Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy

Group Leader: Aitor Mugarza

Aitor Mugarza

ICREA Research Professor

Group Leader

Prof. Aitor Mugarza graduated in physics in 1997 and completed his PhD in the same field in 2002, both at the Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (University of the Basque Country). He was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to work as a postdoctoral scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) and the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB). He joined the former Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology in 2007 with a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship. In 2013 he became group leader of the Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group at ICN2. He has been an ICREA Research Professor since 2015.

His research activity revolves around the study of quantum electronic and magnetic phenomena at the nanoscale and the development of strategies for their manipulation with atomic precision. By combining scanning tunnelling microscopy techniques with spectroscopy using synchrotron radiation, he correlates microscopic phenomena to macroscopic observables for the characterisation and design of new materials and devices. He is currently focused on novel materials including molecular and graphene nanostructures, and 2D quantum materials.



  • Atomically Sharp Lateral Superlattice Heterojunctions Built-In Nitrogen-Doped Nanoporous Graphene

    Tenorio M., Moreno C., Febrer P., Castro-Esteban J., Ordejón P., Peña D., Pruneda M., Mugarza A. Advanced Materials; 34 (20, 2110099) 2022. 10.1002/adma.202110099. IF: 30.849

  • Slow Magnetic Relaxation of Dy Adatoms with In-Plane Magnetic Anisotropy on a Two-Dimensional Electron Gas

    Bellini V., Rusponi S., Kolorenč J., Mahatha S.K., Valbuena M.A., Persichetti L., Pivetta M., Sorokin B.V., Merk D., Reynaud S., Sblendorio D., Stepanow S., Nistor C., Gargiani P., Betto D., Mugarza A., Gambardella P., Brune H., Carbone C., Barla A. ACS Nano; 16 (7): 11182 - 11193. 2022. 10.1021/acsnano.2c04048.


  • Tuning the Magnetic Anisotropy of Lanthanides on a Metal Substrate by Metal–Organic Coordination

    Parreiras S.O., Moreno D., Cirera B., Valbuena M.A., Urgel J.I., Paradinas M., Panighel M., Ajejas F., Niño M.A., Gallego J.M., Valvidares M., Gargiani P., Kuch W., Martínez J.I., Mugarza A., Camarero J., Miranda R., Perna P., Écija D. Small; 17 (35, 2102753) 2021. 10.1002/smll.202102753. IF: 13.281


  • Absence of Magnetic Proximity Effect at the Interface of Bi2Se3 and (Bi,Sb)2Te3 with EuS

    Figueroa A.I., Bonell F., Cuxart M.G., Valvidares M., Gargiani P., Van Der Laan G., Mugarza A., Valenzuela S.O. Physical Review Letters; 125 (22, 226801) 2020. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.226801. IF: 8.385

  • Band Depopulation of Graphene Nanoribbons Induced by Chemical Gating with Amino Groups

    Li J., Brandimarte P., Vilas-Varela M., Merino-Díez N., Moreno C., Mugarza A., Mollejo J.S., Sánchez-Portal D., Garcia De Oteyza D., Corso M., Garcia-Lekue A., Peña D., Pascual J.I. ACS Nano; 14 (2): 1895 - 1901. 2020. 10.1021/acsnano.9b08162. IF: 14.588

  • Enhanced Magnetism through Oxygenation of FePc/Ag(110) Monolayer Phases

    Bartolomé E., Bartolomé J., Sedona F., Lobo-Checa J., Forrer D., Herrero-Albillos J., Piantek M., Herrero-Martín J., Betto D., Velez-Fort E., García L.M., Panighel M., Mugarza A., Sambi M., Bartolomé F. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 124 (25): 13993 - 14006. 2020. 10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c01988. IF: 4.189

  • Influence of 4f filling on electronic and magnetic properties of rare earth-Au surface compounds

