Staff directory



  • Angle-Dependent Photoluminescence Spectroscopy of Solution-Processed Organic Semiconducting Nanobelts

    Wang M., Gong Y., Alzina F., Sotomayor Torres C.M., Li H., Zhang Z., He J. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 121 (22): 12441 - 12446. 2017. 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b02958.

    We report an anomalous anisotropy in photoluminescence (PL) from crystalline nanobelt of an organic small-molecule semiconductor, 6,13-dichloropentacene (DCP). Large-area well-aligned DCP nanobelt arrays are readily formed by self-assembly through solution method utilizing the strong anisotropic interactions between molecules. The absorption spectrum of the arrays suggests the formation of both intramolecular exciton and intermolecular exciton. However, the results of angle-dependent PL spectroscopy indicate that the PL arises only from the relaxation of intramolecular exciton, which has an optical transition dipole moment with an angle of 115° with the long-axis of the nanobelts. The angular dependence of PL signals follows a quartic rule (IPL(θ) ∞ cos4(θ - 115)) and agrees well with the optical selection rule of individual DCP molecules. The measured polarization ratio ρ from the individual nanobelts is on average 0.91 ± 0.02, superior to that of prior-art organic semiconductors. These results provide new insights into exciton behavior in 1D π-π stacking organic semiconductors and demonstrate DCP's great potential in the photodetectors and optical switches for large-scale organic optoelectronics. © 2017 American Chemical Society.

  • Nonlinear dynamics and chaos in an optomechanical beam

    Navarro-Urrios D., Capuj N.E., Colombano M.F., Garciá P.D., Sledzinska M., Alzina F., Griol A., Martínez A., Sotomayor-Torres C.M. Nature Communications; 8 ( 14965) 2017. 10.1038/ncomms14965.

    Optical nonlinearities, such as thermo-optic mechanisms and free-carrier dispersion, are often considered unwelcome effects in silicon-based resonators and, more specifically, optomechanical cavities, since they affect, for instance, the relative detuning between an optical resonance and the excitation laser. Here, we exploit these nonlinearities and their intercoupling with the mechanical degrees of freedom of a silicon optomechanical nanobeam to unveil a rich set of fundamentally different complex dynamics. By smoothly changing the parameters of the excitation laser we demonstrate accurate control to activate two- A nd four-dimensional limit cycles, a period-doubling route and a six-dimensional chaos. In addition, by scanning the laser parameters in opposite senses we demonstrate bistability and hysteresis between two- A nd four-dimensional limit cycles, between different coherent mechanical states and between four-dimensional limit cycles and chaos. Our findings open new routes towards exploiting silicon-based optomechanical photonic crystals as a versatile building block to be used in neurocomputational networks and for chaos-based applications. © 2017 The Author(s).

  • Optomechanical coupling in the Anderson-localization regime

    García P.D., Bericat-Vadell R., Arregui G., Navarro-Urrios D., Colombano M., Alzina F., Sotomayor-Torres C.M. Physical Review B; 95 (11, 115129) 2017. 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.115129.

    Optomechanical crystals, purposely designed and fabricated semiconductor nanostructures, are used to enhance the coupling between the electromagnetic field and the mechanical vibrations of matter at the nanoscale. However, in real optomechanical crystals, imperfections open extra channels where the transfer of energy is lost, reducing the optomechanical coupling efficiency. Here, we quantify the role of disorder in a paradigmatic one-dimensional optomechanical crystal with full phononic and photonic band gaps. We show how disorder can be exploited as a resource to enhance the optomechanical coupling beyond engineered structures, thus providing a new tool set for optomechanics. © 2017 American Physical Society.


