In 2003, after obtaining my Physics degree at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, I started working at Nanotec Eléctronica S.L. (Nanotec), a company devoted to the design, development and manufacture of Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM). One of the most known products of Nanotec was its free software WSxM, still active nowadays. At Nanotec I accumulated both research and innovation experience, collaborating with customers worldwide, developing state-of-the-art AFM techniques and participating in R&D projects. At this time I also started a close collaboration with Prof. Julio Gómez Herrero from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM) and Nanotec co-founder. To gain a long-term PhD, I got my MSc in Condensed Matter Physics and Nanotechnology (2011) while I began a series of experiments in the UAM.
In October 2014 Nanotec ceased its activity and I joined full-time the Condensed Matter Physics department of the UAM. I used and developed advanced AFM-related techniques to study novel low dimensional systems. Here I can highlight the works on the properties of different nano-objects, including antimonene, a novel 2D material which I isolated during my PhD for the first time ever. I opened a new research line for many groups worldwide that started experimental studies encouraged by my results. I developed novel approaches for the fabrication of simple, clean and reliable nanoelectrodes based on the nanomanipulation and assembly of gold nanowires. I also designed and built new technological devices. I got my PhD in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Julio Gómez Herrero and Dr. Adriana Gil Gil with the highest mark, “Sobresaliente Cum Laude” alongside recognitions like “Doctoral Thesis Prize”.
In October 2017 I started a postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester, in the Condensed Matter Physics department (known as Graphene Group) and the National Graphene Institute. Once there I gained a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Laura Fumagalli. The research during this time was focused on the basic properties of 2D materials and combinations of them, and its use for studying the electrical properties of molecules under extreme confinement. Here I can highlight the quantification of the out-of-plane dielectric constant of interfacial water, the experimental evidence of piezoelectricity in single-layer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and the appearance of ferroelectric-like domains arranged in triangular superlattices of small-angled twisted hBN crystals. My leading role at the University of Manchester opened new research lines within the Graphene Group, allowing the exploration of novel properties of 2D materials and heterostructures at the nanoscale using scanning probe approaches.
In 2020 moved back to the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid as an Assistant Professor & IFIMAC Junior Group Leader, where I continue now as Ramón y Cajal Fellow since March 2022. Here I keep researching on fundamental properties of 1D and 2D materials using and developing scanning probe techniques.