ICMAB PhD Programme Severo Ochoa fellowships 2018-2019

Within the Severo Ochoa programme, 4 PhD fellowships are offered by the ICMAB-CSIC for the academic year 2018-2019.




ICMAB-CSIC is an internationally renowned public research institute in Advanced Functional Materials integrated in the National Research Council of Spain (CSIC). The mission of ICMAB is to generate new knowledge in Materials Science through excellent scientific research useful for society and industry.ICMAB has 60 permanent and 90 non-permanent scientists and more than 220 people divided in eight Research Groups. The center has outstanding international competitiveness, with a large number of high impact articles and citations and European research projects participation (9 ERC grants at present), with the strongest international leadership position in the specific domains of Functional molecular, supramolecular and oxide materials. The center has been awarded with the label of Center of Excellence “Severo Ochoa” by the Spanish Ministry in 2016.

The Strategic Research Program includes five mission-oriented Research Lines to face three social grand-challenges: clean and secure energy, smart and sustainable electronics and smart nanomedicine. The strategic Research Lines are: 
1/ Energy storage and conversion
2/ Superconductors for power applicaations
3/ Oxide electronics
4/ Molecular electronics
5/ Multifunctional nanostructured biomaterials

The ICMAB – CSIC is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) in charge of research and innovation policy in Spain, which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer. The Severo Ochoa award provides 4 M€ over 2016-2019 to implement ICMAB’s Research and Human Resources Programmes.





Oferta treballs de Final de Grau per a estudiants Física, Física+ Matemàtiques, Física + Química de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Curs 2018-2019

“Artificial sensory neuron networks excited by optical stimuli”

G. Herranz

Breu descripció dels objectius (Brief description of the objectives):

We study the photoconductive properties of some quantum wells (QWs), whereby the system changes its conductance in a plastic way, retaining memory from its past history, using light as stimulus. We are investigating this phenomenon to replicate in a solid-state system the synaptic plasticity observed in biological neuronal systems.

Breu descripció de la metodologia (Brief description of the methodology):

The candidate will have access to our optical laboratory, which includes high-resolution microscopy using wavelengths in the visible, with accurate control of irradiance and optical stimuli controlled to timescales down the microsecond. The laboratory has deep expertise in magnetotransport and optical characterization of quantum wells. The candidate will benefit also from training in the use of Python-based algorithms to model neural networks.


“Nanophotonics: metamaterials and topological structures”

G. Herranz

Breu descripció dels objectius (Brief description of the objectives):

Robust propagation of spatially confined electromagnetic waves is indispensable for the development of on-chip optical communications in photonic circuitry. With this in mind, we investigate approaches based on special topologies in the wavevector space that can enable propagation of helical edge propagation of modes that flow unimpeded by imperfections or back-reflections.

Breu descripció de la metodologia (Brief description of the methodology):

The candidate will have access to our optical laboratory, which includes high-resolution microscopy and angle-resolved spectroscopy in the near-IR-VIS range. In particular, he/she will be acquainted with angle-resolved reflectance/transmission spectroscopy, which can resolve w-k reciprocal space maps from near-IR to violet, with scanning beam sizes down to few microns. This methodology enables the direct visualization photonic/plasmonic states, including edge states. The candidate may also benefit also from training in the use finite-difference time-domain calculations to explore topologically nontrivial photonic crystal lattices.


“Neuromorphic computing with ferroelectric materials”

I. Fina.

Neurons in the brain process and store information in a way that radically differs from conventional computers. Although algorithms are being developed to emulate brain functioning, this is only (marginaly) achieved at expense of unacceptable energy consumption. Ferroelectric tunnel devices appear as a potential candidate to replicate neuromorphic functions. The candidate will join a team working on this direction.

To get the responsibility of this cutting edge project, we are looking for candidates finishing a degree on physics, materials science, electrical or related areas, and having excellent academic records. We search for a candidate with strong scientific curiosity and highly motivated to join a very stimulating project of potentially large social impact. Skills in communication, including fluent English, are required.


“Study of ferroelectric materials for applications in photovoltaics”

I. Fina

The proposed TFG will carefully analyze the photoelectric response of ferroelectric junction under different conditions using state-of-the-art characterization devices. The student will get wide experience on dielectric and photoelectric characterization, not only required for technological perspectives like the one proposed for his/her TFG, also required for emerging technological areas such as solar cells.

The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic on experimental physics. He/she will have access to our advanced electrical characterization laboratory, which includes optical excitation tools. The candidate will follow an intensive training, so as to ensure a solid understanding of the techniques that enable to understand the interplay between light ant ferroelectricity.


“Characterization of antiferromagnetic/ferromagnetic materials for memory applications”

I. Fina

The TFG involves the characterization of antiferromagnetic materials using microscopic proximity techniques. Antiferromagnetic materials can show the ability to store magnetic information at the same time that they can make it invisible. These effects will be those that the TFG will investigate in micro-/nano-patterned device structures.

Enthusiasm about applied and experimental physics, and interest to develop skills on characterization, reporting, communication, etc.


“New epitaxial ferroelectric materials in thin film form”    

I. Fina

Ferroelectric materials are already used for a wide range of applications. However, industry defines new challenges for ferroelectric materials that well-known existing ferroelectric materials are not capable to solve. Thus, new ferroelectric materials are needed to be investigated. We propose to characterize novel ferroelectric materials in epitaxial form.

