Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures

Group Leader: Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres


Disruptive phononics-based approach to information technology: the ERC AdG “LEIT” project kicks off today

A scientific kick-off meeting marks today the starting of the LEIT (Lossless information for emerging information technologies) project, which will be led by ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, head of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group. In 2020, Prof. Sotomayor was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for this five-year project, which aims at developing a disruptive technology based on phononic interconnects to reduce energy consumption of electronic circuits.

Novel high-sensitivity and fast response magnetometer

A team of researchers led by members of the ICN2 Photonic and Phononic Nanostructures group and the Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices group has designed a novel type of magnetic field sensor – i.e. a magnetometer – characterized by high-sensitivity and fast response.

A novel thermal diode operating at high temperatures based on nanostructured silicon membranes

Researchers from the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group and the Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) have designed, fabricated and characterized an all-silicon device working as a thermal diode at high temperatures and in moderate vacuum. The results of this research, recently published in Nano Energy, can open the way to new strategies of thermal energy management and harvesting.

The ICN2 participates in the IEEE-NANO online conference

ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol, ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor-Torres and Postdoctoral researcher Juliana Jaramillo are among the speakers of the event. Dr Juliana Jaramillo is one of the youngest plenary speakers in the whole conference series so far.

Learn about TOCHA and BrainCom with Journalists-in-the-Lab

The visit of two young journalists last February has resulted in a video describing BrainCom and a story on the TOCHA project. The first project works on brain-computer interfaces to restore the ability to speak and the second works on the next generation of electronic, photonic and phononic devices. Those are European projects led by the ICN2, but the visit also involved researchers from ICMAB.

New optical method for rapid and non-destructive dimensional metrology

The high production of smart surfaces with nanoscale features requires fast and precise quality control technologies. A new method for this aim is described in Scientific Reports. Former ICN2 postdoctoral researcher at the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group Guy Whitworth is the first author of this work, which uses diffraction to determine the critical dimensions of the studied object. The research was integrated in the FLEXPOL EU project, which seeks to develop a pilot line for the production of a cost-effective antimicrobial adhesive film for its use in hospitals.

A pilot line to create plastic parts with advanced automotive features

PLASTFUN project develops techniques and methods for the establishment of a pilot line for the industrial manufacture of plastic injection molded parts with surfaces that have advanced functions for the automotive sector. It is a project of the RIS3CAT Industries of the Future (IdF) Community, coordinated by Eurecat and cofunded by FEDER, with the participation the ICN2 among other industrial and research partners.

Self-assembled microspheres of silica to cool surfaces without energy consumption

Researchers from the ICN2 and the ICMM-CSIC have developed a new material able to cool another one by emitting infrared radiation. The results are published in Small and are expected to be used in devices where an increase in temperature has drastic effects on performance, like solar panels and computer systems, among other applications.

The ICN2 joins the Sabadell annual local festival

The Sabadell City Hall organaises every year a research and technology area during the city’s annual local festival. It is crowded with organisations sharing innovative projects. The ICN2 was sharing in one of the booths some general concepts about the nanoscale and some highlighted research lines, such as lab-on-a-chip technologies, brain-computer interfaces and superhydrophobic materials.

Exploring the vibrations of objects at the nanoscale

A special session on Nanophonics and Nanomechanics, organized by Dr Pedro David Garcia from the ICN2 and Dr. Daniel Lanzillotti-Kimura from the Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanostructures - CNRS (France), was held at META 2019 – Lisbon to discuss recent development of this research field.

Spontaneous synchronisation achieved at the nanoscale

Researchers from the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group have led a research which synchronised for the first time a couple of optomechanical oscillators. This work sets a solid basis for producing reconfigurable networks of such oscillators, with potential applications in neuromorphic computing, a field of research that intends to imitate neurological structures to improve computation.

