Thiago de Lourenco e Vasconcelos is a brazilian researcher born in Belo Horizonte who for the past decade has been living in Rio de Janeiro. He now joins 2D Foundry group at the Materials Science Institute of Madrid as a new postdoc. He answers some questions about his past and future work.

Thiago Vasconcelos, new postdoc at ICMM

What have you worked on so far?
For the past 11 years, I have held a permanent research position at Brazilian National Institute of Metrology (INMETRO), where I assumed the role of Vice Head of the Electron Microscopy Laboratories. My main responsibilities centered around an instrumentation and research project on the Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) technique. Additionally, I have experience working with microfabrication, Raman spectroscopy, AFM and electron microscopy, particularly probe corrected TEM, EELS, and FIB. 

Recently, the patented invention regarding the nanofabrication of optical nanoantennas called PTTP, of which I am the principal inventor, garnered attention by being featured on the cover art of Nature in 2021. This invention has yielded unprecedented results in the TERS technique. Additionally, I am proud to be a co-founder of FabNS Company, a start-up spinoff of UFMG and INMETRO, which manufactures PTTP devices and a dedicated TERS system.

What will you work on? With whom?
At ICMM, I will work as a postdoc within the research project coordinated by Dr. Andrés Castellanos-Gómez and Dra. Carmen Munuera. The project aims to develop reconstructive-type ultraminiature spectrometers utilizing 2D materials, with the ultimate objective of democratizing multispectral analysis.

Having been closely following the research of Dr. Andrés, I reached out to him with the idea of joining his research group, recognizing the great value it would bring to my postdoctoral experience. After having the opportunity to visit the ICMM campus, touring the institute's laboratories, and having a better understanding of the groundbreaking research conducted at the institute, my enthusiasm for working here has only grown stronger.

And a personal touch: any hobbies?
I have a passion for sports such as running, climbing, and tennis. Additionally, I am an avid football fan and a proud supporter of the Cruzeiro club. I also love traveling, especially to places with beaches or for hiking in mountains. As a regular hobby, I enjoy cooking, and here I have been having fun experimenting with local recipes using Spanish ingredients like octopus and chipirones. As an interesting fact, back in Brazil, I used to engage in homemade beer brewing.

What would you like to contribute to the institute?
I intend to contribute to the institute with my expertise in nanotechnology coupled with dedication and enthusiasm at the work.