Enthusiasm about applied and experimental physics, and interest to develop skills on characterization, reporting, communication, etc.



Early-Stage Research Fellow, Institute for Materials Science of Barcelona – PhD Position


INPhINIT, ”la Caixa” Doctoral Fellowship Programme is  devoted to attract international Early-Stage Researchers to top Spanish research centres, offering an attractive and competitive environment for excellent research.

INPhINIT offers a 3-year employment contract, including trasnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility opportunities, and attend a full range of complementary training courses and workshops.

Within this Program, we are looking for excellent candidates to join the Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Oxides lab to work on these research projects:


1.- Photo-writing in ferroelectric green memory devices
2.- Pure spin currents: a toggle for energy-efficient control of magnetic memories
3.- Breaking symmetry and conventional wisdoms for efficient photovoltaics
4.- Low-Loss Multifunctional Plasmonic Metamaterials
5.- Dynamical modulation of electron spins with microwaves
6- Bioinspired Magnetic Nanodevices
7.- Ferroelectric nano-oscillators for pattern recognition and social networks


Open call for the INPhINIT “La Caixa” Doctoral Fellowship Programme – Opportunities at ICMAB-CSIC





ICMAB PhD Programme Severo Ochoa fellowships. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION 3rd OCTOBER 2017


ICMAB PhD Programme Severo Ochoa fellowships

Within the program,  PhD fellowships are offered by the ICMAB-CSIC for the academic year 2017-2018


A) Energy-efficient control of magnetic memories by spin currents.

Ferran Macià 


B) Plasmonics in Multifunctional Nanophotonic Circuits.

Gervasi Herranz









Fellowships to conduct a PhD within the DOC-FAM COFUND doctoral programme coordinated by ICMAB

Available research projects 1st Call (2017)
Deadline 30th November 2017
      –  Dynamic modulation of plasmons in multifunctional nanophotonic circuits (Dr. Gervasi Herranz)
      –  Dynamical modulation of electron spins with microwaves (Dr. Gervasi Herranz)
      –  Polar materials for efficient light energy harvesting (Prof. Josep Fontcuberta)

“Internships and Collaboration Grants”






Engineering brain-like neurons and synapse with ferroelectrics

Supervisor: Josep Fontcuberta

In principle ferroelectric memories can be built and designed to mimic some learning aspects on neuronal networks. The candidate will learn about how to fabricate ferroelectric memories and to test them with the vision to determine their potential performance The student will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB (http://www.icmab.es/mulfox/)


Ferroelectric materials for photovoltaics

Supervisor: Josep Fontcuberta

Ferroelectric materials are being explored as new candidates for solar energy harvesting. The candidate will joint a team of people working on this subject. He/she and learn why and how ferroelectric materials can be useful and the appropriate techniques for growing, tailoring the band gap for enlarged photon absorption and testing. The student will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB (http://www.icmab.es/mulfox/).


Transparent metals for flat panel displays

Supervisor: Josep Fontcuberta

Displays are the most costly part of current tablets and smart telephones and some currently employed elements are expensive and rare. Therefore alternatives are required. The candidate will join a running project aiming to explore radically new routes. The student will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB (http://www.icmab.es/mulfox/).


New Materials for robust memories

Supervisor: Ignasi Fina

The project involves the growing of the antiferromagnetic material in thin film form on top of inexpensive substrates. The main body of the project focuses on basic characterization using a wide range of characterization techniques: structural, morphological, compositional, magnetometric and transport. Importantly, these techniques can be extrapolated to the characterization of any magnetic material. The student will also lead the functional tests of the material for being used as a memory element using transport or optical (by the use of the synchrotron light at ALBA) techniques.


Using light to study new materials for electronics

Supervisor: Gervasi Herranz

In our lab we are investigating new materials for applications in information technologies. One of our research lines aims at modulating the information stored in magnetic moments by the application of electric field pulses that, in turn, generate strain waves that stretch/squeeze locally the ferromagnet and change its magnetic state. We study these phenomena optically: the student will be trained in optical imaging and spectroscopy. Also, the candidate will have the opportunity to learn how devices can be designed to the ca. 100 nm scale by electron-beam lithography.


Spin currents in nanostructures

Supervisor: Ferran Macià

Spin currents may complement digital semiconductor technologies and offer new possibilities for memory capacity and computational performance of particular importance as semiconductor devices miniaturization approaches fundamental limits. This research project aims at studying the possibility of using spin currents (with no electrical charge) in nanostructured materials as information carriers. We will excite dynamical magnetic modes that can pump spins into a neighboring material. The project includes nanofabrication and measurements of microwaves in the fabricated structures.



Make Your PhD at MULFOX and discover and enjoy research!

A Call for Grants is just opened. Who can apply ?: EU Nationals, holding a Degree and a Master on: Physics, Materials Science, Geology (Crystallography), Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Engineering, and related education profiles.

Good marks. Scientific curiosity and enthusiasm and good communication skills.

Click here to open  our projects.

The details of the Grant Call (in Spanish):


IMPORTANT: The deadline for application is on 6 February 2015. Interested candidates should contact us well ahead.