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The IFN headquarter in Milan, hosted by the Physics Department of the Politecnico di Milano, has been established in 2010 by the merging of the Milan section of the IFN, the former Center for Quantum Electronics and Electronic Instrumentation (CEQSE) founded by CNR in 1975, and the National Laboratory for Ultrafast and Ultraintense Optical Science (ULTRAS) of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia (INFM). 

The personnel is composed by 20 staff researchers, 4 employees in administration and technical services, 36 associated researchers, and a variable number of undergraduate, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows (about 5-10). 

The main research activities are focused on: photonics devices for integrated systems; photonics for health, food and cultural heritage; ultrafast photonics for the study of ultrafast phenomena in matter; quantum optics and quantum information; solid state lasers and amplifiers for metrology and spectroscopy; semiconductor nanostructure and devices.