  • Fabrication of phononic crystals on free-standing silicon membranes

    Sledzinska M., Graczykowski B., Alzina F., Santiso Lopez J., Sotomayor Torres C.M. Microelectronic Engineering; 149: 41 - 45. 2016. 10.1016/j.mee.2015.09.004. IF: 1.277

    Free-standing Si films have been and remain an excellent example to study experimentally the effect of the reduction of the characteristic size on the phonon dispersion relation. A step further in geometrical complexity and, therefore, in increasing the control and manipulation of phonons is achieved by introducing periodicity in the medium to form phononic crystals. Here we report on the development of the fabrication process of large-area, solid-air and solid-solid two-dimensional phononic crystals, directly on free-standing, single crystalline silicon membranes. The patterning of the membranes involved electron-beam lithography and reactive ion etching for holes or metal evaporation and lift-off for pillars. The fabrication was possible due to the external strain induced on the membrane in order to reduce the buckling, which is typically found in large area free-standing structures. As a result, we obtained 250 nm thick structured membranes with patterned areas up to 100 × 100 μm, feature size between 100 and 300 nm and periodicity between 300 and 500 nm. The changes in dispersion relations of hypersonic acoustic phonons due to nanopatterning in free-standing silicon membranes were measured by Brillouin light scattering and the results were compared with numerical calculations by finite elements method. Information on phonon dispersion relation combined with a reliable fabrication process for large-scale structures opens a way for phonon engineering in more complex devices. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • Finite element analysis of true and pseudo surface acoustic waves in one-dimensional phononic crystals

    Graczykowski B., Alzina F., Gomis-Bresco J., Sotomayor Torres C.M. Journal of Applied Physics; 119 (2, 025308) 2016. 10.1063/1.4939825. IF: 2.101

    In this paper, we report a theoretical investigation of surface acoustic waves propagating in one-dimensional phononic crystal. Using finite element method eigenfrequency and frequency response studies, we develop two model geometries suitable to distinguish true and pseudo (or leaky) surface acoustic waves and determine their propagation through finite size phononic crystals, respectively. The novelty of the first model comes from the application of a surface-like criterion and, additionally, functional damping domain. Exemplary calculated band diagrams show sorted branches of true and pseudo surface acoustic waves and their quantified surface confinement. The second model gives a complementary study of transmission, reflection, and surface-to-bulk losses of Rayleigh surface waves in the case of a phononic crystal with a finite number of periods. Here, we demonstrate that a non-zero transmission within non-radiative band gaps can be carried via leaky modes originating from the coupling of local resonances with propagating waves in the substrate. Finally, we show that the transmission, reflection, and surface-to-bulk losses can be effectively optimised by tuning the geometrical properties of a stripe. © 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

  • Nanophononics: State of the art and perspectives

    Volz S., Ordonez-Miranda J., Shchepetov A., Prunnila M., Ahopelto J., Pezeril T., Vaudel G., Gusev V., Ruello P., Weig E.M., Schubert M., Hettich M., Grossman M., Dekorsy T., Alzina F., Graczykowski B., Chavez-Angel E., Sebastian Reparaz J., Wagner M.R., Sotomayor-Torres C.M., Xiong S., Neogi S., Donadio D. European Physical Journal B; 89 (1, 15) 2016. 10.1140/epjb/e2015-60727-7. IF: 1.223

    Understanding and controlling vibrations in condensed matter is emerging as an essential necessity both at fundamental level and for the development of a broad variety of technological applications. Intelligent design of the band structure and transport properties of phonons at the nanoscale and of their interactions with electrons and photons impact the efficiency of nanoelectronic systems and thermoelectric materials, permit the exploration of quantum phenomena with micro- and nanoscale resonators, and provide new tools for spectroscopy and imaging. In this colloquium we assess the state of the art of nanophononics, describing the recent achievements and the open challenges in nanoscale heat transport, coherent phonon generation and exploitation, and in nano- and optomechanics. We also underline the links among the diverse communities involved in the study of nanoscale phonons, pointing out the common goals and opportunities. © The Author(s) 2016.

