Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2)
Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
A common denominator of my work is the search for emerging physical phenomena at the nanoscale. Much of my better-known research concerns the coupling between electrical polarization and strain gradients (a phenomenon known as flexoelectricity) which happens to be very large at the nanoscale. Over the last decade, and with the help of an European Research Council (ERC) grant, I set up in Barcelona one of the world's first specialized laboratories specifically dedicated to this phenomenon (there are a number of them now). Prominent discoveries in this area from our group have been the large flexoelectricity of semiconductors, the existence (and important physiological role) of flexoelectricity in bones, and the identification of the participation of flexoelectricity in fracture physics. In parallel, I have also worked on other nanoscale phenomena in oxides: metal-insulator transitions, the physics of domain walls, antiferroelectricity and photovoltaic effects of polar materials.