ERC Advanced Grant to Prof. Dr Clivia Sotomayor Torres

March 31, 2020

ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia Sotomayor Torres, leader of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group, has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant to head a five-year project in which the interconnect energy-consumption challenge using an innovative approach will be investigated. Named LEIT, from “Lossless information for emerging information technologies”, this project will develop structures that allow taking advantage of phonon properties to transmit information using small amounts of energy.

Phonons, which are quanta of lattice vibration, can be used as information carriers and their transmission requires only a fraction of a millielectronVolt (meV) of energy, which is very low compared to present systems using electrons and/or light as carriers. The drawback of this approach is that phonons suffer phonon-phonon scattering and losses in waveguides caused by interaction with lattice defects and other complex phenomena.

In the LEIT project, Prof. Sotomayor and her group will design novel crystal structures that, thanks to a unique combination of features, will permit phonon filtering, reflection and confinement, as well as transmission from one element to another. These phononic topological waveguides will be aimed at reducing losses and ensuring a longer phonon lifetime to transmit signals. The structures will be made from silicon (Si) and Si-compatible materials, also incorporating transition metal dichalcogenides, thus they can be easily integrated in current electronic circuitry.

Self-assembled microspheres article mentioned in local news

November 21, 2019

Our recent published article: "A Self‐Assembled 2D Thermofunctional Material for Radiative Cooling" authored By J. Jaramillo-Fernandez has been recognized by several Spanish newspapers as scientific breakthrough in thermal management. Renowned newspaper as La Vanguardia and La Razón highlighted our research in their pages. In addition a local  TV channel (TV3) mentioned in its webpage. It is important to remark that the importance of  this kind of technologies has not gone unnoticed. Part of our team (J Jaramillo-Fernandez, A. Francone and N. Kehagias) have also developed another material that is easily up-scalable and is capable of providing both radiative cooling and self-cleaning. The Collider, a technology transfer program promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona that connects scientific research with entrepreneurial initiative, has awarded this project The Collider Tech Award 2019, a prize that encourages further development of this research line on radiative cooling materials. A European patent protecting the intellectual property rights of this technology was filed on 31 July 2019 by the ICN2 and ICREA.

Self-assembled microspheres of silica to cool surfaces without energy consumption

November 17, 2019

Researchers from the ICN2 and the ICMM-CSIC have developed a new material able to cool another one by emitting infrared radiation. The results are published in Small and are expected to be used in devices where an increase in temperature has drastic effects on performance, like solar panels and computer systems, among other applications.

A way out of this loop has been found by researchers from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) in collaboration with researchers from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC). Members of the ICN2 P2N Group, led by ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres, and the ICMM Photonic Crystals Group have reported a novel two-dimensional material able to remove heat, cooling down the surface in which it is placed without energy consumption or gas emissions of any kind. The work has been published in Small, with Dr Juliana Jaramillo-Fernández, who is a Marie Slodowska-Curie COFUND Postdoctoral Researcher at the ICN2, as its first author.

Our paper highlighted in physics world

August 18, 2019

Independent optomechanical nano-oscillators vibrate in sync

From the Huygens pendulum clocks in the seventeenth century onwards, the synchronization of coupled oscillators has had numerous practical uses. While most of these applications have been in mechanical and electrical engineering, nowadays there is increasing focus on applications in biology and neuroscience. With the development of nanotechnologies, scientists’ efforts have centred on synchronizing oscillatory nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), for applications such as on-chip time keeping, and mass, gas, and force sensors.

Exploring the vibrations of objects in the nanoscale: META 2019

July 22, 2019

A special session on Nanophonics and nanomechancis, organized by Pedro David Garcia (Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia - ICN2, Spain) and Daniel Lanzillotti-Kimura (Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanostructures - C2N, France) was held at META 2019 – Lisbon to discuss recent development of this research field.


From July 23 – 26 July, the 10th edition of the International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics (META) took place at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, (Portugal). A special session on nanophotonics and nanomechanics was organized by Dr. Pedro David García Fernandez of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures group and Dr. Daniel Lanzilotti-Kimura from the CNRS (France).

