Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group

Group Leader: Aitor Mugarza

Main Research Lines

  • Hybrid interfaces for spintronics: metalorganic networks on metals and topological insulators
  • Graphene-based nanostructures: tailoring morphology, edge structure and electronic properties
  • Electron scattering in 2D nanostructures and materials with strong spin-orbit interaction

The Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group, led by Dr Aitor Mugarza, seeks to understand and control the quantum properties of electrons in low-dimensional materials.

Reducing the dimensions of a material to the nanoscale leads to the emergence of novel physics, which can be exploited to design devices with enhanced performance or with new functionalities that can enable future technologies. At this scale, the properties of materials are often dominated by quantum size effects and interfacial phenomena, which impose strong limitations on the control and reproducibility of the device performance, but also open up new avenues for engineering physical properties.

The Group addresses this two-edged sword by investigating the interplay between structural, electronic and magnetic properties of nanoscale materials at the atomic scale. We use the knowledge obtained from such comprehensive studies to develop different methods to selectively manipulate the properties of materials. By combining Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) techniques with Synchrotron Radiation Spectroscopy, the Group correlates microscopic phenomena to macroscopic observables that are relevant for the understanding and design of new materials and devices.

Group Leader

Aitor Mugarza

ICREA Prof Aitor Mugarza

ICREA Research Prof Aitor Mugarza earned his BS degree in Physics in 1997 and his PhD in Physics in 2002, both at the University of the Basque Country. After his doctoral studies, he was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to work as a postdoctoral scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, and at the Materials Science Institute of Barcelona (ICMAB). He later joined ICN in 2007 with a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship. In 2013, he was appointed Group Leader of the Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group at ICN2 and ICREA Research Professor since 2015. He is author of 49 articles (h-index = 20), and more than 35 invited talks at international conferences, universities and schools since 2007.

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Highlighted Publication

Spin-dependent electron scattering at graphene edges on Ni(111)
Garcia-Lekue, A.; Balashov, T.; Olle, M.; Ceballos, G.; Arnau, A.; Gambardella, P.; Sanchez-Portal, D.; Mugarza, A. Physical Review Letters (2014)

All publications