Focus on the interaction of light with complex dielectrics

A special session on disorder photonics, organized by Dr. Pedro David García Fernandez from the ICN2 and Dr. Jacopo Bertolotti from the University of Exeter (UK), was held at PIERS 2019 – Rome to discuss recent development of this multi-application research field.

Heat transport measured on suspended single-layer graphene membranes

The ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group has published a work in 2D Materials presenting heat transport measurements on suspended single-layer graphene membranes using high-resolution thermometry. The suggested approach, which overcomes major limitations of conventional experimental methods, was partially funded by the ICN2 Severo-Ochoa Mobility Program.

The Mobile World Congress and YoMo go nano

The two major events in Barcelona this week are the Mobile World Congress and the Youth Mobile. Both events organised by GSMA include technologies and outreach activities coming straight from the nanoscale. Other parallel events also feature ICN2 researchers.

Sound and light trapped by disorder

Researchers from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) and the Centre de Nanosciences et Nanotechnologies – C2N (CNRS / Université Paris-Sud) have proposed a new and counterintuitive approach using disordered structures to trap light (photons) and sound (phonons) at the same place. By using a specific pair of semiconductor materials (gallium-arsenide and aluminium-arsenide) stacked randomly, something that relaxes substantially the fabrication requirements, they show that not only the light and sound can be trapped at the nanoscale, but also their interaction is enhanced. The results have been published in Physical Review Letters.

The NEREID project has produced the “NanoElectronics Roadmap for Europe”

The roadmap highlights medium to long term recommendations for strengthening the European competitiveness in this domain, opening the doors to many new markets. ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia Sotomayor-Torres, Group Leader of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group, acted as contributing author of the document and coordinated the chapter “Beyond CMOS”, which reflects contributions by other ICN2 researchers.

Science Week at the ICN2

ICN2 researchers were involved in a number of dissemination activities held during Science Week (9-18 November 2018). The figure of Richard Feynman and science aimed at young girls were the theme of some of the events in which the ICN2 participated during this intense week.

PHENOMEN highlighted at the EC Digital Single Market newsfeed and ICT 2018

The FET-Open project PHENOMEN will be exhibiting at ICT 2018 (Vienna, 4-6 December 2018). Watch its presentation VIDEO and learn more about this exciting project laying the foundations of a new information technology based on the manipulation of phonons and their coupling to photons and RF electronics.

Revealing the mechanisms behind the enhancement of thermal properties of graphene nanofluids

Disperse graphene in a suitable solvent and the resulting nanofluid will have much better thermal properties than the original liquid. Three ICN2 research groups collaborate to describe and explain this effect from the inside out. The results, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Nanoscale, provide a comprehensive analysis that alternately rules out and lends support to different existing theories as to the mechanisms driving the enhanced thermal conductivity and heat exchange found in nanofluids, bringing considerable insight into the field of thermal transport in dynamic systems.

Dr Klaas-Jan Tielrooij joins the ICN2 with an ERC Starting Grant

This researcher combines the study of fundamental physics with applied research, exploring ultrafast dynamics in nanoscale systems and their application in the fields of photodetection, quantum technologies and telecommunications. Building on close collaborations via inter-institutional projects within BIST, he will join the ICN2 in October as junior group leader, complete with his recently awarded ERC Starting Grant.

Successful P-Sphere networking meeting

The UAB organised a meeting of researchers involved in the P-Sphere Cofund project to encourage synergies and collaborations. Up to 6 Postdoctoral Researchers from the ICN2 are part of this exciting initiative.

ICN2 is involved in one of the new RIS3CAT Communities

ICN2 is involved in the Industries of the Future RIS3CAT Community through the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group and the Force Probe Microscopy and Surface Nanoengineering Group. The six new RIS3CAT communities promoted by the Catalan Government through ACCIÓ involve the allocation of 24 million € to impulse 32 innovation and R&D macroprojects with ERDF funds.

