Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group

Group Leader: Sergio Valenzuela

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

  • 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

In 2017 the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group continued its work under the H2020 Graphene Flagship programme to develop spintronic applications with graphene and related 2D materials. The group has experimentally demonstrated anisotropic spin relaxation in graphene caused by spin-orbit proximity effects from a transition metal dichalcogenide, and proposed and observed the generation of thermoelectric spin voltages driven by hot carriers in graphene. The group has continued to make progress in its ERC Starting Grant project to explore the spin properties of materials with large spin-orbit interaction, in particular topological insulators grown in a dual-chamber molecular beam epitaxial (MBE) system to develop spin torque measurements in topological insulator/ferromagnet structures, and study proximity effects by ferromagnetic insulators and molecules. Work has also been carried out within the context of the Spintronics in 2-Dimensional Dirac Systems (S2DDS) project, supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) to investigate the spin Hall effect, and the charge and spin transport properties of graphene, including the growth of CVD graphene, the electrical injection and detection of hot carriers, and spin-to-charge efficiency in graphene/metal hybrids. The group is also participating in the SpinTronicFactory network to coordinate EU spintronics activities, is a member of FWO network (WOG project) on the functional properties of two-dimensional nanostructured materials and represents the Bellaterra node of the recently funded MINECO Spintronics Network. In 2017 a new collaboration was established with researchers at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center on quantum computation. The group also began research on hybrid magnon-phonon-photon systems.

Group Leader

Sergio Valenzuela


Prof. 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 Prof. Valenzuela has been an ICREA research professor and leader of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanoelectronic Devices Group.

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