beam labs at the Physics Department of University of Catania.

Main expertise:

  • Nano and Micro – fabrication
  • Clean room operation
  • Nanomaterials characterization
  • Semiconductor physics
  • Ion Beam analyses and processing
  • Electrical characterization
  • Photocatalysis for water applications


Authors of more than 90 publications and referee for several peer review journals, h-index 20.

Published papers and patents

A full list is always available here



ResearcherID: H-3403-2013

Scopus Author ID: 35973606300


Update April 15, 2020

visualizza le pubblicazioni
N.B. l'elevato numero di pubblicazioni può incidere sul tempo di caricamento della pagina

L’attività di ricerca di Lucia Romano è attualmente solo focalizzata sullo sviluppo di nuove tecniche di microfabricazione di griglie e ottiche per Imaging con raggi X presso l’istituto svizzero Paul Scherrer Institute e l'ETH di Zurigo.

Una descrizione più dettagliata è riportata nella pagina in inglese.


The research activity of Lucia Romano is fully focused on gratings and optics microfabrication techniques for X-ray imaging and it is ongoing at Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and ETH Zurich.

Typical grating interferometer consists of a phase shifting grating (G1), analyzing grating (G2) and an optional absorbing source grating (G0). Usually, required grating period is in a range of few microns. The height of the lines of G1 grating should provide a certain phase shift, while the height of the grating lines of G2 should be sufficient to suppress radiation of defined energy. In both cases, structures with heights of tens (or even hundreds) of micrometers are required. However, the realization of structures with so high aspect ratios yet having sufficient quality over the large area is demanding. We develop fabrication procedures which enable such gratings. We produce G1 gratings in Si by reactive ion etching using Bosch technique 1 or by metal assisted chemical etching 2. The absorbing G0 and G2 gratings are produced by filling Si templates with metal utilizing electroplating, metal casting 3 or atomic layer deposition 4. Larger structures can alternatively be produced by laser cutting in W foils.

Grating fabrication is the main bottleneck so far preventing grating-based X-ray phase-contrast interferometry (GI) from being applied at high energies and large field of view. Metal Assisted Chemical Etching (MacEtch) is an electroless chemical etching technique that has been largely used to create high aspect ratio nanostructures in silicon substrates 5. With respect to the other wet etching techniques, MacEtch showed better performance in terms of anisotropy and feature size. However, MacEtch still suffers from some limitations such as the control of the catalyst stability for etching high aspect ratio structures in the micro-scale and off-mask undesired porosity. This research project wants to answer the fundamental open questions about MacEtch in order to fully explore the range of application and the limits of this technique for grating fabrication and to point out the real performances in terms of etching selectivity, rate, aspect ratio, feature size and X-ray optical performances in combination with other proper technique for the realization of the absorber gratings. The main goal is to use MacEtch for grating fabrication with characteristics that fulfil high energy and large field of view applications. Understanding how MacEtch works with the proper knowledge about semiconductor physics and metal nanostructures is the key to optimize this process and to make it reliable as a grating fabrication technology.


1              Kagias, M. et al. Fabrication of Au gratings by seedless electroplating for X-ray grating interferometry. Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing 92, 73-79, doi: (2019).

2              Romano, L. et al. Metal assisted chemical etching of silicon in gas phase: a nanofabrication platform for X-ray optics. Nanoscale Horizons, doi:10.1039/C9NH00709A (2020).

3              Romano, L., Vila-Comamala, J., Schift, H., Stampanoni, M. & Jefimovs, K. Hot embossing of Au- and Pb-based alloys for x-ray grating fabrication. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena 35, 06G302, doi:10.1116/1.4991807 (2017).

4              Vila-Comamala, J. et al. Towards sub-micrometer high aspect ratio X-ray gratings by atomic layer deposition of iridium. Microelectronic Engineering 192, 19-24, doi: (2018).

5              Romano, L., Kagias, M., Jefimovs, K. & Stampanoni, M. Self-assembly nanostructured gold for high aspect ratio silicon microstructures by metal assisted chemical etching. Rsc Advances 6, 16025-16029 (2016).