Congratulations Dr. Mathieu Mirjolet!

Doctor Mathieu Mirjolet from the Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures (MULFOX) group at ICMAB, defended his PhD thesis titled “Transparent Conducting Oxides Based on Early Transition Metals: From Electrical and Optical Properties of Epitaxial Thin Films, to Integration in All-Oxide Photoabsorbing Heterostructures.” on Friday, 23 July 2021 in an online session. Congrats!


Saúl Estandía defens his PhD Thesis

Nanoscale Study of Epitaxial Ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 Thin Films and BaTiO3/SrTiO3 Superlattices

Date: Friday, 28 May 2021
Time: 11 am

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the characterization of ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5Othin films and BaTiO3/SrTiOsuperlattices by combining scanning transmission electron microscopy, which allows to image the structure and chemistry locally with atomic resolution, with ferroelectric and structure measurements as x-ray diffraction. The first block revealed the ferroelectric dipole configurations in ferroelectric/paraelectric BaTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices of different periods. A distinct configuration was found in the longest period BaTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattice (10 unit cell-BaTiO3/10 unit cell-SrTiO3), where unforeseen rotations of the polarization were directly imaged. The second block studied the stabilization of ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5Oon perovskite substrates. Since the discovery of ferroelectricity in HfO2-based materials in 2011 these materials have attracted much attention, given their CMOS compatibility and robust nanoscale ferroelectricity, which bears profound advantages for applications. The strong effects of the bottom electrode and the epitaxial stress on the ferroelectricity of Hf0.5Zr0.5Othin films were studied in detail. 


  • Florencio Sánchez, MULFOX group, ICMAB-CSIC
  • Jaume Gázquez, MULFOX group, ICMAB-CSIC


Milena Cervo Sulzbach defens his PhD Thesis

Resistive Switching in Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 ferroelectric tunnel junctionecs

Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Time: 3 pm

Abstract: HfO2-based oxides have been explored as ReRAM elements due to their resistance change caused by redox reactions. However, the discovery of ferroelectricity in doped-HfO2 opens doors to use polarization reversal as a phenomenon to control the resistance. Here, Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 epitaxial ferroelectric tunnel junctions with thickness smaller than 5 nanometers are studied. Electrical and structural analyses have allowed identifying the coexistence of genuine ferroelectric switching and ionic-like motion as mechanisms to induce resistance change in the same junction. By engineering the film’s microstructure, the ferroelectric switching was optimized and the ionic motion was suppressed. In addition, its memristive behavior were. The results presented indicate HZO tunnel junctions are feasible alternatives for application in non-volatile memories.


  • Josep Fontcuberta, MULFOX, ICMAB, CSIC


Josep Fontcuberta, Florencio Sánchez and Ignasi Fina deliver regular talks in the main ferroelectric conference.

The annual International Symposium on Applications of Ferroelectrics (ISAF) is sponsored by the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society (UFFC-S). The first ISAF meeting was held in 1968; since that time, meetings have been hosted all around the world. The first ISAF meeting held in Japan was in the year 2002 (Nara) and again in 2007.


The UFFC-S is one of many societies within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). UFFC-S has over 2,000 members. As a part of their mission, the UFFC-S sponsors three annual meetings: the ISAF meeting, the International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), and the International Frequency Control Symposium (IFCS).


The ISAF meetings are coordinated by the Ferroelectrics Standing Committee (FerroCom) of the UFFC-S. In 2017, there were 45 members of FerroCom who come from academia, industry, and non-profits from around the world. FerroCom meets twice per year and representatives from FerroCom and the ferroelectrics scientific community serve many roles on the UFFC-S Administrative Committee.


The IEEE UFFC-S is interested in the theory, technology, materials, and applications relating to: the generation, transmission, and detection of ultrasonic waves and related phenomena; medical ultrasound, and associated technologies; ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and piezomagnetic materials; frequency generation and control, timing, and time coordination and distribution. This interest ranges from fundamental studies to the design and/or applications of devices, sensors, systems and manufacturing technologies within the general scope defined above.


