Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group

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 2018, five EU 2020 projects were ongoing (PHENOMEN All-phononics circuits enabled by opto-mechanics, coordinated by Prof. Sotomayor; NANOARCHITECTRONICS, FET Open, CSA; FLEXPOL Antimicrobial FLEXible POLymers for use in hospital environments, NBMP, PILOTS; D-SPA Diamond-based nanomaterials and nanostructures for advanced electronic and photonic applications, MSCA, RISE, and NEREID NanoElectronics Roadmap for Europe: Identification and Dissemination, CSA ICT), one Spanish National Plan project PHENTOM (Phonon Engineering for Advanced Thermal Management at the Nanoscale and Room Temperature optomechanics), one BIST Ignite project NANO2DHEAT (Nanoscale Heat Transport in 2D layered materials), one RIS3CAT Indústries del futur project (PLASTFUN, Pilot plant for plastic parts with advanced functional surfaces).

We passed several milestones in our research endeavours.

Concerning the effect of local resonances and disorder on phonon trapping, their group velocity and confinement, we demonstrated the existence of phononic bandgaps in the range of 2-7 GHz arising from local resonances and Bragg scattering in lithium niobate. We also showed Anderson localisation in optomechanical crystals and that positional disorder does not affect the lower frequencies of 2D phononic crystals. Taken together, these finding underpin future phonon manipulation for specific functions.

With respect to the thermal conductivity in the nano-scale, we investigated how the suitably designed structures, including feature sizes of 10 nm, with optimised morphology, size and order, enabled the tuning of the thermal conductivity over almost two orders of magnitude. Our studies were bases on unsupported silicon membranes, silicongermanium alloy nanowires and the 2D material MoS2. Work in progress is looking at energy applications of these findings.

In the exploration of phonon-photon coupling we succeeded in realising a practical phonon source and unveiling a rich set of fundamentally different complex dynamics in structures moving between synchronised and chaotic regimes, of particular interest for secure communications.

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 Professor 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 universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow universities 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).

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