The Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN) consists of an head section in Milan and branch sections in Rome, Trento, Padova and Bari. The personnel is composed by 59 staff researchers and a variable number of undergraduate and PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. IFN exploits an in-house micro and nano-fabrication facility located in Rome, in a 300 square meters clean room, class 100-1000, featuring e-beam lithography, photolithography and thin-film technology, and diagnostic systems including Scanning Electron and Atomic Force Microscopy. The Institute also participates to the direction of the X-ray lithography beamline (LILIT) at the Synchrotron ELETTRA in Trieste.

The IFN was established in 2002 by the merging of the Istituto di Elettronica dello Stato Solido (Institute for Solid State Electronics) (IESS) in Rome, the Centro di Elettronica Quantistica e Strumentazione Elettronica (Center for Quantum Electronics and Electronic Instrumentation) (CEQSE) and the Centro di Fisica degli Stati Aggregati (Center for Aggregate State Physics) (CeFSA) in Trento.