In this conference Josep Fontcuberta, Florencio Sánchez and Ignasi Fina deliver regular talks on different results related to ferroelectric thin films for applications.



Anne-Claire Robert starting the master thesis with us!

Hello! My name is Anne-Claire and I’m from France! I’m a materials chemistry student at Rennes1 University. I’m working with Dr.Florencio Sanchez and Dr.Ignasi Fina to complete my Master degree. After work I enjoy playing video games with friends, travelling, sewing, doing SFX makeup… I don’t have recent picture without mask but I guess that Versailles’ gardens are au good place to represent France! See you!

Ignasi Fina Three receives an i-Link+ grant for International collaborations


Ignasi FinaFlorencio SánchezHuan Tan, and Tingfeng Song, from the Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures (MULFOX) group, are joining forces with the Politecnico di Milano and the University of Cambridge to aid in the ongoing efforts in device miniaturization. They are doing so by trying to face one of the main bottlenecks in the process: heating.

As miniaturized devices become more powerful, it becomes more and more important to find solutions to dissipate the extra heat that comes with it. This team is trying to develop solid materials that can refrigerate the device using the electrocaloric effects that are very pronounced in ferroelectric materials. Ferroelectricity has been recently discovered in hafnium oxide, a CMOS compatible material, but its electrocaloric properties are yet to be investigated.

To further study the properties and applications of hafnium oxide films, Ignasi Fina’s group is pitching in their experience in ferroelectric characterization and material development. They will join the University of Cambridge’s group (UK), led by Xavier Moya, who has experience in the characterization of electrocaloric effects, and the one from Politecnico di Milano (Italy), led by Christian Rinaldi, with experience in device fabrication, in order to reduce the heating and power consumption of small devices.

Optically controlled ferroelectric memristors OPTOFEM2020

The School OPTICALLY CONTROLLED FERROELECTRIC MEMRISTORS will take place on June 18-19, 2020, at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC).

The school aims at introducing the scientific knowledge, in a tutorial style, required to contribute to this emerging field. Most reputed scientist active in the field will deliver lectures in a strongly interacting atmosphere.

The school is targeting an audience of PhD fellows and researchers initiating their activity on photoresponse in oxides, with interest on polar materials (ferroelectric), with applications spanning from photovoltaics to resistive switching.

For additional information and registration, please refer to the conference webpage and contact us by email at

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 awarded jointly to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. J.B. Goodenough closely followed the research activity and collaborate with MULFOX members on Oxide Science and Technology. Congratulations to you all.

The Nobel prize in Chemistry, awarded this year 2019 to J.B. Goodenough, has been longly waited by a large community of material’s scientist. This is a recognition to the “Oxide Science and Technology” and its impact on society. The brilliant mind of J. B.Goodenough allowed to rationalize the electric and magnetic properties of metal oxides, discovering the clues that govern these properties and providing the tools to understand and transform them into functional materials. It is an amazing coincidence, that on the 150 anniversary of the periodic table, the Nobel award in Chemistry has recognized the enormous knowledge of J. B. Goodenough and ability to combine chemical elements, in their most common oxide form, to create magnets and batteries that have changed our life. His books on “Les oxides des métaux de transition” and “Magnetism and Chemical bond” and his crucial intuition and perseverance on the role of oxides to store electric charge in batteries, constitute pillars of our culture that are going to last forever.

J.B. Goodenough hosted me as a young postdoc at Oxford University, when he was the head of Inorganic Laboratory. There, I enjoyed his exhilarating humanity, his respect for the young students and his deep knowledge and enthusiasm. The giant was convinced that there this a lot of randomness and fortune in decisions and life, but one need to be there. He tried to teach me, how to wear a tie (without much success), and he contaminated me with his passion the intricate “lego” world of oxides.

Latter, J. B. Goodenough became member of the International Advisory of the Material’s science Institutes of CSIC.

The warmest congratulations and beyond the Oslo party, keep the strength to blow the next coming 98 candles.

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.



