International Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL). Braga, Portugal

The International Nanotechnology Laboratory is the first intergovernmental organization in Europe in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The INL, located in Braga (Portugal), is the result of a series of joint decisions made by the Governments of Portugal and Spain in 2005 and a strong commitment in scientific collaboration.

The INL establishes collaborations with industry partners and academic research institutions. In May 2011, it signed a scientific and technological collaboration agreement with CIBER-BBN for the purpose of capitalizing resources and giving researchers from both centres access to its equipment and facilities, undertaking to provide information to the researchers and promote the use of services, laboratories and platforms available in the other part.

Facitilies and resources

The INL provides a cutting-edge research environment and promotes interdisciplinary effort to deal with the main challenges in the emerging areas of nanobiotechnology, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine and nanoscale material science.

  • A 47,000 m2 campus with 22,000 m2 constructed space for research.
  • Advanced special facilities, laboratories and the latest equipment including a 500 m2 central and isolated nanomanufacturing room and 200 m2 clean rooms.
  • 200 scientists.
  • 100 PhD students.
  • A qualified team of experts specialising in nanotechnology transfer.


Scientific Programme

The INL focuses on nanotechnology and considers its applications on other areas, following a truly interdisciplinary approach. The objectives of the laboratory are:

  • To assure excellence in worldwide research in all the areas of activity
  • To develop associations with the industry and to promote knowledge transfer so that it gives an economic values and helps creating jobs
  • To educate researchers and to contribute to the development of qualified labour for the nanotechnology industry
  • To analyse, prevent and mitigate the risks of nanotechnology

The main research activities are based on areas of excellence existing in Portugal and Spain, as well as in the new areas of strategic development.

The INL promotes the creation of spin-off companies in the competitive areas of nanotechnology and directs a programme to create awareness among or to educate the public.

Research areas


Study, design and manufacture of nanoescale structures and devices for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of genetic diseases and disorders.


Development of technologies and devices in the “Beyon CMOS” area, focusing on the development of electronic devices (in semiconductors, magnetically, or based on photons) incorporating new materials and non-conventional structures.

Environmental monitoring, safety and food quality control

Application of nanotechnology in the food industry to create a better packaging and healthier food, as well as agricultural applications (safer and more effective administration of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers).

Nanomachinery and Nanomanipulation

The micro- and nanomanufacturing of NEMS structures (nano-actuators, nanosensors, nano-fuel cells) aimed at the manipulation of molecules and detection of biomolecule interaction. Design, synthesis and operation of molecular objects (self-assembly, biomimetic chemistry) and the necessary instruments for interacting with these individual molecule structures, such as miniaturised optical and magnetic tweezers).