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ES1_Q-NANOFOTONIKA _Francisco Javier Aizpurua / Miren Nerea Zabala

Francisco Javier Aizpurua (IP) / Miren Nerea Zabala (coIP)

94 301 8830 / 94 601 2538 /

Group description

The main research focus of this group is Nanophotonics, which studies the effects that emerge in the interaction between light and matter at the nanoscale. This study is developed mainly in metallic nanostructures where the collective excitations of conduction electrons, commonly called surface plasmons, interact very effectively with optical radiation. Surface plasmons have the ability to localize and enhance optical fields at the nanoscale, which allows to overcome the diffraction limit of light. For this reason the metallic structures are called nanoplasmonic antennas or nanoantennas.

Within this research, the areas of Optoelectronics, Spectroscopy and Microscopy are identified as the technologies in which the results obtained can have the greatest impact. In optoelectronics, the establishment of new processes at the nanoscale can lead to a miniaturization of devices that could have a direct impact on the optoelectronics industry and an economic impact in the field of information and communication technologies.

Likewise, in the field of spectroscopy and nanoscopy, the improvement and implementation of new forms of detection of molecular compounds of interest in materials science, health and safety, may represent a new paradigm of identification of substances of great interest in various social and economic challenges, therefore, the advances derived from the results achieved in our group may be subject to immediate exploitation by companies interested in new biological detection solutions.

Within the group we can identify four subgroups that combine theory and experiments for the development of new light-controlled active plasmonic materials and devices

1- Nanophotonics Theory (CFM-UPV/EHU and Electricity and Electronics Dept., FCT-ZTF, UPV-EHU) It is devoted to the theoretical description of the optical properties of nanoscale structures and the optimal control of the optical signal at the nanoscale.

2- Nanomaterials and Spectroscopy Laboratory (CFM-UPV/EHU)

Focuses on spectroscopy and photonic applications of functional units at the nanoscale, including semiconductor quantum dots and quantum wires, metallic nanoparticles and nanoantennas, and organic/inorganic nanohybrid systems.

3-Nanooptics Laboratory (Nanogune, UPV-EHU)

Focuses on the development of near-field nanoscopy (scattered-field dispersive optical microscopy, s-SNOM) and infrared nanoscopy.

4- Quantum Nanoptics Laboratory (CFM-UPV/EHU)

The aim of this laboratory is to develop the necessary techniques for quantum engineering of the states of light.

These subgroups are in close scientific and academic relationship through the UPV-EHU postgraduate programs "Master in Nanoscience" and the PhD program "Physics of Materials and Nanoscience".


  • Nanophotonics
  • Plasmonics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Electron microscopy
  • Optical spectroscopies
  • Nanoantenna
  • Hybrid materials
  • Topological materials
  • Quantum plasmonics

Team Description

  • F. Javier Aizpurua (Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1444-7589

  • M. Nerea Zabala (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1619-7544

  • Rubén Esteban (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-9175-2878

  • Eduardo Ogando (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0001-5632-1514

  • Marek Grzelczak (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-3458-8450

  • Marina Quijada (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-2095-2186

  • Gabriel Molina-Terriza (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-7905-4938

  • Ibon Alonso (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-3585-2214

  • Vyacheslav Silkin (Research staff)

    ORCID: T-8285-2019 (Researcher ID)

  • Yuri Rakovich (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-0111-2920


  • POSEIDON (NanpPhOtonic devices applying Self-assembled colloIDs for novel ON-chip light sources

    Pl: J. Aizpurua

    Funding Agency*: EU

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: ID: 861950

  • TeraHertz detection enabled by mOleculaR optomechanics- THOR

    Pl: J. Aizpurua

    Funding Agency*: EU

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: GA 829067

  • Q-NANOFOT (Nanofotónica cuántica para la caracterización de nuevos procesos y aplicaciones en espectroscopías moleculares, microscopía de campo cercano y tecnologías cuánticas con fotones)

    Pl: J. Aizpurua& N. Zabala

    Funding Agency*: RE

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: IT1164-19

  • QUATOPHOT (Study of quantum effects in atomic-scale nanophotonics )

    Pl: J. Aizpurua and R. Esteban

    Funding Agency*: NA

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: PID2019-107432GB-I00

  • Next generation meta-material based SMART and FLEXible optical solar reflectors SMART-FLEX

    Pl: J. Aizpurua

    Funding Agency*: EU

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: H2020-LEIT-SPACE/0590

* INT - International EU - European NAT - National RE - Regional


  • R. Zhang, Y. Zhang, Z. C. Dong, S. Jiang, C. Zhang, L. G. Chen, L. Zhang, Y. Liao, J. Aizpurua, Y. Luo, J. L. Yang, and J. G. Hou 
, = Chemical mapping of a single molecule by plasmon-enhanced Raman scattering, Nature 
, 2013

  • K. J. Savage, M. M. Hawkeye, R. Esteban, A. G. Borisov, J. Aizpurua, and J. J. Baumberg 
, = Revealing the quantum regime in tunnelling plasmonics 
, Nature 
, 2012

  • F. Madzharova, Á. Nodar, V. Živanović , M. R. S. Huang, C. T. Koch, R. Esteban, J. Aizpurua, and J. Kneipp, = Gold- and Silver-Coated Barium Titanate Nanocomposites as Probes for Two-Photon Multimodal Microspectroscopy, Advanced Functional Materials
, 2019

  • O. L. Muskens, L. Bergamini, Y. Wang, J. M. Gaskell, N. Zabala, CH de Groot, D. W. Sheel, and J. Aizpurua, = Antenna-assisted picosecond control of nanoscale phase-transition in vanadium dioxide, Light Sci. Appl., 2016

  • G. Armelles , L. Bergamini, N. Zabala , F. García, M. L. Dotor, L. Torné, R. Alvaro, A. Griol, A. Martínez , J. Aizpurua, and A. Cebollada, = Metamaterial Platforms for Spintronic Modulation of Mid-Infrared Response under Very Weak Magnetic Field, ACS Photonics, 2018

Research Lines


Hybrid plasmonic and functional materials for optoelectronic devices.

  • Hybrid platforms combining plasmonic nanoantennas and materials with special functionalities, such as a phase-change or spintronic properties, offer excellent technological opportunities for active plasmonics, as they can provide large changes in their optical response in the near and mid IR, controlled by external agents as light pulses, magnetic fields or dc voltages.
  • The aim of this research line is  to design hybrid metasurfaces with the desired optical properties for the development of new optoelectronic nanodevices, as fast optical switches, more powerful optical sensors etc..

Cross-border Collaboration (if any)

The Theory of Nanophotonics Group has an ongoing collaboration with the group of Brahim Lounis from the Institute of Optics in Bordeaux, related to the interpretation of molecular fluorescence from organic molecules in plasmonic environments, interacting with internal degrees of vibration. There is aplan to exchange young researchers between both groups related to molecular fluorescence, of interest in light emitting devices (LED) and in energy harvesting