The members of the examining committee were: Paolo Vavassori (CIC nanoGUNE), Agustin Mihi (ICMAB-CSIC) and Vasily Temnov (Institute of Molecules and Materials of Le Mans, CNRS, France).
Dr. Rafael Cichelero is from Brazil, where he studied his Bachelor and MSc in Physics at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Then he came to ICMAB to start his PhD.
Why did you choose the ICMAB?
I came to ICMAB because I wanted to do my PhD with Dr. Gervasi Herranz, an amazing scientist from ICMAB.
How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?
The interaction between light and matter can happen in many ways. We are used to see each other through reflection. A particular case of our interest consists in the absorption and projection of light into an interface wave, which can be used to transport information through the interface of two materials.
What are the main applications of your research? Can you give us an example?
Non-reciprocal devices, and sensors, such as optical isolators.
In the time you have been here, what have you liked the most about your experience at our Research Center and in the Barcelona area?
From ICMAB, I had the opportunity to meet fantastic people from different places around the world. From Barcelona, the food, CosmoCaixa, Sala Upload, Razzmatazz, Collserola and the cheerful environment.
How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?
It was an important period of my life, I have learned a lot during my stay at ICMAB. The knowledge that I have built here is the building block of my academic life.
What are your plans once you finish your PhD?
Stay in the academia as post-doc.
Describe in 3 keywords…
- Your research: Plasmonics; Magneto-optics; Multifunctional-systems
- Barcelona: Beautiful; Friendly; Overcrowded
- Your experience at ICMAB: Welcoming; Enriching; Busy
PhD Thesis Abstract: In this thesis we have investigated the modulation of the optical properties of photonic crystals sustaining plasmonic excitations. Such properties can be tuned or enhanced by incorporating functional materials in the crystals, including magnetic, ferroelectric or piezoelectric compounds, which add versatility to the control of light at the nanoscale.
We generalized the results found in these systems to magnetoplasmonic crystals with engineered optical responses, where the interplay between diffraction, plasmonics and magnetism paves the way to a versatile way to engineer the properties of photonic crystals that goes beyond the particular case of grating couplers. Finally, the study of ferroelectric magnetoplasmonic crystals, where the interplay between magnetization and ferroelectric polarization enables a way to modulate electrically the optical properties of grating couplers.
Cover Figure: (from left to right): Paolo Vavassori, Rafael Cichelero, Gervasi Herranz, Agustin Mihi and Vasily Temnov.