NiPS is actively involved in performing research in a number of different topics.

  • Nonlinear stochastic dynamics (theory and experiment). At NiPS were performed early studies on the phenomenon of Stochastic Resonance (SR). We published a number of papers on this topic, including a highly cited review article considered the reference paper on this phenomenon (RMP1998). We provided an original description of the Dithering effect as a special case of SR (PRE1995). We introduced a number of novel noise-in-nonlinear system phenomena as Resonant Trapping, Resonant Crossing, Bonafide SR, intra-well/inter-well SR to mention a few contributing to a new perception of the role of noise in physical systems.
  • The physical limits of energy dissipation in computing (theory and experiment). We proposed a novel description of the minimum energy dissipation in logic switches. We funded the novel field of ICT-Energy where the energy transformation processes at micro and nanoscale are studied with reference to the computation tasks in present and future computers. We showed that the so-called Landauer’s limit does not apply to irreversible logic gates (Sub-kBT micro-electromechanical irreversible logic gate).
  • Micro and nanoscale vibration energy harvesting (theory and experiment). At NiPS, we introduced for the first time the concept of nonlinear energy harvesting (see e.g. Nonlinear Energy Harvesting PRL 102, 080601, 2009). We have shown that the new paradigm based on the use of non-linear oscillators instead of the traditional linear ones, has improved the generator efficiency more than 400% opening interesting applications in the ICT domain and fostering an entire new field that was widely recognized and promptly funded by the EC (see e.g. Toward Zero Power ICT call ICT-2009 8.6).
  • Energy transport and internal friction in solid-state systems (theory and experiment). We provided a characterisation of dissipative processes like: Dislocation damping, Thermoelastic relaxation, frequency independent loss angle. We have been in charge for 15 years of the design and realisation of two generations of low thermal noise – low dissipation suspension systems for the optics of long scale gravitational wave laser interferometers (VIRGO Project).
  • Noise driven non-linear micro devices (theory and experiment). We introduced the novel device class of Noise Activated Nonlinear Dynamic Sensors (See e.g. PRL, 88, 230601, 2002). Among these the field of Stochastic computation and noise driven logic gates where we proposed a new approach to the problem of noise tolerance in the design, e.g. low-voltage CMOS-like logic gates (see e.g. Noise limited computational speed, APL, 91, 224104, 2007). Moreover, we has designed, realized and tested novel noise driven logic gate prototypes (APL, 96, 042112, 2010).
  • Stochastic epidemic dynamics (modeling). We studied the role of fluctuations on epidemic resurgence, based on the well-known SIR model in the presence of correlated noise (see Scientific Reports 11 (1), 6452, 2021). It is shown that the role of time-correlated fluctuations, far from being negligible, can in fact determine the spreading of an epidemic and, most importantly, the resurgence of the exponential diffusion in the presence of time-limited episodes in promiscuity behaviors.
  • Artificial Intelligence (theory). We studied the fundamental limits of AI in modeling physical systems evolutions. Moreover we are leading a project in “Artificial intelligence-based models for early diagnosis, prognosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease”.

Recent research projects funded by the European Commission

SUBTLE: The ambitious objective of this project is the introduction of a completely new class of electronic devices characterized by the following features: nanoscale physical dimensions combined with nonlinear dynamics characteristics providing noise enhanced functioning.

NANOPOWER: Nanoscale energy management is a new, exciting field that is gaining increasing importance with the realization that a new generation of micro-to-nanoscale devices aimed at sensing, processing, actuating and communication will not be possible without solving the powering issue. The scientific objective of this project is thus to study energy efficiency with the specific aim of identifying new directions for energy-harvesting technologies at the nanometre and molecular scale. The technological objective of the project is to integrate such technologies into autonomous nanoscale systems to allow new, low-power ICT architectures to find their way into devices.

RealVibrations: This project is part of NANOPOWER project and it is devoted to the realization of database containing digital time series and spectral representations of experimentally acquired vibration signals.

OPRECOMP: OPRECOMP aims to build an innovative, reliable foundation for computing based on transprecision analytics. Guaranteed numerical precision of each elementary step in a complex computation has been the mainstay of traditional computing systems for many years. This era, fueled by Moore’s Law and the constant exponential improvement in computing efficiency, is drawing to a close: from tiny nodes of the Internet-of-Things, to large HPC computing centers, sub-picoJoule/operation energy efficiency is essential for practical realisations. To overcome the “power wall”, a shift from traditional computing paradigms is now mandatory.

EnABLES: EnABLES provides fully funded access to key European Research Infrastructures in powering the Internet of Things (IoT). Industrial and academic researchers & integrators can now address the key challenges required to enable truly ‘invisible’, unobtrusive and self-powered (autonomous) wireless devices by having access to state-of-the art facilities and expertise at the EnABLES partner sites. This collaborative approach will help bridge the gap between capturing ‘ambient’ energy supply from energy harvesting sources (EH), integrating new devices for energy storage (ES) and developing micro-power management (MPM) solutions for miniaturised system operation.