The Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM), CSIC, has almost 200 researchers divided into 31 research groups. 

We develop 2 synnergetic research lines: 1.-Devices for the digitalization of society: We study magnetic materials, superconductors, ferroelectrics and heterostrcutures of highly correlated oxides as the basis for new device concepts that imply the creation of quantum matter at the interfaces and can be manipulated by external stilmuli at the microscopic or macroscopic scales. We manufacture and characterize multifunctional devices with free standing complex oxides layers combined with 2D Van der Waals materials. 2.- Materials and heterostructures for optoelectronics aplications: We study the optoelectoronic properties of 2D materials, beyond graphene and MoS2, including their heterostrcutures. We apply the methods of strain engineering to modify and control the optoelectronic proerties of 2D materials. Using nanofabrication techniques we integrate theses systems focusing on paper electronics and flexible electronics. More info.

Force Tool

The research activity is focused on the development of analytical tools and methodologies based on scanning probe technology for exploring the nanoscale. The research activity is divided in four scientific domains: Advanced force microscopies, nanomechanics, nanomedicine and nanolithography. The specificity of scientific activity rests on five pillars. (i). The development of high speed force microscopes with 3D capabilities for soft matter. (ii) Atomic and molecular experimental studies of water at interfaces. (iii) The study of the relationship between nanomechanical properties and disease. (iv) The development of tip-based nanolithographies and nanofabrication methods. (v) Integration of instrumentation and theoretical modelling to develop functional devices for the nanoscale. More info.

The Bioinspired Materials Group is a research group of the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council). The BMG’s main scientific interest has been the use of biomimetic and green chemistry for the preparation of hierarchically organized materials.  It is obvious that, in sustainability terms, best lessons are provided by nature. Thus, the design of green processes inspired in nature is an interesting approach for the preparation of sophisticated materials with tailored chemical compositions and hierarchical structures (combining pores at different scales, from macropores to mesopores, up to micropores). Since 2006, the BMG has demonstrated the performance of these materials in the fields of energy – as electrodes in energy-related devices – and environmental sustainability – as CO2 adsorbents.
More recently, the BMG is exploring the use of deep eutectic solvents (DESs) in green chemistry and environmental sciences. Our interest in green chemistry resides in the significant relevance that is gaining in materials science. It is widely accepted that for scaling up and with increasing environmental status and regulatory pressure focusing on solvents, much attention must be paid to the use of green chemistry alternatives to traditional ones in not only fundamental research but also the chemical-related industry. Other applications of DESs and aqueous DES dilutions – e.g. CO2 absorption, liquid-liquid extraction for pollutant remediation, etc. – are also being studied by the BMG group. More info.

The main objective of the activities of this research group is the development of novel materials based on electroactive oxides (ferroelectrics, multiferroics, ionic conductors) aimed at their integration in intelligent and sustainable electronic devices related not only to DIGITAL INFORMATION but also to HEALTH monitoring applications, not forgetting the contribution of these materials to a relevant complementary aspect such as self-powering of these devices through ENERGY harvesting. All this research is clearly positioned within the framework of the global CSIC area called MATERIA, willing to contribute to any possible interdisciplinary thematic platform that it may be created at CSIC to respond to the challenges of the sustainable development goals involving, for example, the promotion of healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages, the access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, or fostering innovation. More info.

This group combines innovative synthesis routes and advanced characterization methodology of state-of-the art energy materials with tailored architecture and properties. Our research is about a commitment to expand fundamental and applied scientific knowledge, drive discoveries, foster innovation, and technology development with remarkable beneficial economic and societal impact.

Our group is looking for novel and effective materials that can pave the way for efficient and sustainable energy conversion, harvesting and storage devices that help to mitigate the carbon emissions released by burning fossil fuels and the increase in greenhouse gases.