BIST holds its annual conference at CosmoCaixa

BIST Director General says modernising research facilities and providing training to boost the social impact of science are the top priorities of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. The event, held at CosmoCaixa, offers an overview about several transversal research issues being tackled by the BIST institutions.

The ICN2 reopens its doors for this year's ESCOLAB

Lab tours give young students the opportunity to interact with real scientists and get a sense of what happens at a research centre. Last week almost 100 students came through our doors to learn about the research carried out at the ICN2. This event was made possible thanks to the participation of the researchers and admin personnel who gave up some their time to organise some unique experiences.

FLEXPOL Project highlighted by Inspira Biotech

The project aims to develop a pilot line for the production of a cost effective antimicrobial adhesive film for its use in hospitals. The ICN2 brings to the initiative fabrication techniques for hierarchical topographies based on micro- and nanofeatures as well as a patent for an in-line non-invasive measurement system used to inspect the quality of the continuously produced film materials.

BIST reveals the five Ignite seed projects for 2018

Today the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) announce the five projects that will receive seed funding under the 2018 edition of its Ignite programme to accelerate multidisciplinary research at its member institutes.

ERDF funds to upgrade in-house laser technologies

European funds (ERDF) administered by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness have allowed the ICN2 to upgrade in-house laser technologies used in the study and development of new materials and nanostructures for energy devices and electronics.

First version of the NEREID roadmap to map the future of European Nanoelectronics

The H2020-CSA project “NanoElectronics Roadmap for Europe: Identification and Dissemination” (NEREID) has presented the first version of its roadmap in the Speakers Corner during the European Forum for Electronic Components and Systems (EFECS). The presentation aimed at getting feedback for possible improvements from the community to map the future of European Nanoelectronics.

Prof. Clivia Sotomayor elected next chair of the FET Advisory Group

ICREA Research Professor Dr Clivia Sotomayor and leader of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group is extremely honoured to be the next co-chair of the Future and Emerging Technologies Advisory Group, together with Prof. Dermot Diamond of the National Centre for Sensor Research in Dublin, Ireland.

Optomechanical crystals to enable chaos-based secure data communications

Researchers from ICN2's Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group published a study showing how the complex dynamics, including chaos, of optical nonlinearities can be controlled using optomechanical crystals and changing the parameters of the excitation laser. This discovery could allow information to be coded by introducing chaos into the light that carries it. 

2D-nanocellulose: piezoelectric driven by a hydrogen bonds pattern

Researchers from ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group publish in Scientific Reports findings providing the basis for new electromechanical designs using 2D-nanocellulose. In a longer-term perspective, the reinterpretation of electrical features for hydrogen bonds here introduced could pave the way in the understanding of life-essential molecules and events.

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology

PHENOMEN partners kick-off the project at a meeting in the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), coordinator of the initiative, on Friday September 16. The project PHENOMEN is at the intersection of photonics, radio frequency signal processing and phononics and proposes to build the first practical optically-driven phonon sources and detectors. The project was retained in a strong competition with a 1.4% success rate, in the last H2020 FET-Open call, "Novel ideas for radically new technologies".  

PHENOMEN: a new FET-Open Project to generate all-optical phononic circuits enabled by optomechanics

The PHENOMEN project will be coordinated by the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group, led by ICREA Research Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor-Torres. With a record submission of over 800 Actions, only 1.4% of Research & Innovation proposals can be funded through the latest H2020 FET-Open call.  The available budget of €40 million set the stakes for excellent projects very high. ICN2 is leading one of 13 selected proposals starting preparation for Grant Agreements.

ICN2 collaborates with the Norwegian HEFACE project

HEFACE will investigate the heat transfer across metal and polymer interfaces. ICN2 will benefit from exchange visits and joint experiments, discussed today during a visit of the project coordinators to the ICN2 Group led by the ICREA Research Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor-Torres.

