Molecular Electronics - Molecular JunctionWhen the characteristics dimensions of a system or a device are shrunk to the nanoscale, their properties change dramatically. The reason for that is that at this scale quantum mechanical effects set in, which leads to novel physical phenomena that, in turn, are often the basis of unforeseen technological applications. One of the main goals of researchers at IFIMAC is the study of the electronic, mechanical, thermal, and optical properties of structures and devices with nanometric dimensions, for which classical laws do not longer apply. For this purpose, we make use of a wide range of nanofabrication techniques, experimental probes, and theoretical tools.

Nature PhysicsSome of our main activities in the field of Nanophysics are related to the theoretical and experimental study of novel low-dimensional systems such as graphene and graphene-based nanostructures. Making use of experimental techniques such as Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES) or Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), IFIMAC researchers also investigate topics like 2D structural phase transitions, surface charge density waves, or the electronic structure of laterally nanostructured systems. Furthermore, we study the growth and properties of nanometer-scale objects on solid surfaces with applications in spintronics, optoelectronics, magnetic recording, nanoscale catalysis, nanomechanical biosensing, medical nanoimaging, etc.

Name that atom - Nature journalOther important areas of expertise in our center are the fields of Nanoelectronics and Quantum Transport. In particular, in recent years researchers at IFIMAC have played a leading role in the understanding of the electronic transport in a great variety of nanoscale systems such as metallic atomic-size contacts, single-molecule junctions, superconducting hybrid structures, or strongly correlated low-dimensional systems.

A very important topic in our center is also the use and modeling of Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs). Thus for instance, from an experimental point of view, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is being currently used for instrumentation, physical virology, and for the study of mechanical and electrical properties of low-dimensional materials. Another key subject is the use of cryogenic Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) for the surface characterization of semiconductor and superconductor nanostructures. From a theoretical point of view, IFIMAC researchers are among the worldwide leaders in the area of ab initio modeling of nanowires and SPMs.

Key References

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    Nature 498, 209 (2013). [URL]
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    Nature Phys. 6, 965 (2010) [cover issue December 2010]. [URL]
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    L. Welte, A. Calzolari, R. Di Felice, F. Zamora, J. Gómez-Herrero,
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    A. Levy Yeyati, F. S. Bergeret, A. Martín-Rodero and T. M. Klapwijk,
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    Y. Sugimoto, P. Jelinek, P. Pou, M. Abe, R. Perez, S. Morita, and O. Custance,
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