Capable of seeing, smelling, cutting, pasting, writing, erasing, heating, cooling, diagnosing, healing, and communicating, light is known to be universal,
and pervasive and as such a tool for EVERYTHING. By studying light, ICFO researchers are actively pushing the farthest frontier of our understanding of
nature and our ability to manipulate it, thus tackling major challenges faced in all areas of society and by industrial progress.
Performing tasks such as isolating and interrogating single atoms, cutting single neurons, or imaging hidden tumors in deep tissue, requires tools that
operate at the realm of ultrafast, ultracold, ultragentle or ultraprecise, to an extent that often only light can afford.
As an industrial tool, light is provides solutions that may be simpler, more compact or cheaper than other approaches. Technologies based or enabled by
light are in myriad industrial products and services related to health, security, safety, energy, communications, information, food, agriculture,
entertainment, and endless industrial production, inspection and manufacturing processes.
In addition to the wider research thrusts of Health,
Energy and Information, research at ICFO
aims to have a far reaching impact on the Environment (monitoring and sensing) as well as the development of new tools for Safety in all areas of our lives.
Due to the multidisciplinary nature of photonics, research areas often overlap in terms of areas of applications and research groups effectively benefit from
the specializations of scientists from a mix of backgrounds including Physics, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, and Clinicians.