Among the materials related to energy the group deals with, we must mention Li/Na battery materials (electrodes and electrolytes); materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), cathodes, anodes and electrolytes; materials for supercapacitors; materials for energy storage (metal hydrides); thermoelectric materials for energy harvesting (chalcogenides and pnictides); materials for solar energy harvesting (hybrid perovskites). After synthesis, structural characterization using neutron techniques, synchrotron X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption, NMR spectroscopy, etc. is a priority, in order to establish relationships between the structure and the properties. In addition to the characterization of the properties of interest, the materials are tested in prototypes (SOFC single cells, Li, Na button cells, all-solid-state batteries, supercapacitor cells) and their electrochemical characteristics are evaluated. More info.

Some members belong to the subgroup GREENER.

This is a theory group at ICMM. We are interested in theoretical aspects of field theory that provide an essential understanding of condensed matter systems, cognitive systems, and technological developments. Our main research subjects are:

  • Physics of graphene and post-graphene: two and three-dimensional Dirac materials.
  • Topological phases of matter.
  • Strongly correlated electron systems. High-Tc superconductors.
  • Cognitive System.

More info.


This is a group whose research is aimed at topics included in the strategic actions of the CSIC, specifically within the theme of the White Papers on Scientific Challenges, among others, no. 7: "Global Change Impacts", no. 8 "Clean, Safe and Efficient Energy" and no. 10 "Digital and Complex Information (4.2. smart and sustainable electronics )", as well as those included in the EP 2022-2025 of the ICMM (Research Lines: a) Energy Conversion, Harvesting and Storage, b) Environmental Remediation and Green Processes and c) Ferroic materials and spin phenomena).. Our goal is the development of eco-piezoelectric materials - polycrystalline ferroelectrics - with properties such as sensors, actuators and transducers with various applications in electronic devices in industry (e.g. sonars in fish farms), weather prediction (distributed rain sensors) and generation of clean energy through piezoelectric collection of environmental vibrations. More info.

El grupo CPHN combina en su actividad el crecimiento de distintas heteroestructuras y películas nanométricas con el estudio experimental de las propiedades magnéticas de este tipo de muestras, y la correlación de dichas propiedades con la composición química y la estructura cristalina y electrónica obtenidas mediante difracción rayos-X, microscopía y espectroscopías electrónicas de alta resolución. El crecimiento se realiza mediante Epitaxia por Haces Moleculares (Molecular Beam Epitaxy, MBE) o mediante Dep

The CPHN group combines in its activity the growth of different heterostructures and nanometric films by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) or Pulsed Laser Ablation Deposition (PLAD), with the experimental study of the magnetic properties of this type of samples, and the correlation of the said properties with the chemical, crystalline and electronic structures obtained by high- resolution x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and spectroscopies.

The MBE set-up is dedicated to growing heterostructures (multilayers, nanowires, nanodots,…) based on metals and/or group-IV semiconductors. It is open to collaborations with other research groups, and presently has evaporators for Si, Au, Ag, Cu, Co, Fe, Ni and FeNi-permalloy (others can be incorporated, if required). It is also equipped with auxiliary electron diffraction (RHEED, LEED) and spectroscopy (AES) techniques, to monitor the growth process in real time and allow “in situ” characterizations.

The group also operates a combined Photoelectron/Auger Spectroscopy and Scanning Microscopy system (XPS/SEM/SAM) with micro-nanometric lateral resolution. This combination allows for very detailed chemical analysis of specific areas of the samples, as well as compositional surface maps and in-depth profiles.

Our activity in the study and analysis of magnetic properties, in many cases supported by micromagnetic simulations, includes hysteretic measurements and the optimization of that behavior for sensing applications in biomedicine, the study of magnetization dynamics in the tens of GHz range, the implementation of magnonic devices of the logic gate type and the design of strongly coupled superconducting-ferromagnetic hybrid resonators, usable both in devices for astrophysical studies (measurement of the background radiation anisotropy of the universe) and on the implementation and reading of qubits with long coherence time.

The group is committed to explore, obtain, study and optimize new materials for optoelectronics, magneto-electronics and, recently, for quantum technologies. Thin films, 2D materials (graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides) and 0D nanostructures as well as their combination as heterostructures and new architectures are designed and deposited by physical and chemical deposition techniques. Our work is mainly fundamental but the applications of the developed materials are always, and increasingly, the driving motivation. The group has also a portfolio of patents and different types of interactions with companies. At present, our focus is put on developing materials and heterostructures for thermoelectric applications, selective coatings for solar concentrators, new photovoltaics solar cells, optical bio-sensing and imaging and, recently a disease diagnosis system based on Brillouin spectroscopy. The group has a long standing expertise on a wide variety of techniques to characterize the materials. The techniques in our labs (AFM, optical spectroscopies, magnetotransport, etc.) are complemented with experiments at international facilities for synchrotron radiation and neutrons. More info.