Maria del Rocio Rodriguez Laguna receives Ph.D. for her research on Heat transfer fluids: From fundamental aspects of graphene nanofluids at room temperature to molten salts formulations for solar-thermal conversion

July 25, 2019

Congratulation to María del Rocio Rodriguez who defended his Ph.D. thesis successfully. Her research focused on the thermal properties of graphene-based nanofluids and multicationic molten salts. This work explored the mechanisms behind of the enhancement of the thermal conductivity in nanofluids as well as look for the conditions to decrease the melting point in complex molten salts. The work was carried out as a part of Severo Ochoa joint project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Clivia Sotomayor and Dr. Emigdio Chávez-Angel from P2N group and  Prof. Dr. Pedro Gomez-Romero from NEO group.

“Radiative Cooling” is awarded by The Collider Programme of Mobile World Capital Barcelona

July 17, 2019

Last 8 July, at the Pier 01 Barcelona Tech City, Dr Juliana Jaramillo and Cristina Morales, from the ICN2 P2N Group collected The Collider Tech Award 2019. The prize was awarded to the “Radiative Cooling” project, conceived and developed by Dr Juliana Jaramillo (Marie-Slodowska-Curie P-SPHERE fellow), Dr Achille Francone and Dr Nikolaos Kehagias, all of them from the P2N Group led by ICREA Prof. Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres. The project was among the 15 awarded initiatives selected from a long list of over 150 candidates.

The invention deals with the cooling of a surface or device when a hybrid microstructure is applied on its exterior surface. In particular, they have developed and demonstrated a dual functionality micro-structured film which provides both passive radiative cooling and self-cleaning. The approach is adaptable to many devices, and could be integrated directly on a surface requiring cooling and/or as a large area adhesive film on a surface requiring cooling and self-cleaning. This dual functionality is of particular interest for applications such as photovoltaic panels, which need a clean surface and an optimal temperature for maximum performance.

Synchronizing Nanosized “Pendulums”: Featured in Physics Review Letters

June 30, 2019

Daniel Navarro-Urrios from the University of Barcelona (visiting professor of P2N group) and colleagues have replicate the synchronization of two couple pendulums using nanoscaled optomechanical resonators. Their findings shows that the network of these nano-oscillators could act as a tunable system for studying problems related to collective dynamics of pendulum-like objects.

The experiment consisted in the fabrication of two similar optomechanical resonators connected via a tin wire in their extremes. This connection provided a mechanical link between the oscillators, mimicking the original pendulum synchronization experiment of Huygen.

The modification of the “swinging” of each "pendulum" was set by using an external laser. This action caused each "pendulum" to produce oscillatory optical and mechanical signals analogous to the repeated ticks of a clock. The signals from the two initially unsynchronized crystals quickly synced up, with their “swings” moving in antiphase, meaning that the signal from one oscillator was the mirror image of the other.


These findings shown the first “unambiguously” synchronization of two optomechanical cavities.

Photonics & Electromagnetics Research Symposium: Piers in Rome special session on disordered photonics

June 26, 2019

Dr. P.D. García  together with Dr. Jacopo Bertolotti from Exeter Uni. (UK) has organized a session at PIERS – Rome on disordered photonics which included topics ranging from imaging, focusing and computing with light in complex media, random lasing or light-matter interaction in non-periodic dielectric nanostructures with great international invited speakers as Prof. Hui Cao (Yale University), Prof. Sylvain Gigan (École Normale Supérieure, Paris), Dr. Riccardo Sapienza (Imperial College London) or Prof. Massimo Gurioli (Università di Firenze). Understanding and engineering the interaction of light with complex dielectric is of great interest for applications such as improving the efficiency of energy harvesting and on the analysis and exploration of biological tissues.


June 13, 2019

Integration of multiple disciplines and varied fields of expertise has historically spurred tremendous growth and advances that would not be otherwise possible. The NANOARCHITECTRONICS project is at the forefront of the next great fusion. Take a look to the final report and main results.

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Created  by E.Chavez-Angel