    Fernandez L., Blanco-Rey M., Castrillo-Bodero R., Ilyn M., Ali K., Turco E., Corso M., Ormaza M., Gargiani P., Valbuena M.A., Mugarza A., Moras P., Sheverdyaeva P.M., Kundu A.K., Jugovac M., Laubschat C., Ortega J.E., Schiller F. Nanoscale; 12 (43): 22258 - 22267. 2020. 10.1039/d0nr04964f. IF: 6.895

  • Molecular Approach for Engineering Interfacial Interactions in Magnetic/Topological Insulator Heterostructures

    Cuxart M.G., Valbuena M.A., Robles R., Moreno C., Bonell F., Sauthier G., Imaz I., Xu H., Nistor C., Barla A., Gargiani P., Valvidares M., Maspoch D., Gambardella P., Valenzuela S.O., Mugarza A. ACS Nano; 14 (5): 6285 - 6294. 2020. 10.1021/acsnano.0c02498. IF: 14.588

  • Neutral Organic Radical Formation by Chemisorption on Metal Surfaces

    Ajayakumar M.R., Moreno C., Alcón I., Illas F., Rovira C., Veciana J., Bromley S.T., Mugarza A., Mas-Torrent M. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters; 11 (10): 3897 - 3904. 2020. 10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c00269. IF: 6.710

  • Stabilizing Edge Fluorination in Graphene Nanoribbons

    Panighel M., Quiroga S., Brandimarte P., Moreno C., Garcia-Lekue A., Vilas-Varela M., Rey D., Sauthier G., Ceballos G., Peña D., Mugarza A. ACS Nano; 14 (9): 11120 - 11129. 2020. 10.1021/acsnano.0c01837. IF: 14.588


  • Critical Role of Phenyl Substitution and Catalytic Substrate in the Surface-Assisted Polymerization of Dibromobianthracene Derivatives

    Moreno C., Panighel M., Vilas-Varela M., Sauthier G., Tenorio M., Ceballos G., Peña D., Mugarza A. Chemistry of Materials; 31 (2): 331 - 341. 2019. 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b03094. IF: 10.159

  • Nanoarquitecturas de grafeno con precisión atómica

    C. Moreno, A. Garcia-Lekue, A. Mugarza Revista Española de Física; 33 (4) 2019. noDOI-Moreno.

  • Unraveling the Impact of Halide Mixing on Perovskite Stability

    Hieulle J., Wang X., Stecker C., Son D.-Y., Qiu L., Ohmann R., Ono L.K., Mugarza A., Yan Y., Qi Y. Journal of the American Chemical Society; 141 (8): 3515 - 3523. 2019. 10.1021/jacs.8b11210. IF: 14.695


  • Bottom-up synthesis of multifunctional nanoporous graphene

    Moreno C., Vilas-Varela M., Kretz B., Garcia-Lekue A., Costache M.V., Paradinas M., Panighel M., Ceballos G., Valenzuela S.O., Peña D., Mugarza A. Science; 360 (6385): 199 - 203. 2018. 10.1126/science.aar2009. IF: 41.058

  • On-surface synthesis of superlattice arrays of ultra-long graphene nanoribbons

    Moreno C., Paradinas M., Vilas-Varela M., Panighel M., Ceballos G., Peña D., Mugarza A. Chemical Communications; 54 (68): 9402 - 9405. 2018. 10.1039/c8cc04830d. IF: 6.290

  • Structure and electronic states of vicinal Ag(111) surfaces with densely kinked steps

    Ortega J.E., Vasseur G., Piquero-Zulaica I., Matencio S., Valbuena M.A., Rault J.E., Schiller F., Corso M., Mugarza A., Lobo-Checa J. New Journal of Physics; 20 (7, 073010) 2018. 10.1088/1367-2630/aacbb7. IF: 3.579

  • Towards microscopic control of the magnetic exchange coupling at the surface of a topological insulator