  • Nanoscale pillar hypersonic surface phononic crystals

    Yudistira D., Boes A., Graczykowski B., Alzina F., Yeo L.Y., Sotomayor Torres C.M., Mitchell A. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 94 (9, 094304) 2016. 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.094304. IF: 3.718

    We report on nanoscale pillar-based hypersonic phononic crystals in single crystal Z-cut lithium niobate. The phononic crystal is formed by a two-dimensional periodic array of nearly cylindrical nanopillars 240 nm in diameter and 225 nm in height, arranged in a triangular lattice with a 300-nm lattice constant. The nanopillars are fabricated by the recently introduced nanodomain engineering via laser irradiation of patterned chrome followed by wet etching. Numerical simulations and direct measurements using Brillouin light scattering confirm the simultaneous existence of nonradiative complete surface phononic band gaps. The band gaps are found below the sound line at hypersonic frequencies in the range 2-7 GHz, formed from local resonances and Bragg scattering. These hypersonic structures are realized directly in the piezoelectric material lithium niobate enabling phonon manipulation at significantly higher frequencies than previously possible with this platform, opening new opportunities for many applications in plasmonic, optomechanic, microfluidic, and thermal engineering. © 2016 American Physical Society.

  • Self-sustained coherent phonon generation in optomechanical cavities

    Navarro-Urrios D., Gomis-Bresco J., Alzina F., Capuj N.E., García P.D., Colombano M.F., Chavez-Angel E., Sotomayor-Torres C.M. Journal of Optics (United Kingdom); 18 (9, 094006) 2016. 10.1088/2040-8978/18/9/094006. IF: 1.847

    Optical forces can set tiny objects in states of mechanical self-sustained oscillation, spontaneously generating periodic signals by extracting power from steady sources. Miniaturized self-sustained coherent phonon sources are interesting for applications such as mass-force sensing, intra-chip metrology and intra-chip time-keeping among others. In this paper, we review several mechanisms and techniques that can drive a mechanical mode into the lasing regime by exploiting the radiation pressure force in optomechanical cavities, namely stimulated emission, dynamical back-action, forward stimulated Brillouin scattering and self-pulsing. © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  • Thermal conductivity of MoS2 polycrystalline nanomembranes

    Sledzinska M., Graczykowski B., Placidi M., Reig D.S., El Sachat A., Reparaz J.S., Alzina F., Mortazavi B., Quey R., Colombo L., Roche S., Torres C.M.S. 2D Materials; 3 (3, 035016) 2016. 10.1088/2053-1583/3/3/035016. IF: 9.611

    Heat conduction in 2D materials can be effectively engineered by means of controlling nanoscale grain structure. Afavorable thermal performance makes these structures excellent candidates for integrated heat management units. Here we show combined experimental and theoretical studies for MoS2 nanosheets in a nanoscale grain-size limit.Wereport thermal conductivity measurements on 5 nm thick polycrystalline MoS2 by means of 2-laser Raman thermometry. The free-standing, drum-like MoS2 nanomembranes were fabricated using a novel polymer- and residue-free, wet transfer, in which we took advantage of the difference in the surface energies between MoS2 and the growth substrate to transfer the CVD-grown nanosheets. The measurements revealed a strong reduction in the in-plane thermal conductivity down to about 0.73 ± 0.25 W m-1 K-1. The results are discussed theoretically using finite elements method simulations for a polycrystalline film, and a scaling trend of the thermally conductivity with grain size is proposed. © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  • Two-Dimensional Phononic Crystals: Disorder Matters

    Wagner M.R., Graczykowski B., Reparaz J.S., El Sachat A., Sledzinska M., Alzina F., Sotomayor Torres C.M. Nano Letters; 16 (9): 5661 - 5668. 2016. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b02305. IF: 13.779

