The Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) is an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council) founded in December 1986, that belongs to the Area of Science and Technology of Materials, one of the eight Areas in which the CSIC divides its research activities.


Our mission is to create new fundamental and applied knowledge in materials of high technological impact, their processing and their transfer to the productive sectors at local, national and European scales (the true value of materials is in their use), the training of new professionals, and the dissemination of the scientific knowledge.

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Buckling, ripples and dynamical phenomena in suspended graphene
Luis Bonilla  read more


Quantum dots and superconductivity in silicon systems
Floris Zwanenburg  read more


The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017:
Spacetime ripples and flashes of light

José Antonio Font  read more

Reversible optical control of macroscopic polarization in ferroelectrics

Fernando Rubio-Marcos, Diego A. Ochoa, Adolfo Del Campo, Miguel A. García, Germán R. Castro, José F. Fernández and José E. García

The optical control of ferroic properties is a subject of fascination for the scientific community, because it involves the establishment of new paradigms for technology. Domains and domain walls are known to have a great impact on the properties of ferroic materials. Progress is currently being made in understanding the behaviour of the ferroelectric domain wall, especially regarding its dynamic control10,11,12,17,19. New research is being conducted to find effective methodologies capable of modulating ferroelectric domain motion for future electronics. However, the practical use of ferroelectric domain wall motion should be both stable and reversible (rewritable) and, in particular, be able to produce a macroscopic response that can be monitored easily12,17. Here, we show that it is possible to achieve a reversible optical change of ferroelectric domains configuration. This effect leads to the tuning of macroscopic polarization and its related properties by means of polarized light, a non-contact external control. Although this is only the first step, it nevertheless constitutes the most crucial one in the long and complex process of developing the next generation of photo-stimulated ferroelectric devices.

Nature Photonics

Unequivocal identification of ferroelectric domains structure changes at the macroscopic scale.

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