    Philipp Rüßmann, Sanjoy K Mahatha, Paolo Sessi, Miguel A Valbuena, Thomas Bathon, Kai Fauth, Sylvie Godey, Aitor Mugarza, Konstantin A Kokh, Oleg E Tereshchenko, Pierluigi Gargiani, Manuel Valvidares, Erika Jiménez, Nicholas B Brookes, Matthias Bode, Gustav Bihlmayer, Stefan Blügel, Phivos Mavropoulos, Carlo Carbone, Alessandro Barla Journal of Physics: Materials; 1 (1): 15002. 2018. 10.1088/2515-7639/aad02a.


  • Electronic Structure of Titanylphthalocyanine Layers on Ag(111)

    Lerch A., Fernandez L., Ilyn M., Gastaldo M., Paradinas M., Valbuena M.A., Mugarza A., Ibrahim A.B.M., Sundermeyer J., Höfer U., Schiller F. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 121 (45): 25353 - 25363. 2017. 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b09147. IF: 4.536

  • Growth of Twin-Free and Low-Doped Topological Insulators on BaF2(111)

    Bonell F., Cuxart M.G., Song K., Robles R., Ordejón P., Roche S., Mugarza A., Valenzuela S.O. Crystal Growth and Design; 17 (9): 4655 - 4660. 2017. 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00525. IF: 4.055

  • Partial oxidation in a dense phase sub-monolayer of Fe-phthalocyanine on Ag(110)

    Bartolomé E., Bartolomé J., Sedona F., Herrero-Albillos J., Lobo J., Piantek M., García L.M., Panighel M., Mugarza A., Sambi M., Bartolomé F. Solid State Phenomena; 257: 219 - 222. 2017. 10.4028/ IF: 0.493

  • Symmetry forbidden morphologies and domain boundaries in nanoscale graphene islands

    Parreiras S.O., Gastaldo M., Moreno C., Martins M.D., Garcia-Lekue A., Ceballos G., Paniago R., Mugarza A. 2D Materials; 4 (2, 025104) 2017. 10.1088/2053-1583/aa70fa. IF: 6.937


  • High Temperature Ferromagnetism in a GdAg2 Monolayer

    Ormaza M., Fernández L., Ilyn M., Magana A., Xu B., Verstraete M.J., Gastaldo M., Valbuena M.A., Gargiani P., Mugarza A., Ayuela A., Vitali L., Blanco-Rey M., Schiller F., Ortega J.E. Nano Letters; 16 (7): 4230 - 4235. 2016. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01197. IF: 13.779

  • Manipulating the Topological Interface by Molecular Adsorbates: Adsorption of Co-Phthalocyanine on Bi2Se3

    Caputo M., Panighel M., Lisi S., Khalil L., Santo G.D., Papalazarou E., Hruban A., Konczykowski M., Krusin-Elbaum L., Aliev Z.S., Babanly M.B., Otrokov M.M., Politano A., Chulkov E.V., Arnau A., Marinova V., Das P.K., Fujii J., Vobornik I., Perfetti L., Mugarza A., Goldoni A., Marsi M. Nano Letters; 16 (6): 3409 - 3414. 2016. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02635. IF: 13.779

  • Superparamagnetism-induced mesoscopic electron focusing in topological insulators

    Sessi P., Rüßmann P., Bathon T., Barla A., Kokh K.A., Tereshchenko O.E., Fauth K., Mahatha S.K., Valbuena M.A., Godey S., Glott F., Mugarza A., Gargiani P., Valvidares M., Long N.H., Carbone C., Mavropoulos P., Blügel S., Bode M. Physical Review B; 94 (7, 075137) 2016. 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.075137. IF: 0.000


  • Exchange bias of TbPc2 molecular magnets on antiferromagnetic FeMn and ferromagnetic Fe films

    Nistor C., Krull C., Mugarza A., Stepanow S., Stamm C., Soares M., Klyatskaya S., Ruben M., Gambardella P. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 92 (18, 184402) 2015. 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.184402. IF: 3.736

