Area 4: New phenomena at the nanoscale (NFN)

Area description

This area studies physical phenomena and new states of matter that are associated with the reduction of the size of materials to the region of 1 to 100 nm, as well as the presence of surfaces and low dimensionality effects.

Deputy - coordinator

DESCRIPTION: This line studies physical phenomena and new states of matter that are associated with the reduction of the size of materials to the region of 1 to 100 nm.
  • Study by magnetotransport measurements of weak location effects on bismuth and topological insulators.
  • Demonstration of ferroelectric behavior in ultrathin polar films induced by the breaking of compositional symmetry on the surface.
  • Development of equipment to measure ferromagnetic resonance and spin and charge current conversion.
  • Preparation of epitaxial thin films of magnetic metal alloys.
  • Direct measurement of magnetoelastic parameters in thin films.
  • Investigation of the origin of the extraordinary Hall effect and the planar Hall effect in iron and magnetite films.
  • Study of the behavior of the superconducting vortex network through magnetotransport measurements.
  • Experience in numerical modelling of the dynamics of biological molecules on the nanoscopic scale, a technique that works like a computational microscopy with atomic resolution and with temporal resolutions in the nano-pico-seconds range.
DESCRIPTION: Study and control of structure and properties, especially magnetic and magnetothermic, of metal nanoparticles and magnetic oxides and their assemblies, through theory, processing, characterization and singular and specialized instrumental development, with particular interest in biomedical challenges.
  • Wide experience in the knowledge and control of structure and magnetism of magnetic nanoparticles of different compositions, phases, shapes, sizes, structures (eg core-shell).
  • Study of the interaction of nanoparticles with radio frequencies (magnetothermy) for their application as hyperthermic agents in biomedicine, and recently also interaction with mechanical waves.
  • Experimental studies of agglomeration phenomena, assembly, interactions and collective effects that arise from the combination of nanoscale magnetism and the discrete nature of these nanomaterials. These phenomena have strong implications for therapeutic capacity and are not described by current theoretical models.
  • Evaluation of the effects of functionalization and nanoparticle-cell interaction.
  • Characterization of nuclear magnetic relaxation in the time domain (Bruker Minispec ad-hoc team) of ferrofluids for their application as contrast agents.
  • Development of its own and unique instrumentation: equipment for the precise characterization of heating capacity (SAR / SLP) and creation of the spin-off company nB Nanoscale Biomagnetics in 2008 (reference and with more 10 years on the market).

DESCRIPTION: Atom-by-atom structural control of materials in order to induce and exploit new functional properties. The design of low-dimensional nanostructures is carried out using bottom-up physicochemical techniques such as atomic manipulation or the self-assembly of molecular precursors.

  • Surface synthesis of nanometric macromolecules (1-20 nm) without the use of solvents that have opto-electronic functionalities and coupling between electronic and spin degrees of freedom. For example, nanographs with zig-zag edges or transition metal phthalocyanines with photosensitive ligands.
  • Generation and characterization on noble metals of nanoporous two-dimensional metal-organic extended networks and one-dimensional polymeric structures under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. The structures have sub-nanometric precision and confine the electrons of the metallic surface, generating electronic bands of coupled quantum dots.
  • Direct study of the electrical polarizability of ultrathin layers of ionic insulators on Cu2N and MgO / Ag001.
  • Creation of artificial magnetic states by atomic manipulation on metallic, magnetic or polar surfaces.
  • Implementation and development of spin polarized STM and inelastic spin spectroscopy.
  • Experience in the theoretical and computational study of friction phenomena at the nanoscale.

DESCRIPTION: This line is focused on understanding and controlling the properties of electromagnetic fields strongly confined in nanosystems, such as nanoparticles, waveguides, atomic width surfaces and materials, among others.


For 20 years the ICMA has carried out research in Nanophotonics Theory and in the INA, the experimental activity in this area dates back more than 15 years. The research carried out includes:

  • Optical transmission through nano-apertures: collective phenomena and localized resonances
  • Plasmonics: theoretical aspects – simulations and measurements of the plasmonic response of metallic nanomaterials at the local scale by electron energy loss spectroscopy.
  • Metallic metamaterials
  • Quantum nanophotonics.
  • Nanophotonics with atomic width two-dimensional materials (graphene, transition metal dicalcogenides, black phosphorus, boron nitride, etc.) and one-dimensional nanomaterials (nanotubes, nanowires).


INMA has maintained a national and international leadership position, as evidenced by its participation in the Graphene Flagship Project, within the Optoelectronics and Industrialization work packages, collaboration with leading experimental groups and highly cited works.

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