The interests and expertise of our Group Leaders range from the most fundamental aspects of the science of light, to its applications in fields as diverse as biological imaging, materials science, communications technology, and clean energy sources.

They have been chosen for their international scientific stature and capacity for ground-breaking original research, and regularly publish in leading international scientific journals. Collectively, they have received 18 ERC Grants, as well as top international prizes, honours, and hold a number of prestigious industrial research chairs.

You can find more details about ICFO’s Research Groups and Group Leaders here.

We conduct research at the ultrafast limits of time in atoms, molecules and solid state to unravel in real time how electrons cause triggering events that lead to quantum correlations, molecular dissociation and chemical reactions, excitonic energy transfer or even biological function. Our research is diverse and includes pioneering development of new sources of high power and intense few-cycle pulses, frequency combs at long wavelengths, attosecond soft X-ray pulses, electron coincidence imaging techniques and more.

Prof. Jens Biegert
Prof. Jens BiegertAttoscience and Ultrafast Optics

We study how quantum laws can be exploited to design novel protocols for information processing and communication, with an emphasis on quantum cryptography.

 Prof. Antonio Acín
Prof. Antonio Acín Quantum Information Theory

Our goal is to explore new physical phenomena using nanomechanical resonators based on single nanoscale objects.

Prof. Adrian Bachtold
Prof. Adrian BachtoldQuantum NanoMechanics

Nanophotonic systems offer new opportunities to create quantum states of light and matter that have never before existed. We aim to predict the novel phenomena that can emerge and develop theoretical tools to understand the sometimes complex behavior.

Prof. Darrick Chang
Prof. Darrick ChangTheoretical Quantum-Nano Photonics

We are an interdisciplinary team that develops new state-of-the-art optical techniques to probe tissue function and morphology. Our expertise is in diffuse optical monitoring and tomography which uses photon diffusion to probe “deep” into tissues. We focus on applications in neurology and oncology and in both pre-clinical animal model studies and in clinical human studies.

Prof. Turgut Durduran
Prof. Turgut DurduranMedical Optics

We develop novel coherent light sources with tailorable properties in wavelength regions inaccessible to conventional lasers and other existing technologies. We exploit optical frequency conversion techniques in novel nonlinear materials and deploy innovative design architectures to provide tunable radiation in new and difficult spectral regions from the UV and visible to the near- and mid-IR. We strive to develop cutting-edge frequency conversion technology for transfer from the research laboratory to commercial market for use in real scientific and industrial applications.

Prof. Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh
Prof. Majid Ebrahim-ZadehOptical parametric oscillators

We study of the optical response of nanostructured materials, developing theory to explain and unveil exotic quantum and classical phenomena associated with the interaction of light with such materials.

Prof. Javier García de Abajo
Prof. Javier García de AbajoNanophotonics Theory

We combine single molecule approaches with super-resolution nanoscopy to reveal the spatiotemporal complexity of living cells.

Prof. Maria Garcia-Parajo
Prof. Maria Garcia-ParajoSingle Molecule Biophotonics

We aim to squeeze light down to the smallest nanoscale and fastest femtosecond scale; with these nano-femto-tools we can talk to individual molecules!

Prof. Niek van Hulst
Prof. Niek van HulstMolecular Nanophotonics

We employ advances in nanoscience and we transform them into nanotechnology in solving real-world problems that current technology cannot address or do so at an affordable cost for the benefit of the society. We focus on novel functional nanomaterials, nanostructures and devices for optoelectronics and renewable energy applications, such as developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells.

Prof. Gerasimos Konstantatos
Prof. Gerasimos KonstantatosFunctional Optoelectronic Nanomaterials

We aim to control light by all-electrical means at a scale of a nanometer, by exploiting the unique properties of novel quantum materials, and to discover new optical and opto-electronic phenomena in materials that are only one atom thick (e.g. graphene). By using time-resolved spectroscopy and nanoscopy, we look at the physics of nanometer length scales and femtosecond timescales.

Prof. Frank Koppens
Prof. Frank KoppensNano-Optoelectronics

We are an interdisciplinary group that works at the interface of physics, biology and chemistry. We develop fluorescence imaging techniques with high spatiotemporal resolution and apply these techniques to study questions in biology ranging from neuroscience, cell biology to virology. Our aim is to elucidate fundamental biological questions that also have important implications for health.