  • Spin-flip and element-sensitive electron scattering in the BiAg2 surface alloy

    Schirone S., Krasovskii E.E., Bihlmayer G., Piquerel R., Gambardella P., Mugarza A. Physical Review Letters; 114 (16, 166801) 2015. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.166801. IF: 7.512

  • Substrate-induced stabilization and reconstruction of zigzag edges in graphene nanoislands on Ni(111)

    Garcia-Lekue A., Olle M., Sanchez-Portal D., Palacios J.J., Mugarza A., Ceballos G., Gambardella P. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 119 (8): 4072 - 4078. 2015. 10.1021/jp511069y. IF: 4.772


  • Coupling of single, double, and triple-decker metal-phthalocyanine complexes to ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic substrates

    Lodi Rizzini, A.; Krull, C.; Mugarza, A.; Balashov, T.; Nistor, C.; Piquerel, R.; Klyatskaya, S.; Ruben, M.; Sheverdyaeva, P.M.; Moras, P.; Carbone, C.; Stamm, C.; Miedema, P.S.; Thakur, P.K.; Sessi, V.; Soares, M.; Yakhou-Harris, F.; Cezar, J.C.; Stepanow, S.; Gambardella, P. Surface Science; 630: 361 - 374. 2014. 10.1016/j.susc.2014.07.008. IF: 1.870

  • Fieldlike and antidamping spin-orbit torques in as-grown and annealed Ta/CoFeB/MgO layers

    Avci, C.O.; Garello, K.; Nistor, C.; Godey, S.; Ballesteros, B.; Mugarza, A.; Barla, A.; Valvidares, M.; Pellegrin, E.; Ghosh, A.; Miron, I.M.; Boulle, O.; Auffret, S.; Gaudin, G.; Gambardella, P. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 89: 21 - 214419. 2014. 10.1103/PhysRevB.89.214419. IF: 3.664

  • Metallic thin films on stepped surfaces: lateral scattering of quantum well states

    Schiller, F. ; Abd El-Fattah, Z. M.; Schirone, S. ; Lobo-Checa, J. ; Urdanpilleta, M. ; Ruiz-Osés, M.; Cordón, J.; Corso, M.; Sanchez-Portal, D.; Mugarza, A. ; Ortega, J. E. New Journal of Physics; 16: 123025. 2014. 10.1088/1367-2630/16/12/12302. IF: 3.671

  • Metallic thin films on stepped surfaces: Lateral scattering of quantum well states

    Schiller F., El-Fattah Z.M.A., Schirone S., Lobo-Checa J., Urdanpilleta M., Ruiz-Osés M., Cordón J., Corso M., Sánchez-Portal D., Mugarza A., Ortega J.E. New Journal of Physics; 16 (123025) 2014. 10.1088/1367-2630/16/12/123025.

  • Spin tuning of electron-doped metal-phthalocyanine layers

    Stepanow, S.; Lodi Rizzini, A.; Krull, C.; Kavich, J.; Cezar, J.C.; Yakhou-Harris, F.; Sheverdyaeva, P.M.; Moras, P.; Carbone, C.; Ceballos, G.; Mugarza, A.; Gambardella, P. Journal of the American Chemical Society; 136 (14): 5451 - 5459. 2014. 10.1021/ja501204q. IF: 11.444

  • 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. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.066802. IF: 7.728

  • Structure and magnetism of Tm atoms and monolayers on W(110)

    Nistor, C.; Mugarza, A.; Stepanow, S.; Gambardella, P.; Kummer, K.; Diez-Ferrer, J.L.; Coffey, D.; de la Fuente, C.; Ciria, M.; Arnaudas, J.I. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 2014. 10.1103/PhysRevB.90.064423. IF: 3.664