    The design and fabrication of phononic crystals (PnCs) hold the key to control the propagation of heat and sound at the nanoscale. However, there is a lack of experimental studies addressing the impact of order/disorder on the phononic properties of PnCs. Here, we present a comparative investigation of the influence of disorder on the hypersonic and thermal properties of two-dimensional PnCs. PnCs of ordered and disordered lattices are fabricated of circular holes with equal filling fractions in free-standing Si membranes. Ultrafast pump and probe spectroscopy (asynchronous optical sampling) and Raman thermometry based on a novel two-laser approach are used to study the phononic properties in the gigahertz (GHz) and terahertz (THz) regime, respectively. Finite element method simulations of the phonon dispersion relation and three-dimensional displacement fields furthermore enable the unique identification of the different hypersonic vibrations. The increase of surface roughness and the introduction of short-range disorder are shown to modify the phonon dispersion and phonon coherence in the hypersonic (GHz) range without affecting the room-temperature thermal conductivity. On the basis of these findings, we suggest a criteria for predicting phonon coherence as a function of roughness and disorder. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • A self-stabilized coherent phonon source driven by optical forces

    Navarro-Urrios D., Capuj N.E., Gomis-Bresco J., Alzina F., Pitanti A., Griol A., Martínez A., Sotomayor Torres C.M. Scientific Reports; 5 ( 15733) 2015. 10.1038/srep15733. IF: 5.578

    We report a novel injection scheme that allows for phonon lasing in a one-dimensional opto-mechanical photonic crystal, in a sideband unresolved regime and with cooperativity values as low as 10'2. It extracts energy from a cw infrared laser source and is based on the triggering of a thermo-optical/free-carrier-dispersion self-pulsing limit-cycle, which anharmonically modulates the radiation pressure force. The large amplitude of the coherent mechanical motion acts as a feedback that stabilizes and entrains the self-pulsing oscillations to simple fractions of the mechanical frequency. A manifold of frequency-entrained regions with two different mechanical modes (at 54 and 122MHz) are observed as a result of the wide tuneability of the natural frequency of the self-pulsing. The system operates at ambient conditions of pressure and temperature in a silicon platform, which enables its exploitation in sensing, intra-chip metrology or time-keeping applications.

  • Elucidation of the wettability of graphene through a multi-length-scale investigation approach

    Amadei C.A., Lai C.-Y., Esplandiu M.J., Alzina F., Vecitis C.D., Verdaguer A., Chiesa M. RSC Advances; 5 (49): 39532 - 39538. 2015. 10.1039/c5ra04397b. IF: 3.840

    Univocal conclusions around the wettability of graphene exposed to environmental conditions remain elusive despite the recent efforts of several research groups. The main discrepancy rests on the question of whether a graphene monolayer (GML) is transparent or not to water and more generally what the role is that the substrate plays in determining the degree of wetting of the GML. In this work, we investigate the water transparency of GML by means of a multi-length-scale approach. We complement traditional static contact angle measurements and environmental scanning electron microscopy experiments with atomic force microscopy based force spectroscopy to assess the role that intermolecular interactions play in determining the wetting of GML. To gain deeper insight into the wetting transparency issue, we perform experiments on inert metals, such as gold and platinum, covered or not covered by GML. The comparison of the results obtained for different systems (i.e. GML covered and uncovered inert metals), provides unambiguous evidence that supports the non-wetting transparency theory of GML. This work aims to assist the development of technologies based on graphene-water interaction, such as graphitic membranes for water separation processes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.

  • Phonon dispersion in hypersonic two-dimensional phononic crystal membranes

    Graczykowski B., Sledzinska M., Alzina F., Gomis-Bresco J., Reparaz J.S., Wagner M.R., Sotomayor Torres C.M. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 91 (7, 075414) 2015. 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.075414. IF: 3.736

    We investigate experimentally and theoretically the acoustic phonon propagation in two-dimensional phononic crystal membranes. Solid-air and solid-solid phononic crystals were made of square lattices of holes and Au pillars in and on 250 nm thick single crystalline Si membrane, respectively. The hypersonic phonon dispersion was investigated using Brillouin light scattering. Volume reduction (holes) or mass loading (pillars) accompanied with second-order periodicity and local resonances are shown to significantly modify the propagation of thermally activated GHz phonons. We use numerical modeling based on the finite element method to analyze the experimental results and determine polarization, symmetry, or three-dimensional localization of observed modes. © 2015 American Physical Society.


