Catalan Institute of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Contact persons:

Clivia Sotomayor-Torres

The Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)(www.ICN2.cat), created in 2003, is a research centre with currently about 200 people among researchers, technical support and administration. The research covers new material properties resulting from their nanometric scale; the development of methods for nanofabrication, growth, analysis, characterisation and manipulation of structures of nanometric dimension for nanoelectronics, spintronics, nanophotonics and nanophononics. ICN2 was awarded the coveted label of Excelencia Severo Ochoa by the Spanish Government, acknowledging its research excellence, the first in Spain in Nanoscience. The institute is the home of several ERC award holders and has an active technology transfer department.

Equipment / Facilities

Processing platform

Nanomaterials Growth Unit

The main purpose of the Unit is the deposition of thin nanostructured films by laser advanced techniques and the characterisation of structure and microstructure by advanced tools.

Nanofabrication Facility

The Nanofabrication Facility focuses on the design and development of nanofabrication methods and techniques for nanoscience and nanotechnology research and applications. The mission of the facility is to provide high quality services to both internal and external users.

Instrumentation Unit

The Instrumentation Unit focuses on the design, development, improvement and deployment of advanced state-of-the-art instruments for nanoscience and nanotechnology. The main aim is the creation of an integrated scientific and technical platform with a highly qualified multidisciplinary team capable of addressing challenging instrumental projects both for basic nanoscience research as well as for nanotechnology applications.

Biolab Facility

This new facility will provide the ICN2 researchers with a safe and reliable environment to advance in the application of nanotechnology to life sciences and medicine.

Mechanical Workshop Facility

The Facility offers a broad range of custom machining services for the design and fabrication of devices and components for the institute research.

Modelling platform

Characterization platform

Electron Microscopy Unit

The Electron Microscopy Unit focuses on the use of electron microscopy techniques for nanoscience and nanotechnology research and applications. The main aim is to provide scientific technical support to the ICN2 research lines and to neighbouring research centres, as well as developing and implementing novel related techniques. The laboratory has active collaborations with other research institutions and is becoming increasingly involved in European networks.

Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS&UPS) Facility

ICN2 offers surface characterization by XPS and UPS to analyse the surface chemistry of a material in its unprocessed state or after treatment (fracturing, cutting or scraping in air or UHV to expose the bulk chemistry; ion beam etching to remove surface contamination; heating to study heat-induced changes; exposure to reactive gases or solutions, etc.).

X-Ray Diffraction Facility

X-Ray analysis is used for the study of the crystalline structure of solid materials, either in powder or in compact form, thin film or nanomaterials.

Molecular Spectroscopy and Optical Microscopy Facility

The molecular spectroscopy facility and optical microscopy is equipped with analytical instruments for performing both qualitative and quantitative analysis of chemical materials based on the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter.

SQUID Magnetometry Facility

The SQUID is a very sensitive magnetometer based on a superconducting quantum interference device. It integrates a detection system and a precision temperature control unit inside the bore of a high-field  superconducting magnet. Common uses of this equipment include field sweeps and hysteresis loops, moment vs. field and moment vs. temperature measurements and field and zero-field cool measurements.

Expertise

Beyond CMOS

  • Spin, spin waves and heat interactions
  • Thermoelectric effects at the nanoscale
  • Experimental spin physics
  • Novel methods for spintronics and applications
  • Quantum computation
  • Computational nanoelectronics from ab initio
  • Computational spintronics and electronics
  • Opto-mechanics
  • Thermal transport in the nanoscale
  • Novel methods for phonon physics and applications

More Moore / Logic devices & circuits

  • Reconfigurable logics
  • Electronic transport simulation using NEGF solvers
  • Simulation using self-consistent Schrödinger Poisson solvers

More Moore / Memories

  • Magnetic random access memories
  • Modeling for magnetic, ferroelectric, and multiferroic materials
  • Simulation of spin torque phenomena (STT-MRAM, SOT-MRAM)

More than Moore / Sensors

  • DFT calculations of materials properties.
  • Chemical sensors simulations
  • Graphene based electrodes and Graphene SGFET for biosensing

More than Moore / Energy Harvesting

  • Spin caloritronics
  • Thermoelecticity
  • Ground state DFT calculations, and Molecular Dynamics
  • Piezo electricity

More than Moore / RF devices & circuits

  • Spin torque induced ferromagnetic resonance
  • Quantum control
  • Coupling phonons to RF

More than Moore / Photonics devices

  • Nanopatterning surfaces and metamaterial design for photonic components

More than Moore / Power devices

Flexible electronics / Organic devices

  • Electronic properties from first-principles
  • Simulation of charge transport in organic matter (polaron transport)

Flexible electronics / Others

  • 2D spintronics
  • Electronic properties from first-principles. Modeling different physical properties (structural, piezoelectric, magnetic, thermal, etc.)
  • Graphene and 2D materials electronics
  • Flexible graphene solution-gated field-effect transistors
  • Hydrophobic films
  • Defectivity and dimensional metrology of nanopatterned devices

Smart systems

### Expertise ### Smart systems

Systems design

### Expertise ### Systems design

Research interests

Beyond CMOS

  • New methods to study spin dynamics
  • Coupled state variables, eg., spins-photons and phonon-magnons and phonons-phonons
  • Thermoelectric effects in nanostructures and interfaces
  • Superconducting qubits
  • Molecular electronics, spintronics, nano-interfaces in low dimensional systems, thermal properties,…
  • Topological Matter, spintronics, quantum computing
  • Energy and momentum relaxation
  • New methods of measuring heat transport
  • Thermal conductivity in thin films, nanostructures and interfaces

More Moore / Logic devices & circuits

  • 2-dimensional spintronics, including grapheme
  • Spin devices.
  • quantum logic devices
  • MoS2 transistors architecture for elementary logic component

More Moore / Memories

  • Unconventional ways of controlling the magnetization. Spin orbit torques (e.g. from spin-Hall effect)
  • Understanding fundamental effects

More than Moore / Sensors

  • Piezoelectrics, chemical sensors simulations
  • Flexible and stretchable technology for neural interface

More than Moore / Energy Harvesting

  • Thermoelectric effects in ferromagnetic systems and heterostructures
  • Thermoelectricity in topological insulators
  • Spin thermoelectric effects
  • Simulation of thermal transport in complex materials. Photovoltaics, multifunctional materials (flexoelectric, piezoelectrics, thermoelectrics, etc).
  • Self powered neural stimulators
  • Supercapacitors
  • Thermal conductivity in Si membranes and phononic crystals and in other semiconductors, nanocomposites, organic-inorganic layers, etc.
  • Nano-cale piezo electric devices for autonomous energy generation

More than Moore / RF devices & circuits

  • Spin orbit torques
  • Superconducting qubits
  • Wireless sensors for neural sensing
  • Phonon circuits

More than Moore / Photonics devices

Active surfaces and metasurfaces

More than Moore / Power devices

Flexible electronics / Organic devices

  • Simulation of charge transport in organic matter (polaron transport)
  • Composite materials
  • PEDOT-PSS electrodes and PEDOT-PSS transistors for neural sensing

Flexible electronics / Others

  • Graphene, topological insulators and transition metal dichalcogenides.
  • Graphene and 2D materials electronics
  • Wearable sensors
  • MoS2 transistors architecture for flexible elementary logic component
  • Roll-to-roll patterning of hierarchical structures
  • Development of dimensional metrology for features < 20 nm

Smart systems

Systems design