The aim of our research group is to use nanoscience and surface-science methodologies to investigate interdisciplinary problems. we study at the nanoscale the structure and electronic properties of low dimensional systems on surfaces and to develop new methodologies to induce highly-controlled chemical reactions on surfaces. We target on new nano-architectures of reduced dimensionality by using organic molecules as building blocks and bottom-up strategies. We link the atomic structure of the on-surface synthesized nano-architectures and 2D layers with its electronic properties by using a combination of different experimental surface science techniques (STM, LEED, IRS, XPS synchrotron radiation..). More info.

The group is formed by experts in the growth and characterization of materials. During the last years the group has focused its activities on surfaces, interfaces and nanoparticles (NPs). Between 2012 and 2018 the group has also achieved technological developments that have led to 5 patents, 3 of them being licensed (for high performance AFM tips and growth of NPs) and it has created 2 spin-off companies. The efforts in technological developments have provided new tools to manufacture novel nanomaterials whose properties and applications are under study. The group can produce significant quantities of NPs controlling their size, size distribution, chemical composition and structure (alloy, core@shell, core@shell@shell). The optimization of the manufacturing technique allows the generation of NPs quantities that open the possibility of performing proof of concept experiments for applications in nanomedicine and energy or to generate new architectures like nanocolumns made of NPs. More info.

The Materials for Medicine and Biotechnology Group (MaMBIO) is integrated in the Energy, Environment and Health Department and member of the Materials for Health Research topic. It is devoted to search for new perspectives on the synthesis, structure and function of materials. Its main research topics focus on:

  1. The preparation of nanomaterials, primarily nanoparticles, its modification by doping or coating and stabilizaiton in colloidal suspensions.
  2. Design and development of 3D biomaterials.
  3. The structural, colloidal and magnetic characterization of such materials.

All topics are closely connected to provide new insights into the properties of nanomaterials and their application in fields such as nanomedicine, tissue engineering, catalysis, magnetic devices and sensors. They collaborate with: 

Our main research interest lies in the synthesis of new materials for sustainability, following a structure-based property driven approach.

The group is composed of researchers with recognized expertise in fields such as synthesis of materials, heterogeneous catalysis, crystallography, gas sorption, optoelectronics, or simulation.

1.- Design, synthesis and processing of new reticular materials (MOFs, COFs) and other porous materials such as POPs (Porous Organic Polymers), nanoparticles, thin films, mixed matrix membranes.

2.- Atomic level, advanced structural studies on porous functional materials.

3.- Bottom-up synthesis of organic and hybrid porous materials from pre-functionalized building units (chiral, photoactive, etc.)

4.- Structural simulation and calculation of materials

5.- Property tuning by organic ligand functionalization, surface modification, etc.

6.- Properties evaluation: catalytic activity, optics, magnetism, conductivity, sorption, etc, for sustainability.

7.- Design and synthesis of organic semiconductors for applications in flexible electronics devices (OLEDs, OFETs, OPVs) and photocatalysis.

8.- Organic materials with stimuli-responsible optical properties and their use as smart materials or sensing of chemical analytes or physical phenomena (pressure, temperature).

The group owns scientific equipment obtained from and used for the realization of competitive research projects obtained for over 20 years.

The group owns equipment with specific features, which typically requires a technician for their optimal performance. It is thus necessary the need for a graduated technician with knowledge in use and maintenance of the equipment:

  • X-ray single crystal diffractometer, with cryogenic temperature system
  • NMR spectrometer
  • Chromatographic equipment: GC-MS, HPLC
  • Gas sorption instrument

More info.