Prof. Melike Lakadamyali
Prof. Melike LakadamyaliAdvanced Fluorescence Imaging and Biophysics

The group conducts research at the most important frontiers of atomic, molecular and optical physics and quantum optics with interface to condensed matter and high energy physics. We work on a very broad spectrum of problems, from standard quantum optics, to the physics of matter in ultra-intense and ultra-short laser pulses, attosecond physics, quantum information theory, and the physics of ultra cold quantum gases. In all of these subject we use most of the methods of the contemporary theoretical physics – analytic approaches from quantum field theory to quantum optics, numerical methods   of quantum many body physics and classical statistical physics, quantum information theory etc.

Prof. Maciej Lewenstein
Prof. Maciej LewensteinQuantum Optics Theory

At the Nano-structured organic photovoltaics group we aim at developing novel photonic environments in organic and hybrid solar devices to reach an optimal energy harvesting, recycling or transformation.

Prof. Jordi Martorell
Prof. Jordi MartorellOrganic Nanostructured Photovoltaics

We aim to develop the quantum enhancement strategies that will power the next generation of atomic sensors, for example atomic clocks, magnetometers, and gravimeters.

Prof. Morgan Mitchell
Prof. Morgan MitchellQuantum information with cold atoms and non-classical light

Quantum ideas provide fundamental insights into how Nature works. We aim at going from fundamental science to applied science, translating these quantum information concepts to the realm of what can be called quantum engineering, solving problems based on ideas of quantum information theory.

Prof. Juan P. Torres
Prof. Juan P. TorresQuantum Engineering of Light

We study and develop new advanced materials and devices for the photonics industry. These include ultrathin materials, such as metals, graphene and phase change compounds for transparent electrode and optical switching, nano-structured glass surfaces for antifingerprint, antimicrobial and microfluidic applications, and low cost integrated optical sensors for cell counting, sorting, and DNA sequencing. We work closely with local and international industrial organisations, pursuing fundamental ideas with great potential for revolutionizing future photonic products.

Prof. Valerio Pruneri
Prof. Valerio PruneriOptoelectronics

We aim to combine the latest advances in nano-optics and optomechanics to push the limits of experimental physics and enter yet unexplored physical regimes where mesoscopic objects can be brought in quantum states.

Prof. Romain Quidant
Prof. Romain QuidantPlasmon Nano-Optics

We aim to control the quantum interaction between entangled photons and matter, in order to realize photonic quantum memories and quantum information networks.

Prof. Hugues de Riedmatten
Prof. Hugues de RiedmattenQuantum Photonics with Solids and Atoms

We cool down atomic gases which are about a million times thinner than air to temperatures about a billionth of a degree above absolute zero; trapping them in crystals made of laser light, we can then engineer artificial solids and study them.

Prof. Leticia Tarruell
Prof. Leticia TarruellUltracold Quantum Gases

We aim to exploit the interaction of light with matter to elucidate new strategies for the manipulation, control, shaping, and processing of light beams and signals.

 Prof. Lluis Torner
Prof. Lluis TornerNonlinear optical phenomena

We exploit the full electromagnetic spectrum, from THz to hard X-rays, to watch and control materials on nanoscale with femtosecond timescales. Enabling us to watch directly how complex properties such as magnetism and high temperature superconductivity form.

Prof. Simon Wall
Prof. Simon WallUltrafast Optical Dynamics of Solids

Research Topics

Potential research lines include, but are not limited to:

  • Biomedical optics and biophotonics
  • Nanoscopy and super-resolution imaging
  • BioNanoScience and Cell biophysics
  • Single-molecule physics and bio-physics
  • Nanotechnology and nanophotonics
  • Optomechanics and nanomechanics
  • Quantum optics and Atom optics
  • Quantum information
  • Ultra cold quantum gases
  • Atto-science and ultrafast physics
  • Advanced laser technology
  • Green technologies and photovoltaics
  • Graphene and 2D nanomaterials
  • Photonic Nanomaterials
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Optical Surfaces
  • Optical Sensing
  • Optoelectronics

If you are interested in discussing possible research topics, please contact ICFO Group Leaders directly.