Franco Zappa


Franco Zappa

  • Electronic Systems (Laurea Magistrale) codice 54654 
  • Microcontrollori” (Laurea Triennale) codice 54076

Franco Zappa was born in 1965 in Milano. He received the M.S. in Electronic Engineering cum laude in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree in “Electronic and Communication Engineering” 1992, both at Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), Italy. Since 2011 he is full professor of Electronics at Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB) of POLIMI. His main teaching activities focus on the design of electronic systems based on analog and mixed-signal components (“Electronic Systems“ course) and on programmable digital electronics based on microcontrollers (“Microcontrollori” course). He is author of many textbooks, such as Electronics, Electronic Systems, Microcontrollers, and Digital Electronics

His main research activities focus on the design and the development of microelectronics and electron devices for single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detectors and imagers for high-sensitivity luminescence measurements, 2D imaging and “time-of-flight” 3D depth ranging, in visible and near-infrared wavelength ranges. He designed novel SPAD structures in both Silicon and InGaAs/InP semiconductors, for extending photon-counting techniques to 1.55µm-wavelengths and beyond. In 1994, he presented and patented the first monolithic Active Quenching Circuit electronics for single-photon detection ever reported.

He has been in charge of the Coordination and the Scientific lead of different European Commission funded projects, e.g. “UniQORN: affordable Quantum communication for everyone – revolutionizing the Quantum Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application”. He Coordinated the “Microelectronic 3D Imaging and Neuromorphic Recognition for Autonomous UAVs” project funded by the NATO – Science for Peace and Security Programme.

In 2004 he co-funded “Micro Photon Devices S.r.L.” (MPD,, a POLIMI spin-off company focused on the production and commercialization of high-end detection modules for single photon-counting.

He is co-author of more than 250 papers with H-index=39 (Scopus), published in peer-reviewed Journals and in proceedings of international Conferences. He is co-author of 4 patents and two more patent applications on photodetectors and sensing.

Since 2019 he is he Chair of the Study Programme in Electronics Engineering at POLIMI.