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Marco Bellini

Hi, here you can find a very general description of my professional self.


You can also download a reasonably updated list of publications here:

My list of publications



1992                   M. Sc. degree in Physics at the University of Firenze (110/110 cum laude)
1996                   Ph.D. degree in Physics at the University of Firenze
1997-1999        Part of the technical/scientific staff at LENS, Firenze, Italy
1999-2004        Researcher at the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Firenze, Italy
2004-2010        Senior Researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Ottica – CNR, Firenze, Italy
2010- now        Research Director at Istituto Nazionale di Ottica – CNR, Firenze, Italy

Currently coordinating two experimental research groups in a collaboration among the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO-CNR), the European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), and the Department of Physics of the University of Firenze. The main focus is quantum optics and laser/matter interactions at very high intensities.



Co-author of >140 publications in refereed international scientific journals (2 Science, 3 Nature Photonics, 14 Phys. Rev. Lett., etc.), in books, and in refereed proceedings and of >140 conference presentations (54 invited ones). His papers have been cited >2600 times and score an h-index of 26 according to Scopus and ISI –Web of Science, August 2016. (Total citations >3900 and h-index=31 according to Google Scholar).


Main scientific interests:

  • High-precision atomic and molecular spectroscopy and development of novel coherent sources in the far infrared (FIR-THz)
  • Spectroscopy with ultrashort laser pulses and development of novel techniques for high-resolution atomic spectroscopy
  • Development, characterization, and applications of novel coherent sources in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) based on high-order laser harmonics
  • High-intensity laser-matter interactions and generation of supercontinuum
  • Optical coherence tomography for advanced diagnostics in medicine and for the cultural heritage
  • Quantum Optics: generation, engineering, and characterization of nonclassical states of light for novel quantum technologies
  • Tests of fundamental principles in quantum mechanics: non-classicality, entanglement, nonlocality, commutation rules, etc.


Main scientific achievements:

  • 1997 Demonstration of phase coherence in supercontinuum generation: fundamental discovery for the generation of trains of phase-locked supercontinuum pulses. It led to the development of frequency combs, later awarded of the 2005 Nobel prize in Physics to Theodor W. Hänsch, co-author of the research.
  • 1998 Demonstration of phase coherence in high-order harmonic generation: it proved the role of the different electron trajectories in the harmonic generation process and led to the development of attosecond pulses and to the birth of attophysics.
  • 2000-2002 Demonstration of XUV interferometry and high-resolution XUV spectroscopy with high-order harmonics: it opened the field to the now widespread use of laser harmonic sources for applications in the XUV and soft X-ray regions.
  • 2004 Experimental realization of the photon creation operator: first implementation of a fundamental quantum process for advanced state engineering and first exploration of the quantum-to-classical transition for light states.
  • 2006 First application of Optical Coherence Tomography to artwork diagnostics: after this pioneering demonstration in ancient painting analysis, OCT has now become a widespread and privileged tool for cultural heritage diagnostics.
  • 2007 Direct verification of non-commutativity of quantum operators: the first realization of arbitrary sequences and superpositions of simple quantum operators was a breakthrough for the fundamental understanding of quantum physics and as a new tool for quantum technologies.
  • 2011 Realization of high-fidelity quantum noiseless amplification: using a non-deterministic scheme to avoid the addition of quantum noise to the amplification process, it promises more efficient methods for quantum information processing and communication.
  • 2012 Shaping of ultrashort single photons: thanks to an innovative merge of the fields of ultrafast and quantum optics, it demonstrated the possibility of encoding quantum information in the spectrotemporal mode of quantum light states.
  • 2013 Femtosecond laser writing of graphitic electrodes in diamond: this new technique holds promise of leading to the realization of 3D diamond detectors for high-energy physics and biomedical applications.
  • 2014 First hybrid quantum/classical entangled states of light: experimental realization of the optical version of Schrodinger’s cat paradox. A fundamental scientific breakthrough and a possible main ingredient of future heterogeneous quantum networks.


Other recent significant achievements:

  • 2012-2015 Special Visiting Researcher, Brazilian Science Without Borders programme: “Coherent manipulation of the spectrotemporal mode of quantum light
  • 2013 Habilitation for First Grade Professorship (Professore di Prima Fascia: Ordinario), in Sector 02/B1 (Experimental Physics of Matter), with a global score of: Excellent (A)
  • 2013 Organizer and Chair of the Quantum Information Processing and Communication (QIPC 2013) Conference, 30/06-05/07/2013, Florence, Italy
  • 2014 Co-author of a Taylor & Francis handbook on laser-based time and frequency measurements (ISBN 9781439841518)


Main international scientific collaborations:

  • Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, GERMANY
  • Lund Institute of Technology, SWEDEN
  • Centre d’Etudes de Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, FRANCE
  • Queen’s University, Belfast, UK
  • Universidad Complutense, Madrid, SPAIN
  • University of Rostock, GERMANY
  • Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, RUSSIA
  • Imperial College, London, UK
  • University of Olomouc, CZECH Rep.
  • Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, BELGIUM
  • Seoul National University, Seoul, KOREA
  • University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA
  • Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, BRAZIL


Collaborations with international scientific journals:

As a Topical Editor

  • Optics Letters

As a Referee

  • Science
  • Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications
  • Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A
  • Optics Letters, Optics Express, JOSA B
  • New Journal of Physics
  • + several others…


Collaborations with industries:

  • CSO (Costruzione Strumenti Oftalmici) Firenze: development of an ocular biometer using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT);
  • ENI (Istituto Donegani) Novara: optical simulators of quantum transport in photosynthetic systems


Refereeing and evaluating activities:

  • Evaluator for national and international scientific projects (ANR 2012 and 2013, France; Vici NWO 2012, Netherland; Padua University, etc.)
  • External referee for national and international PhD theses and scientific grants (Tel Aviv University, Swinburne University, Padua University, Pisa University, Universitè Pierre et Marie Curie, etc.)
  • Member of the selection committee for several research contracts (LENS and INO-CNR) and for permanent researcher positions (CNR call 364.92)