PLAST4FUTURE enhances injection moulding production technology

This European Project, led by the Technical University of Denmark and with ICN2 as one of its partners through Dr. Nikos Kehagias and ICREA Prof. Dr. Clivia Sotomayor-Torres, developed a technology that works by enhancing the lateral resolution on free-form surfaces down to micro- and nanometer length scales. Its findings are summarized in a beautiful video.

ICN2 in the News: A new physical mechanism allows 'phonon lasing' driven by optical forces at ambient conditions

Last years have witnessed a steady and fast increase in the number of research reports dealing with full control of phonons . The word ""phononics"" is slowly entering the scientific vocabulary to indicate a platform where coherent phonons can be generated, harnessed and detected. Nanowerk comments on the latest work by the ICN2 Group led by ICREA Prof Dr. Clivia Sotomayor-Torres published in Nature's Scientific Reports.

ICREA Prof Clivia Sotomayor-Torres participates in the the biggest EU event on ICT R&I

The ICT 2015 - Innovate, Connect, Transform will take place 20-22 October 2015 in Lisbon (Portugal). ICREA Research prof Clivia Sotomayor-Torres will participate in a parallel session devoted to "Multi-disciplinarity for Future Technology" and the EU-Korea Workshop, the 4th of a series of annual workshops EU-Korea in the area of nanomaterials, nanotechnologies and nanoelectronics.

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels

Combining state-of-the-art realistic atomistic modelling and experiments, a paper in ACS Nano describes how thermal conductivity of ultrathin silicon membranes is controlled to large extent by the structure and the chemical composition of their surface. ICN2 participated in the research, mainly funded by the European project MERGING, through the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group, led by ICREA Research Prof. Clivia Sotomayor-Torres.

Dr. Reza Sanatinia offered an ICN2 Seminar on III-V Semiconductor Nanopillars for Photovoltaics and Nonlinear Optics

Optical properties of semiconductor nanowires/nanopillars, as individual or ensemble, have attracted significant research interest in recent years. Dr. Reza Sanatinia, from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden) and Visiting scientist at the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group, offered an INC2 Seminar about these structures and their applications.

A step further in the application of the Raman thermometry

Two-Laser Raman Thermometry is a new contactless technique to study the properties of a material at a nanoscale with higher precision. The two-laser approach has been developed by the researchers of ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group.

Dr. Woochul Kim offered an ICN2 Seminar about thermoelectricity

Thermoelectric heat-to-power generation is an exciting field of work. Dr. Woochul Kim, from Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea), was presented and invited by ICREA Research Prof. Clivia Sotomayor-Torres, Group Leader of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group.

An optomechanical crystal to study interactions among colocalized photons and phonons

Electromagnetic radiation and mechanical vibrations of matter interact and exchange energy at the nanometric scale. The experimental basis to study such interactions with precision is still being established. Researchers from ICN2's Phononic and Photonic nanostructures (P2N) Group designed and published in Nature Communications a silicon 1D Optomechanical crystal built up so that it allows to localize in a stable way both phonons and photons.

ICN2 hosts in Barcelona a meeting of the FORESEEN Consortium

The ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group, led by ICREA Research Prof Clivia Sotomayor, hosted this strategic meeting of a network exploring frontiers between optics and radio frequencies at nanoscale. New potential partners were introduced and the next strategic steps for the consortium were discussed.

New book with authors from ICN2: Beyond-CMOS Nanodevices 1

The new book offers a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art in innovative Beyond-CMOS nanodevices, including the results of NANOFUNCTION Network of Excellence. Members from the teams led by ICREA Research Professor Clivia Sotomayor and ICREA Research Professor Sergio O. Valenzuela are among its authors.

The EUPHONON European Project celebrates the Nanophononics Day

The Nanophononics Day, collocated with the European Materials Research Society Spring Meeting (Lille, 26-30 May), aims to raise awareness about this emergent research area and the EUPHONON Project. ICREA Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor, Group Leader at ICN2, coordinates this initiative.

