Staff directory Ramiro Pérez Becher

Ramiro Pérez Becher

Visiting TFG Student
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Nanostructured Functional Materials



  • Grating-Graphene Metamaterial as a Platform for Terahertz Nonlinear Photonics

    Deinert J.-C., Alcaraz Iranzo D., Pérez R., Jia X., Hafez H.A., Ilyakov I., Awari N., Chen M., Bawatna M., Ponomaryov A.N., Germanskiy S., Bonn M., Koppens F.H.L., Turchinovich D., Gensch M., Kovalev S., Tielrooij K.-J. ACS Nano; 15 (1): 1145 - 1154. 2021. 10.1021/acsnano.0c08106. IF: 15.881

    Nonlinear optics is an increasingly important field for scientific and technological applications, owing to its relevance and potential for optical and optoelectronic technologies. Currently, there is an active search for suitable nonlinear material systems with efficient conversion and a small material footprint. Ideally, the material system should allow for chip integration and room-temperature operation. Two-dimensional materials are highly interesting in this regard. Particularly promising is graphene, which has demonstrated an exceptionally large nonlinearity in the terahertz regime. Yet, the light-matter interaction length in two-dimensional materials is inherently minimal, thus limiting the overall nonlinear optical conversion efficiency. Here, we overcome this challenge using a metamaterial platform that combines graphene with a photonic grating structure providing field enhancement. We measure terahertz third-harmonic generation in this metamaterial and obtain an effective third-order nonlinear susceptibility with a magnitude as large as 3 × 10-8 m2/V2, or 21 esu, for a fundamental frequency of 0.7 THz. This nonlinearity is 50 times larger than what we obtain for graphene without grating. Such an enhancement corresponds to a third-harmonic signal with an intensity that is 3 orders of magnitude larger due to the grating. Moreover, we demonstrate a field conversion efficiency for the third harmonic of up to ∼1% using a moderate field strength of ∼30 kV/cm. Finally, we show that harmonics beyond the third are enhanced even more strongly, allowing us to observe signatures of up to the ninth harmonic. Grating-graphene metamaterials thus constitute an outstanding platform for commercially viable, CMOS-compatible, room-temperature, chip-integrated, THz nonlinear conversion applications. © 2021 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


  • Pentacene/TiO2 Anatase Hybrid Interface Study by Scanning Probe Microscopy and First Principles Calculations

    Todorović M., Stetsovych O., Moreno C., Shimizu T.K., Custance O., Pérez R. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces; 10 (40): 34718 - 34726. 2018. 10.1021/acsami.8b09203. IF: 8.097

    The understanding and control of the buried interface between functional materials in optoelectronic devices is key to improving device performance. We combined atomic resolution scanning probe microscopy with first-principles calculations to characterize the technologically relevant organic/inorganic interface structure between pentacene molecules and the TiO2 anatase (101) surface. A multipass atomic force microscopy imaging technique overcomes the technical challenge of imaging simultaneously the corrugated anatase substrate, molecular adsorbates, monolayers, and bilayers at the same level of detail. Submolecular resolution images revealed the orientation of the adsorbates with respect to the substrate and allowed direct insights into interface formation. Pentacene molecules were found to physisorb parallel to the anatase substrate in the first contact layer, passivating the surface and promoting bulk-like growth in further organic layers. While molecular electronic states were not significantly hybridized by the substrate, simulations predicted localized pathways for molecule-surface charge injection. The localized states were associated with the molecular lowest unoccupied molecular orbital inside the oxide conduction band, pointing to efficient transfer of photo-induced electron charge carriers across this interface in prospective photovoltaic devices. In uncovering the atomic arrangement and favorable electronic properties of the pentacene/anatase interface, our findings testify to the maturity and analytic power of our methodology in further studies of organic/inorganic interfaces. © 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • Atomic species identification at the (101) anatase surface by simultaneous scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscopy

    Stetsovych O., Todorovi A.M., Shimizu T.K., Moreno C., Ryan J.W., León C.P., Sagisaka K., Palomares E., Matolín V., Fujita D., Perez R., Custance O. Nature Communications; 6 ( 7265) 2015. 10.1038/ncomms8265. IF: 11.470

    Anatase is a pivotal material in devices for energy-harvesting applications and catalysis. Methods for the accurate characterization of this reducible oxide at the atomic scale are critical in the exploration of outstanding properties for technological developments. Here we combine atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), supported by first-principles calculations, for the simultaneous imaging and unambiguous identification of atomic species at the (101) anatase surface. We demonstrate that dynamic AFM-STM operation allows atomic resolution imaging within the materiala € s band gap. Based on key distinguishing features extracted from calculations and experiments, we identify candidates for the most common surface defects. Our results pave the way for the understanding of surface processes, like adsorption of metal dopants and photoactive molecules, that are fundamental for the catalytic and photovoltaic applications of anatase, and demonstrate the potential of dynamic AFM-STM for the characterization of wide band gap materials. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.