Prof. Josep Fontcuberta

I got my degree in Physics (1977) and the PhD on Physics (1982) at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB). After stages at the Laboratory of Crystallography (CNRS) in Grenoble and at the Inorganic Chemistry Lab. of Oxford University, working in the J. C. Joubert and J. B. Goodenough's groups, respectively, I returned back to UB, teaching Crystallography and Crystallochemistry, Nuclear Physics and Solid State Physics and becoming Professor on Condensed Matter Physics. On 1990 I moved to the ICMAB to contribute building a new Laboratory and research group on Magnetism and Superconductivity. Since 2000 I am full Research Professor coordinating the research activity within the Laboratory of Multifunctional Oxides and Complex Structures. I became Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Magnetics Society on 2016.

I am mostly interested on functional oxides. These strongly correlated electronic systems display fascinating ferroic (i.e. magnetic, ferroelectric), electric, optic, properties etc, that have motivated my research and that of the group I am leading. I am a material’s scientist and I have devoted much effort to the preparation and epitaxial growth of complex oxides and to the study of the relationship between their structure, microstructure and functional properties. Nowadays, my research activity is focused on exploiting oxide thin films for efficient manipulation of data storage using magnetic and ferroelectric materials, and their potential use in photovoltaics for energy harvesting. I’m persuaded that oxides can play a very important role in advanced high-tech devices and I’m pushing for the development of either new applications or new-concept devices.

Dr. Ignasi Fina

I studied Physics at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) (2006) and did my PhD on Physics (2012) at the ICMAB and UB. During my first postdoc position I developed a project on new functionalities and phenomena in multiferroic materials. During my second postdoc at the Max Planck Institute in Halle (Germany) and after at the University of Warwick (UK), I focused on the spintronic functionalities present in multiferroic systems and antiferromagnetic materials. During these two years, I also diversified my expertise working on growth of materials (metals, semiconductors, insulators and ferroelectrics), lithography techniques (e-beam and UV), photoelectric phenomena, and magnetic nanocharacterization. I carried out my third postdoc at Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). The aim of this third postdoc stage was the realization of a precompetitive device based on ferroelectric materials.

Currently, I occupy a position of Ramon y Cajal researcher at the ICMAB-CSIC focusing my work on two lines of research. The first one, on the electrical control of magnetic order in antiferromagnets in order to be able to develop energy efficient antiferromagnetic based devices, and the second one, on the use of photoferroelectrics for sun energy harvesting applications. The first research line has a high degree of internationalization with collaborations with labs in USA and around Europe and merges two of my previous research lines: magnetoelectric coupling and antiferromagnetic spintronics; the second, more at early stages, tries to take advantage of my broad background on ferroelectrics.


Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures

Oxides offer an extremely broad range of properties of major interest for science and technology. Magnetic data recording and sensing, ferroelectric data storage, piezoelectric actuators, energy harvesting in solar cells, catalysers, ionic conductors for fuel cells and superconductors for energy transport and storage are just few examples of some functional properties. We are interested on developing new oxide-based materials with enhanced or emerging properties with especial focus on their electric, magnetic and optical properties, and to establish the links between their structure, morphology and functional properties.