ICN2 at NanoSpain 2014

ICN2 is participating in NanoSpain 2014, the leading nanoscience and nanotechnology event in Spain. The conference, from March 11th through the 14th in Madrid, aims to share a broad range of current research, promote interdisciplinary discussion, and link researchers and industries.

First methodology to analyse nanometer line pattern images

To meet the increasing demand for smaller, faster, and more powerful devices, a continued decrease in the dimensions of active parts of devices is required. The new methodology is a unique tool developed to address the gap existent in the metrology of sub-10 nm line patterns.

Prof. Dr. Ivan Maximov presents the Lund Nano Lab in an ICN2 Seminar

Prof. Dr. Ivan Maximov, coordinator of the Lund Nano Lab at Lund University, explained in an ICN2 Seminar some of the main facilities and areas of research they promote in a very dynamic region of Sweden. He was invited by the invited by the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures group.

Success of the European Network of Excellence NANOFUNCTION

The Network of Excellence (NoE) "Beyond CMOS nano-devices for adding functionalities to CMOS" (NANOFUNCTION), which includes two ICN2 Groups, has been selected as one of the Top Stories of the European Commission which highlight the achievements of success stories of the Seventh Framework Programme.

Single nanowires characterised by Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering

Publishing in Nano Letters, ICN2 Prof Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres and colleagues demonstrate nanoscale imaging of structural fluctuations in single nanowires using TERS.

Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) combines the morphological data from Scanning Probe Microscopy with the optical information provided by Raman spectroscopy.

APL cover image article: lasing of nanoimprinted photonic crystals

ICN researchers and colleagues report fabrication of laser photonic crystals by nanoimprint lithography in Applied Physics Letters. Article honoured with cover image (18 Feb issue).

Lasing from nanoimprinted dye-doped polymers highlight the use of this fabrication technique for visible, more-compact, potentially low-cost lasers with improved power. This work may enable medical and sensing applications.

The future of nanoelectronics at the 4th NANO-TEC workshop

The international nanoelectronics project NANO-TEC will hold its final workshop on 6 and 7 November, at the Hotel Front Maritim, in Barcelona, Spain.

The Project, which is coordinated by ICREA Research Professor and ICN Group Leader Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor Torres, features academic researchers and industry experts from ten European countries.

ICN post-doc wins two awards for her PhD thesis

Dr Claudia Delgado Simao was recently honoured with the 2011 NanoMatMol Prize, from the RSEQ, and the Premi Extraordinari de Doctorat en Ciencia de Materials, from the UAB.

Dr Delgado Simao defended her thesis, entitled “Self-assembly of electroactive molecules as wires and switches”, in 2011 at the UAB/ICMAB-CSIC, before joining the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group at ICN.

Phonons in slow motion

Team led by ICN Group Leader Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor-Torres reports changes in phonon propagation in ultra-thin (sub-10 nm) silicon membranes in Nano Letters.

Their findings have major implications for understanding the physics behind heat dissipation in nanoelectronics and for developing novel nanoscale thermoelectric materials.

NANO-TEC Workshop 3 held in Lausanne

Entitled “SWOT Analysis of the Technology-Design Ecosystem", the Workshop was held on 30 and 31 May 2012.

The Workshop attracted over 60 participants from over a dozen countries, and ended with recommendations for the Workshop 4.

ICN helps define the future call of CHIST-ERA on Green-ICT

Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, ICREA Professor and leader of the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures(P2N) Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), Barcelona delivers a keynote presentation "Phonon Engineering and Confined Acoustic Phonons in Si Membranes"

The ERA-NET CHIST-ERA seeks highly innovative and multidisciplinary research projects in ICST, and is open to new ideas and original solutions involving interdisciplinary skills, in order to promote a broader community effort in merging of questioning and understandings. The texts of CHIST-ERA calls are defined and published only after the topics are selected based on research community expertise and long-term vision, maintaining a high level of relevance in very competitive evolving areas which need reactivity.

