Tag: 2017

Saúl Estandía

PhD on the preparation (by PLD) of samples made of the ferroelectric oxide BaTiO3 and further characterization (by STEM microscopy) to understand the polarization domains’ dynamics, all that under the supervision of Florencio Sanchez and Jaume Gazquez. As background I hold both a degree in physics and a master in photonics (2016 – 2019)



TODAY 27 Nov. 12 pm: ICMAB Periodical Lectures “Electric-field control of magnetism in multiferroic heterostructures” By Sebastiaan van Dijken, NanoSpin, Dep. of Applied Physics, Aalto University School of Science, Finland. Sala d’Actes Carles Miravitlles

Spintronic devices currently rely on magnetic switching or controlled motion of magnetic domain walls by an external magnetic field or electric current. Achieving the same degree of magnetic controllability using an electric field has potential advantages including low power consumption. Here, an approach to electrically control local magnetic properties will be discussed [1-5]. The method is based on recurrent strain transfer from regular ferroelastic stripe domains in a ferroelectric BaTiO3 substrate to magnetostrictive films (e.g. CoFe, CoFeB, and Fe). Dominance of the strain-induced magnetoelastic anisotropy in these heterostructures causes full imprinting of ferroelectric domain patterns into ferromagnetic films and strong pinning of magnetic domain walls onto ferroelectric boundaries [6,7]. Optical polarization microscopy measurements of the ferromagnetic and ferroelectric domain structures indicate that domain correlations and strong inter-ferroic domain wall pinning are maintained in an applied electric field. As a result, deterministic electric-field control over the formation and erasure of ferromagnetic domains [1-3] and reversible motion of magnetic domain walls [4,5] are obtained. In addition, regular modulations of magnetic anisotropy in strain-coupled multiferroic heterostructures provide a versatile platform for the excitation and manipulation of spin waves [8,9]. These findings open up new routes towards electric-field driven spintronics and magnonics.

Ariadna Soro

My name is Ariadna Soro and I’m currently studying a double degree in Physics and Mathematics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Here at ICMAB, I’ll be working on my final degree project (20.11.2017 – 30.06.2018) with the help of the Multifunctional Oxides and Complex Structures research group. Besides from studying, I also enjoy dancing, skiing and playing the guitar.

I’m really looking forward to this opportunity and I’m hoping to learn a lot from everyone here!




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





Mikko Kataja, from Aalto University, joints our team under supervision of Dr. Gervasi Herranz



Hello everyone! I’m Mikko Kataja and I come from Finland, where I did my PhD in Aalto University on magneto-optically active plasmonic nanoparticles. I am now in ICMAB in Multifunctional Oxides and Complex Structures research group to explore the possibilities that active oxide materials, such as ferromagnetic and ferroelectric oxides, offer in the field of optics, especially for active nanoscale optical devices. In my freetime, I enjoy cooking and board games.

Pep Fontcuberta delivers an Invited lecture at “Magnetic Coupling in Naostructured Materials” to held at CNR premises in Rome next 23-24 October.

Pep Fontcuberta delivers an Invited lecture at “Magnetic Coupling in Naostructured Materials” entitled “Spin diffusion and proximity effects in metal/ferromagnetic-insulator bilayer”.

Here you can find the link to the conference website: https://sites.google.com/view/macmat2017/home

Research projects offered as TFG in Physics (Degree in Physics at UAB) 2017

1.- Photoresponse of non-centrosymmetric materials

Supervisors: Josep Fontcuberta & Ignasi Fina


Brief description of the objectives

Non-centrosymmetric materials have unique properties that could be of the highest interest for efficient photovoltaic energy conversion. The aim of the proposed TFG is that the student get used with the concepts involved in the photoresponse of non-centro-symmetric materials and the methods to study and understand it.


Brief description of the methodology

The project will include the electric characterization of ferroelectric and other polar materials (mainly thin films only few tens of nanometer thick) and their photoresponse. The samples will be illuminated with light of various wavelengths and polarization and the photoresponse will be determined. The candidate will participate to the weekly meetings of our research group, learning how to present and discus experimental results.


2.- Using light to study new materials for electronics

Supervisors: Gervasi Herranz


Brief description of the objectives

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.


