Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices

Group Leader: Sergio Valenzuela

ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group 2019

Main Research Lines

  • Development of novel nanodevice structures and nanofabrication methods to investigate the physical properties of materials at the nanoscale and their technological relevance

  • Investigation of topological properties and low energy propagation of information in quantum anomalous edge states

  • Spin and thermal transport in 2D systems such as topological insulators, graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides

  • Control of the magnetic state of ferro- and antiferromagnetic systems by means of the spin-orbit interaction and, particularly, the spin Hall effect

  • Coupling in hybrid magnon-phonon-photon systems

  • Quantum circuitry and quantum transduction

The Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group focuses on the development of novel devices specifically designed to gain insight into physical properties of materials at the nanoscale, combining state of the art lithographic and chemical methods with magnetic and electrical transport characterisation.

The Group’s research is currently centred on spintronic devices in metals, graphene and topological insulators, including thermoelectric effects. Spintronics introduces the spin degree of freedom into device design and has been predicted to enable a revolutionary class of electronics with functionalities exceeding current semiconductor technology. Conventional electronic devices are based on charge carriers and their associated energy, which limits their speed due to energy dissipation. Spintronics, which is based on spin orientation and spin coupling, promises much higher speeds, low power demands, non-volatility and higher integration densities.

Group Leader

Sergio Valenzuela

ICREA Research Professor

Sergio Valenzuela obtained his PhD in Physics in 2001 at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina) and held research positions at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since July 2008 he has been an ICREA Research Professor and leader of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group. His research is focused on the unique properties of materials with nanoscale dimensions, motivated by both their intrinsic scientific interest and their potential for advanced electronic applications. His work encompasses spintronics, quantum computation with superconducting circuits and quantum metrology. Together with his collaborators, he has pioneered the use of non-local devices to study the spin Hall effect and of thermopiles to isolate the magnon drag in ferromagnetic materials, and he has implemented novel qubit control and spectroscopy methods.

Prof. Valenzuela was awarded the 2001 Giambiagi Prize and the 2009 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Magnetism for his contributions to the field of spintronics, as well as an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2012. He has authored over 70 articles (Nature, Science, Reviews of Modern Physics, Nature Materials, Nature Physics, Nature Nanotechnology, Physical Review Letters, among others), four patents, and five books or book chapters.


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