New projected granted to Ignasi Fina

“NANOingeniería de ÓXIdos para el mayor aprovechamiento de la energía SOLar usando rutas no convencionales (NANOXISOL)” (Oxides nanoengineering for improvement of photovoltaic efficiency using non-conventional routes) proposed by Ignasi Fina has been awarded by Comfuturo program in its second edition.


MIT-Spain “La Caixa” grant for MULFOX

MULFOX group has been awarded with a MIT-Spain “La Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund. In a press release that took place on 18th April at Palau Macaya (Barcelona), the PI of the project (Ignasi Fina) was interviewed by local radio, and he commented on the new investigations on the use of semiconducting ferroelectrics for photoelectric applications that the funded project proposes. We hope fruitful collaboration with MIT. 

Read the news  appeared in the media:


We announce the forthcoming COST TO-BE Spring Meeting 2018 to be organized by the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona and held in the Eden Roc Hotel at Sant Feliu de Guíxols, north of Barcelona, 12th–14th March 2018

The meeting is going to be the last in a series of meetings organized by the COST Action TO-BE (for Towards Oxide-Based Electronics). It aims to network researchers working in the field of the science and technology of transition-metal oxides and, to help them sharing their expertise, defining future strategies, and pursuing jointly funding opportunities.


Participation at the meeting is open to scientists, both from the public research sector and from the private sector. It is NOT restricted to the members of the Action. Non-EU participants are also very welcome to attend. One of the actions undertaken by TO-BE is to promote building a Roadmap “Towards Oxide Electronics” that we expect releasing early 2018. The forthcoming TO-BE Spring Meeting would be the opportunity for contributors to present their views on different aspects of oxide electronics.


The meeting will feature invited presentations delivered by contributors to the Roadmap, as well as flash and poster contributions.

Submission of abstracts will be open on 1st December 2017. Please submit your work by 1st January 2018.


For further information, please visit the website:


Thanks to the support of the COST TO-BE Action, participation is free of charge. However, registration is necessary. See:


We sincerely hope that you will be able to attend the COST TO-BE Spring Meeting 2018 and we look forward to seeing you in March 2018


Finally, just after the COST TO-BE Spring Meeting 2018, the COST organized school on “Oxide-based Electronic Technologies” (15th-17th March) will be held at the same place (Hotel Eden Roc, Sant Feliu de Guíxols). Information will be posted soon.

Sincerely yours,


Mariona Coll and Josep Fontcuberta


Oxides flight high. Oxide-based non-volatile memories, fabricated and integrated by our colleague Pablo Levy and his team in CNEA (Buenos Aires), were successfully launched to space on 2th.02.2018 and are now orbiting the Earth. Congratulations!

Oxides flight high. Oxide-based non-volatile memories, fabricated and integrated by our colleague Pablo Levy and his team in CNEA (Buenos Aires), were successfully launched to space on 2th-02-2018 and are now orbiting the Earth. Congratulations !



Agustin Lopez, PhD student from Buenos Aires, is going to stay in our group for one month

Hi! I’m Agustin, and I’m a PhD student from Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is my first time in Barcelona. I’m going to be here for one month and I will learn how to characterize ferroelectric thin films with the group of Josep Fontcuberta. In my free time I like playing videogames, reading a lot of books and spending time with my girlfriend and my friends.

February, 2018.

Early-Stage Research Fellow, PhD Position (DEADLINE February 1st 2018)



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





Manuel Bibes, former PhD student in our team has been awarded with the Descartes-Huygens Prize 2017

Manuel Bibes has beeb awarded with the Descartes-Huygens Prize 2017 as announced by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Embassy of France in the Netherlands and the Académie des Sciences, for their outstanding research  research in nanoscience and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations.  Congratulations Manu!




Halyna Volkova from Université Paris-Saclay just starting a 2 months stage in our group


PhD student Halyna Volkova is doing her PhD thesis in Université Paris-Saclay under the supervision of B. Dkhil and I.C. Infante. She will stay in our group working on growth and photovoltaic characterization of ferroelectric materials during 2 months (2018, January – March).

We hope you the best.