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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Forthcoming Events


Unconventional Superconductivity Cast in Iron
Raymond Osborn  read more


Yurena Luengo Morató  read more


Floquet and dissipative engineering in mesoscopic systems
Mónica Benito González  read more


Polvo de estrellas ‘made in Spain’. Columna de opinión de Rosa Montero, sobre el proyecto NANOCOSMOS del ICMM, en la revista el Informador.mx

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Perovskita híbrida para fabricar células solares más baratas. Grupo Electronics and Magnetic materials and Heterostructures, ICMM.

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Efficient Heterostructures for Combined Interference and Plasmon Resonance Raman Amplification

Leo Alvarez-Fraga, Esteban Climent-Pascual, Montserrat Aguilar-Pujol, Rafael Ramírez-Jiménez, Félix Jiménez-Villacorta, Carlos Prieto and Alicia de Andrés

The detection, identification, and quantification of different types of molecules and the optical imaging of, for example, cellular processes are important challenges. Here, we present how interference-enhanced Raman scattering (IERS) in adequately designed heterostructures can provide amplification factors relevant for both detection and imaging. Calculations demonstrate that the key factor is maximizing the absolute value of the refractive indices’ difference between dielectric and metal layers. Accordingly, Si/Al/Al2O3/graphene heterostructures have been fabricated by optimizing the thickness and roughness and reaching enhancement values up to 700 for 488 nm excitation. The deviation from the calculated enhancement, 1200, is mainly due to reflectivity losses and roughness of the Al layer. The IERS platforms are also demonstrated to improve significantly the quality of white light images of graphene and are foreseen to be adequate to reveal the morphology of 2D and biological materials. A graphene top layer is adequate for most organic molecule deposition and often quenches possible fluorescence, permitting Raman signal detection, which, for a rhodamine 6G (R6G) monolayer, presents a gain of 400. Without graphene, the nonquenched R6G fluorescence is similarly amplified. The wavelength dependence of the involved refractive indices predicts much higher amplification (around 104) for NIR excitation. These interference platforms can therefore be used to gain contrast and intensity in white light, Raman, and fluorescence imaging. We also demonstrate that surface-enhanced Raman scattering and IERS amplifications can be efficiently combined, leading to a gain of >105 (at 488 nm) by depositing a Ag nanostructured transparent film on the IERS platform. When the plasmonic structures deposited on the IERS platforms are optimized, single-molecule detection can be actively envisaged.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017

(a) Amplification factor of G intensity for different graphene/dielectric/reflecting layer systems (Al (triangles), Si (circles), Cu (squares), and Ni (stars)) at 633 nm (red symbols), 514 nm (green), 488 nm (blue), and 457 nm (purple) laser excitation as a function of |n(dielectric) – n(reflector)|. For each reflecting material, several values of n(dielectric) ranging from 1 to 3 are calculated. (b) Zoomed-in image of the selected region in (a).

Publications Highlights

ICMM-2017 - Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 334 9000. Fax: +34 91 372 0623. info@icmm.csic.es