Keynote lecture at Eurotherm 91 by ICN Group Leader and ICREA Prof. Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres

Eurotherm is the key European event for high-level scientific and technical interchange of ideas in thermal science and heat transfer.

Eurotherm 91 focused on a series of topics such as coherent thermal sources, phonon transport at the quantum limit, nanoscale experimental heat transfer, microscale/nanoscale thermal metrology, ultrafast heat transfer and thermal rectification. On this occasion, ICN Group Leader and ICREA Prof. Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres was invited to give a keynote lecture on "Confined acoustic phonons in Si membranes".

Launch of NANOTEG, an ENIAC project to solve energy issues in the transport industry

The ENIAC Project NANOTEG, a 13-partner consortium made of industrial, technologic and academic institutions, including ICN, was launched on 1st July 2011.

NANOTEG aims to solve crucial cooling and energy-management issues in transport and energy-efficient applications based on the technical leverage enabled by highly efficient nanostructured ThermoElectric (TE) modules compatible with high volume fabrication processes. ICN´s Phononics and Photonics Nanostructures Group (P2N), led by ICREA Prof. Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, will play a key role, contributing expertise in transport characterisation. The project is funded by the ENIAC Joint Undertaking and will run from July 2011 to June 2014.

ICN's P2N Group at the NaPANIL Industrial Day

Dr Nikos Kehagias, from ICN, contributed an invited talk entitled "Hybrid three dimensional nanofabrication techniques".

The European R&D project "NAPANIL - Nanopatterning, Productions and Applications, based on Nanoimprinting Lithography", in which ICN's Phononics and Photonics Nanostructures (P2N) Group is an active member, held its first Industrial Day on 6 April 2011 in Berlin. Over 70 professionals from both the public and private sectors met to address questions related to the development of this technology: NIL. They explored the potentials, limitations and expected impact of nanoimprint lithography on the market. This was achieved through a series of talks and discussions that paved the way for several collaborations oriented to the exploitation of the 3-D nanoimprinting market

Interview with ICN Group Leader and ICREA Prof. Sotomayor Torres on “Beyond CMOS in Europe”

ICREA Prof. Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, Group Leader of the Phononics and Photonics Nanostructures Group (P2N) at ICN, and the head of the European Comission Nanoelectronics Unit, Dirk Beenaert explain, in a joint interview, the importance of having a clear vision of "Beyond CMOS" in Europe.

This is the objective of the Coordination Action project NANO-TEC, led by the P2N group at ICN. The rationale of the project is the need to create a network of experts from both the technology and design fields of nanoelectronics to interact by steering the identified research priorities towards future funding, like Horizon 2020.

NanoTHERM: a new Spanish initiative tackles the energy challenge

NanoTHERM, coordinated by the Phononics and Photonics Nanostructures (P2N) Group, led by ICREA Prof. Dr. Clivia Sotomayor Torres at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN) in Barcelona, is a CONSOLIDER-INGENIO 2010 project funded by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation.

The consortium, gathering 9 Spanish institutions, will develop new nano-scale thermoelectric materials and composites which have to be simultaneously good thermal isolators and good electrical conductors, for use in thermoelectric generators for low and high temperature operation. The work will span the full value chain from theory on thermal conductivity at the nanometer scale, through material design, synthesis and benchmarking, to device validation.

3rd best poster award at NNT2010 to ICN Dr. Nikolaos Kehagias

(NNT) offers a unique opportunity for comprehensive overview and prospects of nanoimprint and nanoprint technology from basic research to application.

During the 2010 edition in Oresund and Copenhagen (Denmark), Nikolaos Kehagias won the 3rd place poster award with his poster entitled “PSSQ templates fabricated by RUVNIL technique for di-block copolymer graphoepitaxy”.