  • Scattering of surface electrons by isolated steps versus periodic step arrays

    Ortega, J.E.; Lobo-Checa, J.; Peschel, G.; Schirone, S.; Abd El-Fattah, Z.M.; Matena, M.; Schiller, F.; Borghetti, P.; Gambardella, P.; Mugarza, A. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 87 2013. 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.115425. IF: 3.767

  • Site- and orbital-dependent charge donation and spin manipulation in electron-doped metal phthalocyanines

    Krull, C.; Robles, R.; Mugarza, A.; Gambardella, P. Nature Materials; 12: 337 - 343. 2013. 10.1038/nmat3547. IF: 35.749


  • Effect of surface reconstruction on the photoemission cross-section of the Au(111) surface state

    Borghetti, P.; Lobo-Checa, J.; Goiri, E.; Mugarza, A.; Schiller, F.; Enrique Ortega, J.; Krasovskii, E.E. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter; 24 2012. 10.1088/0953-8984/24/39/395006.

  • Electronic and magnetic properties of molecule-metal interfaces: Transition-metal phthalocyanines adsorbed on Ag(100)

    Mugarza, A.; Robles, R.; Krull, C.; Korytár, R.; Lorente, N.; Gambardella, P. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 85 2012. 10.1103/PhysRevB.85.155437.

  • Exchange biasing single molecule magnets: coupling of TbPc2 to antiferromagnetic layers

    A. Lodi Rizzini; C. Krull; T. Balashov; A. Mugarza; C. Nistor; F. Yakhou; V. Sessi; S. Klyatskaya; M. Ruben; S. Stepanow; P. Gambardella Nano Letters; 12: 5703. 2012.


  • Coupling Single Molecule Magnets to Ferromagnetic Substrates

    Lodi Rizzini, A. ; Krull, C. ; Balashov, T.; Kavich, J. J.; Mugarza, A.; Miedema, P. S.; Thakur, P. K.; Sessi, V.; Klyatskaya, S.; Ruben, M. ; Stepanow, S. ; Gambardella, P. Physical Review Letters; 2011. .

  • Determination of the photoelectron reference plane in nanostructured surfaces

    Lobo-Checa, J.; Mugarza, A.; Ortega, J.E.; Michel, E.G. New Journal of Physics; 13 2011. 10.1088/1367-2630/13/10/103013.

  • Localization, splitting, and mixing of field emission resonances induced by alkali metal clusters on Cu(100)

    Stepanow, S.; Mugarza, A.; Ceballos, G.; Gambardella, P.; Aldazabal, I.; Borisov, A.G.; Arnau, A. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 83 2011. 10.1103/PhysRevB.83.115101.

  • Mixed-valence behavior and strong correlation effects of metal phthalocyanines adsorbed on metals

    Stepanow, S.; Miedema, P. S.; Mugarza, A.; Ceballos, G. ; Moras, P. ; Cezar, J. C.; Carbone, C. ; de Groot, F. M. F.; Gambardella, P. Physical Review B; 2011. .

  • Self-Assembled Nanometer-Scale Magnetic Networks on Surfaces: Fundamental Interactions and Functional Properties

    Carbone, C.; Gardonio, S.; Moras, P.; Lounis, S.; Heide, M.; Bihlmayer, G.; Atodiresei, N.; Heinz Dederichs, P.; Blügel, S.; Vlaic, S.; Lehnert, A.; Ouazi, S.; Rusponi, S.; Brune, H.; Honolka, J.; Enders, A.; Kern, K.; Stepanow, S.; Krull, C.; Balashov, T.; Mugarza, A.; Gambardella, P. Advanced Functional Materials; 2011. .

  • Spin coupling and relaxation inside molecule-metal contacts.

    Mugarza, A.; Krull, C.; Robles, R.; Stepanow, S.; Ceballos, G.; Gambardella, P. Nature Communications; 2 2011. 10.1038/ncomms1497.