Research activity related to the development of inorganic or polymeric matrix composite materials with multiple functions. This research line provides the opportunity to design new materials with a large panoply of precise properties to fulfill specific requirements. Special emphasis is placed on controlling the process parameters related to the microstructure and developing economically viable manufacturing technologies with extremely high performance.


The research group Nanocharacterization of Materials (NanoCarma) studies the relationship between the micro- and nanostructure and the properties of materials. The research team has a large experience in the synthesis of materials and their micro- and nanocharacterization, with techniques like high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and associated techniques (XEDS, EELS, ELNES), optical spectroscopies and Raman microscopy, neutron diffraction and magnetic properties measurements. Research lines, among others, are the study of oxides with photonic, energy or catalytic applications, semiconductor materials, 2D materials, functional coatings and biological materials such as spider silk. The group has a Raman Microscopy laboratory and a system for the synthesis of crystalline oxides by solid state reaction in a controlled atmosphere. The group consists of three staff scientists. More info.

The GNMP is an interdisciplinary group focused on the experimental and theoretical study of magnetic nanostructures and their magnetization reversal processes. The group is worldwide pioneer in the magnetic nanowire topic. As an example, complex domain structures are observed in modulated in diameter nanowires and in multilayered nanowires. New research lines include the dynamics in magnetic nanostructures under magnetic fields, electrical current, radio frequency or temperature. Another key topic of the group is the use of the Magnetic Force Microscopy and X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism XMCD-PEEM to visualize the magnetization reversal process at the nanoscale. It’s remarkable their experience in atomistic and micromagnetic modelling of magnetic nanostructures, ultra-fast magnetization and thermal effects. Moreover, it’s very active in the fabrication of microwire-based sensors in collaboration with different companies. More info.

Nanostructured Hybrid, Biohybrid and Porous Materials Group

Founded by Prof. E. Ruiz-Hitzky 40 years ago, the Group has evolved and has researchers with extensive experience in chemical synthesis, structural and textural characterization of inorganic, organic and organic-inorganic materials, developing advanced functional materials for a sustainable world. Its research focuses on the development of new hybrid, biohybrid and porous nanostructured materials, mainly related to silica, zeolites, clays, carbons and oxides, and more recently, involving also functional organic compounds, with a main focus on applications related to energy production and storage, recovery of agricultural residues, water remediation or biomedicine. A key point on the activities is the use of green routes for the preparation of materials and the consumption of natural resources (clays, biomass...) and agricultural residues as they offers many possibilities and advantages towards sustainability, e.g. more sustainable materials for green electronics, clean energy generation or tissue engineering. More info.

We analyze theoretically the charge and spin quantum electron transport in quantum dot arrays. We study the manipulation of charge and spin qubits by ac electric and magnetic fields. We also investigate how to directly transfer quantum states between distant edges in quantum dot arrays. We analyze the effect of electron-phonon, hyperfine and spin-orbit interactions on the electron transport. We investigate as well the topological properties of atomic lattices in one and two dimensions under ac periodic electric fields, i.e., we analyze the interplay between spatial and time periodicity in the topology of the system.We investigate as well the detection of Majorana Fermions by means of RSCJ models in Josephson Junctions driven by ac currents. We investigate thermoelectrical properties of quantum systems. We analyze the role of edge states in systems with non trivial topology. We investigate long range heat and energy transfer and quantum engines. More info.

The Optomechanics group (Optomechanics Lab) studies light-matter interaction at the nanometric scale with special interest in its application for the development of new types of devices and sensors. The research encompasses a whole series of scientific disciplines ranging from analytical modeling to numerical simulations, including nanofabrication and characterization of embedded devices. The projects that are carried out in the group are difficult interdisciplinary, and can be framed in the following generic themes:

  • Nanostructured materials: metasurfaces and optomechanical crystals
  • Optical microscopy and optical forces.
  • Micro and nano-optofluidics

More info.

Estudio de la propagación de ondas de electrones y fotones en nanoestructuras.



Study of the propagation of electron and photon waves in nanostructures.

The Photonic Crystals Group is a multidisciplinary team doing basic research in photonic crystals and related systems. While Materials Science is capital in our research some Fundamental Physics aspects are also central.