Brief description of the methodology

The candidate will have access to our advanced optical laboratory, which includes optical spectroscopy and high-resolution imaging tools. The candidate will follow an intensive training, so as to ensure a solid understanding of the techniques. The student will be acquainted with state-of-the art techniques that allow real-space mapping of optical responses with diffraction limitation That allows the visualization of features below the micron down to just a few of hundreds of nanometers, enabling direct imaging of small devices and high sensitivity to magnetic fields. The optical lab at ICMAB is suited to visualize plasmon propagation in real space as well as in reciprocal space, i.e., plasmonic and photonic band dispersions can be obtained from throughout near-IR to near-UV frequencies.




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)

Direct imaging of delayed magneto-dynamic modes induced by surface acoustic waves




M Foerster, F Macià, N Statuto, S Finizio, A Hernández-Mínguez, S Lendínez, P V Santos, J. Fontcuberta, J M Hernàndez, M Kläui & L Aballe


Nature Communications, 8, 4017, (2017)



The magnetoelastic effect—the change of magnetic properties caused by the elastic deformation of a magnetic material—has been proposed as an alternative approach to magnetic fields for the low-power control of magnetization states of nanoelements since it avoids charge currents, which entail ohmic losses. Here, we have studied the effect of dynamic strain accompanying a surface acoustic wave on magnetic nanostructures in thermal equilibrium. We have developed an experimental technique based on stroboscopic X-ray microscopy that provides a pathway to the quantitative study of strain waves and magnetization at the nanoscale. We have simultaneously imaged the evolution of both strain and magnetization dynamics of nanostructures at the picosecond time scale and found that magnetization modes have a delayed response to the strain modes, adjustable by the magnetic domain configuration

Fanmao Liu Cum-Laude

Fanmao Liu merited the Cum-Laude for his PhD defense on “Photoresponse of Ferroelectric BaTiO3 thins films”.

Congratulations, Fanmao!

Fanmao Liu successfully defended his thesis

Today, Fanmao Liu has successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Photoresponse of ferroelectric BaTiO3 thin films” supervised by Prof. Fontcuberta and Dr. Fina. Congratulations for him and thanks to the members of the jury: Prof. Brahim Dkhil, Dr. Mariano Campoy, and Dr. Ingrid Cañero.

Dr. Ingrid Cañero from CNRS will give a talk at ICMAB

Next Tuesday July 25th, at 11:30h, Ingrid Cañero will give the talk entitled “Electronic, chemical and structural effects on the optical properties of (nano)ferroelectric oxides and related compounds” at Sala d’Actes Matgas at ICMAB.


Blai Casals

Degree in Physics and Master in Biophysics from Universitat de Barcelona.

ICMAB PhD 01.03.2013 – 28.02.2017.

Severo Ochoa Project until 31.05.2018.

“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.

March for Science: On 22ns April we joint it.


March for Science: On 22ns April we joint it.








El proper dia 22 d’abril, Dia de la Terra, es celebrarà la Marxa per la Ciència, una marxa de recolzament a la ciència, en més de 400 ciutats de tot el món.

La iniciativa va néixer als Estats Units com a resposta a la profunda preocupació de científics i ciutadans per la creixent onada de polítiques anticientífiques i l’erosió de la imatge social de la ciència. Posteriorment, ciutats de tot el món s’han afegit al moviment; a Espanya: Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla i Girona. 

Els promotors de la Marxa per la Ciència fem una crida a la ciutadania a comprometre’s per destacar i compartir els valors de la ciència. Volem treballar per fer de la pràctica de la investigació, el desenvolupament i la innovació una activitat oberta i inclusiva, perquè la ciència contribueixi al millor i major benestar de la nostra societat i per assegurar-nos que les proves sòlides, obtingudes a través del mètode científic, siguin la base del desenvolupament de les accions polítiques.


March for Science-Barcelona #M4ScBCN 

Es celebrarà a la plaça interior del Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), el dissabte 22 d’abril de 2017 de 12h a 16h.
La Marxa per la Ciència Barcelona està sent organitzada localment a iniciativa del Scientists Dating Forum amb la col·laboració de múltiples científics i ciutadans tant a nivell individual com d’associacions.
La Marxa per la Ciència Barcelona és un esdeveniment dels científics de Barcelona per a tothom!
El comitè organitzador de la Marxa per la Ciència està obert a tothom i necessita la teva ajuda. Anima’t a col·laborar!

