Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures

Group Leader: Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres

ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group 2019

Main Research Lines

  • Nanophononics and nanophotonics

  • Nanoscale thermal transport

  • Optomechanics

  • Nanofabrication

  • Nanometrology

  • Oxide-based nanostructures

During 2019, the group has been working on six EU Horizon 2020 ongoing projects: PHENOMEN, All-phononics circuits enabled by opto-mechanics, FET Open project, coordinated by Prof. Sotomayor; NANOPOLY, Artificial permittivity and permeability engineering for future generation sub wavelength analogue integrated circuits and systems, FET Open project; TOCHA, Dissipationless topological channels for information transfer and quantum metrology, FET Proactive project; NANOSMART, NANO components for electronic SMART wireless Systems, ICT project; FLEXPOL, Antimicrobial FLEXible POLymers for use in hospital environments, NMPB PILOTS project; D-SPA, Diamond-based nanomaterials and nanostructures for advanced electronic and photonic application, MSCA RISE project.

The group was also involved in two Spanish National Plan projects -- SIP (Surface and interface reshaped phonon propagation and phonon coupling to photons) and SMOOTH (Optomechanical devices based on self-assembled and active materials), coordinated by Dr Garcia — and one “RIS3CAT Industries del futur” project — PLASTFUN (Pilot plant for plastic parts with advanced functional surfaces).

The Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures group achieved important research results during the past year of activity, a selection of which is given below.

In the field of thermal transport at the nanoscale, we demonstrated the crossover from ballistic to diffusive regime using scanning thermal probe microscopy in suspended crystalline graphene layers. In suspended polycrystalline MoS2 layers, we showed that the thermal transport is determined by the size and orientation of the grains, which can be used to tune structurally the thermal properties. The role of disorder was studied in suspended membranes patterned with disordered 2-dimensional phononic crystals, demonstrating the importance of filling fraction and distribution of features to reduce the thermal conductivity by, for example, a factor of 15% from circular to non-circular disordered ones. Our work earned us an invitation to write the review “2D Phononic Crystals: Progress and Prospects in Hypersound and Thermal Transport Engineering”, which appeared in Advanced Functional Materials.

In the hot topic of radiative cooling, the group reported 14-degree Celsius cooling at ambient temperature using the sky as heat reservoir and the concept of surface-phonon polaritons. This work allowed the group to be assigned a COLLIDER project, aimed at pushing forward this research and producing a device that could reach the market. These news were reported in the La Vanguardia newspaper, among other media outlets.

Our research in optomechanics, part of the EU FET Open PHENOMEN project, reached new heights with the demonstration of genuine synchronisation of optomechanical nanobeams by mechanical interaction, a result that earned the authors mentions in Physics World.

In addition, in collaboration with Dr D. Lanzillotti Kimura (CNRS), we obtained the generation and detection of acoustic phonons in topological cavities, as a first step in our experimental research on topological phonons.

Group Leader

ICREA Research Prof. Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, leader of the ICN2 group Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures

Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres

ICREA Research Professor

ICREA Research Prof. Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres was awarded her PhD in physics in 1984 by the University of Manchester (UK). She then held tenured academic appointments at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Glasgow in the UK, before becoming a C4 professor at Universität Wuppertal (Germany) in 1996. She was a research professor at the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork (Ireland), from 2004 to 2008. Since May 2007 she has been an ICREA Research Professor based at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (formerly, the ICN).

She has received awards from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Nuffield Foundation and an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from Zonta International (USA). She has authored over 500 scientific publications, receiving over 8900 citations, and has edited/co-edited six books (Researcher ID: E-8418-2010, H-index 46).

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