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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Three stay proposals funded via the Severo Ochoa Outbound Mobility Programme

ICN2 researchers Dr Thomas Guillet, Christian Schäfer, and Peng Xiao will be able to complete a short stay at internationally renowned centres to develop part of their research and acquire new expertise. Applications for the Severo Ochoa Outbound Mobility Programme, which covers expenses up to 3000 euros, will be open until the end of September 2021.

The first round of the ICN2 Severo Ochoa Outbound Mobility Programme has just been closed and three proposals have been accepted for funding. The Outbound Mobility Programme is meant to provide financial support (for a maximum amount of 3000 euros) to ICN2 eligible researchers who would like to undertake research stays at internationally recognized centres. The recipients of this round are Dr Thomas Guillet, Christian Schäfer, and Peng Xiao.

Dr Thomas Guillet, a post-doctoral researcher who has recently joined the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group led by ICREA Prof. Sergio O. Valenzuela, will spend two weeks at Spintec in Grenoble (France), in the Two-Dimensional and Semiconductor Spintronics Group, led by Dr Matthieu Jamet.

Dr Guillet is currently working on the development of state-of-the-art heterostructures based on topological insulators (TIs) and (2D) ferromagnetic materials (FMs). He is exploring the idea of harnessing the high spin-orbit torque efficiency originating from the topological surface states of the TI to manipulate the magnetization direction of the FM. During his two-week stay at the Spintec centre, one of the leading research laboratories in spintronics, Dr Guillet will characterize the spin-orbit torque efficiency of TI/2D-FM and TI/FM based microdevices, by means of high magnetic field magneto-transport and scanning Kerr microscopy studies. This stay will also contribute to strengthening the already existing collaboration between the two research centres.

Christian Schäfer, a PhD student in the Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices Group led by ICREA Prof. José Garrido, will spend one month at the Flexible Electronic Devices Laboratory of Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea), led by Prof. Jong-Hyun Ahn.

While developing his PhD thesis project, Schäfer has gained strong expertise in large-area deposition of MoS2 thin films by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The purpose of his stay at the Yonsei University is to upscale the process to larger substrate areas, since the ICN2 growth reactor is limited to cm-scale sample fabrication, by profiting from the wafer-scale growth capability of Prof. Ahn’s lab. The process will be also performed on surface-treated sapphire templates, with the aim of enabling a route to high-quality, epitaxial MoS2 growth for application in field-effect transistors (FETs). Arrays of these transistors could act as a switching matrix for multiplexing of the graphene-based, flexible neural sensors developed by Prof. Garrido’s group.

Peng Xiao, a PhD student in the Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group led by ICREA Prof. Clivia Sotomayor Torres, will spend two months in the Thermodynamics and Biophysics of Small System Group, at the Institut Neel in Grenoble, France.

Peng Xiao is studying thermal and sensing properties of two-dimensional (2D) Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs), which are considered as promising thermoelectric materials for generating electrical energy from temperature gradient. The purpose of his research is to study the thermoelectric performance of devices based on two TMDs –MoS2 and SnSe2– and try to improve their figure of merit (ZT) values. The host group in Neel Institute, and particularly the team led by Prof. Olivier Bourgeois, has a unique expertise in measuring thermoelectric properties, such as Seebeck coefficient or electrical and thermal conductivities in low dimensional systems, including nanomembranes and nanowires. They offer the possibility of measurements from 0.3K to 300K, which is not currently available in P2N group. The costs of Xiao’s stay will be partially covered by his PROBIST PhD grant.

Applications to the ICN2 Severo Ochoa Outbound Mobility Programme are still open and will stay so until 27 September 2021, when the ICN2 Internationalization Committee will meet to evaluate the new proposals.