  • A novel contactless technique for thermal field mapping and thermal conductivity determination: Two-Laser Raman Thermometry

    Reparaz, J.S.; Chavez-Angel, E.; Wagner, M.R.; Graczykowski, B.; Gomis-Bresco, J.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Review of Scientific Instruments; 2014. 10.1063/1.4867166. IF: 1.584

  • A one-dimensional optomechanical crystal with a complete phononic band gap

    Gomis-Bresco, J.; Navarro-Urrios, D.; Oudich, M.; El-Jallal, S.; Griol, A.; Puerto, D.; Chavez, E.; Pennec, Y.; Djafari-Rouhani, B.; Alzina, F.; Martinez, A.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Nature Communications; 2014. 10.1038/ncomms5452. IF: 10.742

  • Acoustic phonon propagation in ultra-thin Si membranes under biaxial stress field

    Graczykowski, B. ; Gomis-Bresco, J.; Alzina, F.; Reparaz, J.S.; Shchepetov, A.; Prunnila, M.; Ahopelto, J.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. New Journal of Physics; 2014. 10.1088/1367-2630/16/7/073024. IF: 3.671

  • Dynamical back-action at 5.5 GHz in a corrugated optomechanical beam

    Navarro-Urrios, D.; Gomis-Bresco, J.; El-Jallal, S.; Oudich, M.; Pitanti, A.; Capuj, N.; Tredicucci, A.; Alzina, F.; Griol, A.; Pennec, Y.; Djafari-Rouhani, B.; Martínez, A.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. AIP Advances; 2014. 10.1063/1.4902171. IF: 1.590

  • Electrocatalytic tuning of biosensing response through electrostatic or hydrophobic enzyme-graphene oxide interactions

    Baptista-Pires, L.; Pérez-López, B.; Mayorga-Martinez, C.C.; Morales-Narváez, E.; Domingo, N.; Esplandiu, M.J.; Alzina, F.; Torres, C.M.S.; Merkoçi, A. Biosensors and Bioelectronics; 61: 655 - 662. 2014. 10.1016/j.bios.2014.05.028. IF: 6.451

  • High quality single crystal Ge nano-membranes for opto-electronic integrated circuitry

    Shah, V.A.; Rhead, S.D.; Halpin, J.E.; Trushkevych, O.; Chavez-Angel, E.; Shchepetov, A.; Kachkanov, V.; Wilson, N.R.; Myronov, M.; Reparaz, J.S.; Edwards, R.S.; Wagner, M.R.; Alzina, F.; Dolbnya, I.P.; Patchett, D.H.; Allred, P.S.; Prest, M.J.; Gammon, P.M.; Prunnila, M.; Whall, T.E.; Parker, E.H.C.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M.; Leadley, D.R. Journal of Applied Physics; 2014. 10.1063/1.4870807. IF: 2.185

  • Hypersonic phonon propagation in one-dimensional surface phononic crystal

    Graczykowski, B.; Sledzinska, M.; Kehagias, N.; Alzina, F.; Reparaz, J.S.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Applied Physics Letters; 2014. 10.1063/1.4870045. IF: 3.515

  • Modification of Akhieser mechanism in Si nanomembranes and thermal conductivity dependence of the Q-factor of high frequency nanoresonators

    Chávez-Ángel, E.; Zarate, R.A.; Gomis-Bresco, J.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Semiconductor Science and Technology; 2014. 10.1088/0268-1242/29/12/124010. IF: 2.206