  • Correlated electrons step by step: Itinerant-to-localized transition of fe impurities in free-electron metal hosts

    Carbone, C.; Veronese, M.; Moras, P.; Gardonio, S.; Grazioli, C.; Zhou, P.H.; Rader, O.; Varykhalov, A.; Krull, C.; Balashov, T.; Mugarza, A.; Gambardella, P.; Lebèque, S.; Eriksson, O.; Katsnelson, M.I.; Lichtenstein, A.I. Physical Review Letters; 104 2010. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.117601.

  • Giant spin and orbital moment anisotropies of a Cu-phthalocyanine monolayer

    Stepanow, S.; Mugarza, A.; Ceballos, G.; Moras, P.; Cezar, J.C.; Carbone, C.; Gambardella, P. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; 82 2010. 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.014405.

  • Orbital specific chirality and homochiral self-assembly of achiral molecules induced by charge transfer and spontaneous symmetry breaking

    Mugarza A., Lorente N., Ordejón P., Krull C., Stepanow S., Bocquet M.-L., Fraxedas J., Ceballos G., Gambardella P. Physical Review Letters; 105 (11, 115702) 2010. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.115702.


  • Direct evidence of imprinted vortex states in the antiferromagnet of exchange biased microdisks

    Salazar-Alvarez, G.; Kavich, J.J.; Sort, J.; Mugarza, A.; Stepanow, S.; Potenza, A.; Marchetto, H.; Dhesi, S.S.; Baltz, V.; Dieny, B.; Weber, A.; Heyderman, L.J.; Nogués, J.; Gambardella, P. Applied Physics Letters; 95 2009. 10.1063/1.3168515.

  • La ciencia de superficies: aplicación al estudio de la adsorción del agua

    Mugarza, A.; Herranz, T.; Salmeron, M. Revista Española de Física; 23: 17. 2009. .

  • Water growth on metal and oxids: binding, dissociation and the role of hydroxyl groups

    Salmeron, M.; Bluhm, H.; Tatarkhanov, M.; Kettler, G.; Shimizu, T.K.; Mugarza, A.; Deng, X.; Herranz, T. Faraday Discussions; 141: 221 - 229. 2009. 10.1039/B806516K.


  • Adsorption of water on O(2×2)/Ru(0001): Thermal stability and inhibition of dissociation

    Mugarza, A.; Shimizu, T.K.; Cabrera-Sanfelix, P.; Sánchez-Portal, D.; Arnau, A.; Salmeron, M. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 112: 14052 - 14057. 2008. 10.1021/jp8026622.

  • Structure and reactions of carbon and hydrogen on Ru(0001): A scanning tunneling microscopy study

    Shimizu, T.K.; Mugarza, A.; Cerdá, J.I.; Salmeron, M. Journal of Chemical Physics; 129 2008. 10.1063/1.2991434.

  • Surface species formed by the adsorption and dissociation of water molecules on a Ru(0001) surface containing a small coverage of carbon atoms studied by scanning tunneling microscopy

    Shimizu, T.K.; Mugarza, A.; Cerdá, J.I.; Heyde, M.; Qi, Y.; Schwarz, U.D.; Ogletree, D.F.; Salmeron, M. Journal of Physical Chemistry C; 112: 7445 - 7454. 2008. 10.1021/jp711097j.

  • Water growth on metals and oxides: Binding, dissociation and role of hydroxyl groups

    Salmeron, M.; Bluhm, H.; Tatarkhanov, M.; Ketteler, G.; Shimizu, T.K.; Mugarza, A.; Deng, X.; Herranz, T.; Yamamoto, S.; Nilsson, A. Faraday Discussions; 141: 221 - 229. 2008. 10.1039/b806516k.

  • Water on surfaces studied by Scanning Probe Microscopies

    A.Verdaguer; A. Mugarza; J. Fraxedas Contributions to Science; 4: 141 - 155. 2008. .