Research Lines

Synthesis and Characterization of Technological Materials

Our research currently focuses on the following families of technological materials: (i) multiferroic oxides based on the improper ferroelectricity mechanism and mesocrystalline spinel oxides; and (ii) molecular materials exhibiting magnetic behavior and/or magneto-optic properties. The goal is to obtain functional materials for information storage devices with low-power consumption at room temperature and efficient quantum devices at the molecular scale. The atomic (and orbital) selectivity provided by synchrotron radiation spectroscopic techniques is essential to determine the atomic (and molecular) structure in correlation with the electronic (and magnetic) properties of these materials.

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Development of multifunctional nanostructures

In this research line we aim at developing nanomaterials useful in spintronics and quantum information technologies by growing: (i) thin films that combine layers of oxides with high spin-orbit coupling and ferromagnetic and/or metallic layers, and (ii) multifunctional low-dimensional architectures with atomically defined morphology including both two-dimensional and three-dimensional molecular nanostructures. Here, we will exploit the very high brightness of synchrotron radiation to study the small amounts of sample in the characterization of these nanomaterials.

Scientific and technological innovation

We also work in different scientific and/or technological developments directly connected to our basic research. On one hand, we continue our innovation work in the recovery, purification and liquefaction of helium in collaboration with the company Quantum Design, as well as in the development of quantitative sensors for traces of hydrogen. In another line, we focus on the study of solid-state caloric effects for applications in clean and efficient cooling near ambient temperature. In particular, we survey the caloric response of lead-free ferroelectric oxides to two different stimuli: electric field (electrocaloric effect) and pressure (barocaloric effect). Lastly, we also work in the development of new coherent X-ray imaging techniques.
Liquefier ATL 160