CD Lab (Laboratory for Circular Dichroism)


  • Analysis of molecules and chiral drugs by means of circular dichroism techniques
  • Determination of the absolute configuration of chiral molecules for which standard methods based on X-ray anomalous dispersion or on chemical correlation are not available
  • Assessment of the conformation of proteins
  • Engineering of nanostructured surfaces that are specifically designed as substrates to increase the sensitivity of circular dichroism techniques


The CD Lab is located by the Physics Department (building 9) at Politecnico di Milano – Leonardo campus (basement, room 028b).

The activities of the laboratory involve the following departments at Politecnico di Milano:

  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Chemistry, Materials, and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”
  • Department of Mathematics


  • Setup for chiral optical micro-spectroscopy in the visible spectral range by means of electronic circular dichroism. The experimental system is based on a confocal and scanning probe microscope (WITec AlphaSNOM) especially designed to work with polarized light, a grating spectrometer for the visible spectral range, a prism-based spectrometer for the near-infrared spectral range, cw and pulsed laser sources
  • Setup for chiral spectroscopy by means of vibrational circular dichroism in the mid-infrared spectral region
  • Software for quantum chemistry modelling: Gaussian09, Gamess, Dalton, coupled via a set of custom softwares for data analysis and  for ad-hoc spectroscopic simulations
  • Software for electromagnetic modelling: FDTD Solutions, Lumerical Inc.; DEVICE, Lumerical Inc.; other custom-made numerical codes
  • Computational servers localized at the respective departments (Mathematics, Physics, Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)

Services provided

  • Microscopy analysis of chiral systems by the combined use of confocal/scanning probe microscopy and electronic circular dichroism techniques
  • Vibrational circular dichroism spectroscopy in the mid-infrared spectral region 
  • Quantum chemistry modelling of the electronic and vibrational spectroscopic molecular properties. 
  • Electromagnetic modelling of nanostructured systems 
  • Statistical analysis of complex functional data related to molecular spectroscopies

Procedures and costs of using equipment

The services provided by the Laboratory can be made available to third parties upon request to one of the Laboratory committee's members (as detailed below). The request will be evaluated by the committee that will deliberate on its feasibility or will otherwise suggest the changes required by the laboratory in order to be able to deliver the requested results, as well as the estimated timeframe for the service (on the base of which the cost of the service will be calculated). The total costs related to each specific activity will be evaluated specifically for each situation and request.

Contact point:
Prof. Paolo Biagioni (DFIS)
Ph. +39.02.2399.6599

Management committee