Our main interest lies in the design and fabrication of complex photonic materials with improved properties. These include ordered (crystals), disordered (glasses) and intermediate materials whose degree of disorder can be controlled and is also correlated. In this regard, we cover the synthesis and processing of materials and study light transport, generation and interference to be used in different applications.

More info.


We develop (micro/nano) photoluminescent materials for use in imaging technologies, and in non-contact thermal sensing industrial applications with efficient operation up to 1000 K. In parallel, we develop monocrystalline materials based on trivalent lanthanides (Ln3+) capable of extending the current performance of solid-state lasers pumped by laser diodes, either by increasing the average operating power, or by reducing the duration of the femtosecond pulses, in both cases with specific wavelengths in the infrared, of interest for various applications medical, environmental and metrological. More info.


The group's activity focuses on modeling and numerical simulation of different materials and their surfaces. The materials and systems analyzed are very varied: solids, liquids, membranes of biological interest or graphene.


Preparation and characterization of Sol-Gel coatings for optical and electrooptical applications.

The Sol-Gel Group (SGG) is formed by Researchers from the Department of Photonic Materials of the Madrid Institute of Materials Science (ICMM), part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The interdisciplinary research of the SGG covers a very broad spectrum, ranging from basic materials chemistry to their possible application as optical or electrooptical devices and novel materials for scientific space missions.

The research activity of the SGG is devoted to the preparation of new materials via the Sol-Gel method, the characterization of their physicochemical properties, and those of their possible applications as optical or electrooptical devices have been realized, for example, in the study of novel coatings with potential applications for smart windows applications, protection coatings with implications for a protected environment, optical coatings for optical lenses, photochromic materials, etc. More info.

The main goal of the interdisciplinary and multipurpose Spanish CRG BM25-SpLine beamline is to satisfy the needs of the use of synchrotron radiation in the region of hard X-rays of the Spanish scientific community, with a broad range of interests crossing very different research areas: physics, chemistry, material science, biology, environmental sciences, and cultural heritage. The Spanish CRG BM25-SpLine beamline is dedicated to structural and electronic investigations using hard X-ray techniques mostly in materials science, specialized on X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction techniques and hard X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. More info.

Surface and thin film physics; in particular, the study, by scanning tunneling microscopy and electron spectroscopies techniques in ultra-high vacuum conditions, of the epitaxial growth of organic and inorganic materials on solid surfaces.


Expertise in technologies for production of nanostructured materials in Thin Film form, for applications in electronics, photonics, solar energy and tribology. From the film size and analysis techniques, the group is involved in nanoscience.

Se investiga materiales y superficies para equipos RF de alta potencia en misiones espaciales en colaboración con la Agencia Espacial Europea y la industria, siendo clave la nanoestructuración de estos sistemas para inhibir la emisión secundaria de electrones. Incluye el desarrollo de nanoestructuras y capas de siliceno, su caracterización por STM y luz sincrotrón, y su análisis por nanoingeniería de rugosidad. Se aborda el desarrollo de dispositivos n-FET altamente escalados a través de aproximaciones "Bey

Research Line: Materials for Emerging Technologies Study of materials and surfaces for high-power RF in Space missions, in cooperation with the European Space Agency and Industry. The research comprises silicene nanostructures and coatings characterized by STM and synchrotron light and the analysis by roughness nanoengineering. In addition, highly scaled n-FET devices are being developed through a "Beyond CMOS" approximation, based on the heterogeneous integration of epitaxial III-V/high-k nanostructures on Si substrates.

The members of our team are experts in various subfields of condensed matter physics including magnetism, superconductivity, strong correlations, mesoscopics, nanostructures, non-linear optics and quantum technologies. We describe materials and processes using model Hamiltonians and effective models. Both numerical and analytical approaches are used. Therefore, our team is fully equipped to tackle novel problems in a timely and efficient way. While our approach is theoretical, we aim at understanding current experimental developments and making experimental predictions, many times in close collaboration with top level experimentalists worldwide. Not only do we succeed in performing high impact research but we also take scientific outreach very seriously at many levels: from organising and participating in workshops and talks for children and teenagers to writing about our research in a language appropriate to the general public. Our team is well balanced in terms of gender and age. More info.