  • Nanostructured p-type Cr/V2O5 thin films with boosted thermoelectric properties

    Loureiro, J.; Santos, J.R.; Nogueira, A.; Wyczisk, F.; Divay, L.; Reparaz, S.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M.; Cuffe, J.; Montemor, F.; Martins, R.; Ferreira, I. Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 2 (18): 6456 - 6462. 2014. 10.1039/c3ta15168a. IF: 0.000

  • Optical and mechanical mode tuning in an optomechanical crystal with light-induced thermal effects

    Navarro-Urrios, D. ; Gomis-Bresco, J. ; Capuj, N. E.; Alzina, F. ; Griol, A. ; Puerto, D. ; Martínez, A. ; Sotomayor-Torres, C. M. Journal of Applied Physics; 2014. 10.1063/1.4894623. IF: 2.185

  • Reduction of the thermal conductivity in free-standing silicon nano-membranes investigated by non-invasive Raman thermometry

    Chávez-Ángel, E.; Reparaz, J.S.; Gomis-Bresco, J.; Wagner, M.R.; Cuffe, J.; Graczykowski, B.; Shchepetov, A.; Jiang, H.; Prunnila, M.; Ahopelto, J.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. APL Materials; 2014. 10.1063/1.4861796. IF: 0.000


  • Electrical detection of spin precession in freely suspended graphene spin valves on cross-linked poly(methyl methacrylate)

    Neumann, I.; Van De Vondel, J.; Bridoux, G.; Costache, M.V.; Alzina, F.; Torres, C.M.S.; Valenzuela, S.O. Small; 9 (1): 156 - 160. 2013. 10.1002/smll.201201194. IF: 7.823

  • Lifetimes of confined acoustic phonons in ultrathin silicon membranes

    Cuffe, J.; Ristow, O.; Chávez, E.; Shchepetov, A.; Chapuis, P.-O.; Alzina, F.; Hettich, M.; Prunnila, M.; Ahopelto, J.; Dekorsy, T.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M. Physical Review Letters; 110 (9) 2013. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.095503. IF: 7.943

  • Non Local Corrections to the Electronic Structure of Non Ideal Electron Gases: The Case of Graphene and Tyrosine

    García, Y.; Cuffe, J.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C. M. Journal of Modern Physics; 4 (4): 522 - 527. 2013. 10.4236/jmp.2013.44074. IF: 0.000

  • Ultra-thin free-standing single crystalline silicon membranes with strain control

    Shchepetov, A.; Prunnila, M.; Alzina, F.; Schneider, L.; Cuffe, J.; Jiang, H.; Kauppinen, E.I.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M.; Ahopelto, J. Applied Physics Letters; 2013. 10.1063/1.4807130. IF: 3.794


  • Calculation of the specific heat in ultra-thin free-standing silicon membranes

    Chávez, E. ; Cuffe, J.; Alzina, F. ; Sotomayor Torres, C. M. Journal of Physics: Conference Series; 395: 12105. 2012. .


  • The morphology of graphene sheets treated in an ozone generator

    Tao, H.; Moser, J.; Alzina, F.; Wang, Q.; Sotomayor-Torres, C.M. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 115: 18257 - 18260. 2011. 10.1021/jp2050756.


  • Magnetotransport in disordered graphene exposed to ozone: From weak to strong localization

    Moser, J.; Tao, H.; Roche, S.; Alzina, F.; Sotomayor Torres, C.M.; Bachtold, A. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 81 2010. 10.1103/PhysRevB.81.205445.

  • Relaxation and derelaxation of pure and hydrogenated amorphous silicon during thermal annealing experiments

    Kail, F. ; Farjas, J.; Roura, P.; Secouard, C.; Nos, O.; Bertomeu, J.; Alzina, F.; Roca i Cabarrocas, P. Applied Physics Letters; 2010. .