Programa preliminar:

Declaració “Marxa per la Ciència Barcelona”
Taula rodona sobre ciència i política. 
Espectacle de ciència divulgativa
Activitat relacionada amb el Dia de la Terra
Punts de menjar i beure, i música en directe



MULFOX members actively participate to the COST TO-BE SPRING MEETING 2017 (3rd to 5th April) at the Neumünster Abbey, Luxembourg.

1) Pep Fontcuberta, Chairing a session on ” Frontiers in Quantum Matter Heterostructures” 

2 ) Gervasi Herranz. Presenting “Giant magneto-optical activity induced by polarons in manganites”  

3) Mengdi Qian,  Presenting “Reversing ON/OFF resistance states in BaTiO3 ferroelectric tunnel junctions: thickness and writing time dependencies”





Fanmao Liu has been selected to receive an IEEE Society Student Travel Grant



Fanmao Liu has been selected to receive an IEEE Society Student Travel Grant for the attendance of the 2017 Joint IEEE International Symposium on the Application of Ferroelectrics, International Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices, and the Piezoresponse Force Microscopy and Polar Phenomena at the Nanoscale Workshop, to be held in Atlanta, U.S.A. May 7-11, 2017. Congratulations Fanmao !

Iranian New Year



“We congratulate all Iranians on the Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which occurred this year on 20th March. Especial compliments to Morteza Alizadeh, who presently works in our lab for a 6-month internship. We accompany our felicitation with the image of a traditional Haft-Sin.”

Conferences of Gervasi Herranz at APS March Meeting 2017, New Orleans


Dual critical thickness for lattice and electronic instabilities in the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface.

Session A37a: Complex Oxide Interfaces and Heterostructures – LaAlO3/SrTiO3

9:24 AM Monday, March 13, 2017


Directional heat dissipation generated by surface acoustic waves in Co/Pt/LiNbO3 structures.

Session X47: Domain Wall Motion

9:48 AM Friday, March 17, 2017

ORAL PRESENTATION at the E-MRS 2017 Spring Meeting



Congratulations Mengdi: The abstract Disentangling tunneling and non-tunneling contributions on electroresistance in BTO-based ferroelectric nanometric junctions” by Mendi Qian et al, has been ACCEPTED for ORAL PRESENTATION at the E-MRS 2017 Spring Meeting

Anna Fritschen

My name is Anna Fritschen and I am doing a 3 month internship at the Mulfox group (January – April 2017) as part of my master studies of material science. I come from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. Here at ICMAB, I am preparing targets for thin films of different functional oxides.

We have lost a lovely regard and a giant scientist

Mildred Dresselhaus, the pioneering scientist and engineer, has sadly passed away at the age of 86. Born in 1930 in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, Dresselhaus was the first female Institute Professor at MIT – where she focused mainly on graphite, graphite intercalation compounds, carbon nanotubes and low-dimensional thermoelectrics – and a significant figure in the development of nanoscience as a new field of energy research.

She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1990 for her research into the electronic properties of materials, as well as for promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering. Millie also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2014 and was the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering. Her work was distinguished by many other awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Enrico Fermi Award, and she was the first solo recipient of a Kavli Prize for her contribution to the study of phonons, electron-phonon interactions, and thermal transport in nanostructures

Beam time at ALBA synchrotron


Experiments underway: Beam time at ALBA synchrotron : “Magnetic and electronic properties of Ce-doped Y3Fe5O12 thin films probed by x-ray magnetic spectroscopy”, at beam line BL29 – BOREAS, from 14/02/2017 to 17/02/2017.

Beam time at ALBA

“Uncommon cationic occupancy in epitaxial CoFe2O4 thin films probed by EXAFS spectroscopy”, at beam line BL22 – CLAESS, from 09/02/2017 to 12/02/2017. Experiments completed

Morteza Alizadeh

I am Morteza from Iran.
I am in ICMAB to use research opportunity for 6 month (January – July 2017) and work on my PhD thesis.
I have photonic master degree from sbu in Iran and LASER OPTIC engineering bachelor degree from tabriz university.

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