PhD call offer entitled: “Vortex physics in the overdoped state of High Temperature Superconductors”

Superconductivity is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon with outstanding properties and impact in many applications. Since their discovery a century ago, powerful applications arose specially demonstrating their competences in the generation of very high magnetic fields (NMR, MRI) and high sensitivity in ultra-small magnetic fields (SQUIDs). The quantum nature of superconductivity enabled the formation of a condensate at the energy ground state by electron-pairing (Cooper pairs) separated from the electronic excited states by an s-wave superconducting gap.

Since high temperature superconducting (HTS) cuprate materials were discovered 30 years ago, many additional applications were envisaged since large currents without losses could be expected at liquid nitrogen temperatures, however they had to face unknown science and new materials engineering complexities. HTS are strongly correlated systems, showing unconventional superconductivity with a d-wave pairing symmetry and their microscopic theory is still unidentified. In addition, they need to be doped to be superconductors, they are Mott insulators in the underdoped state where also a pseudogap develops. Novel vortex phases and behaviour also appear, mainly associated to the higher thermal fluctuations, larger crystalline anisotropy and nanometric nature of the HTS superconducting parameters. Disorder is a strong enemy for the superconducting state of HTS, but if properly designed, it can be used as an outstanding source for vortex pinning, as we have shown in [1,2].

Beyond the still unsolved questions, nowadays, the international community is able to fabricate HTS materials for high current energy efficient applications (high power cables, wind generators, electrical aviation) and large scale infrastructures (fusion, circular colliders, NMR beyond 1 GHz).

The project aims at studying the physical properties of nanostructured HTS films with special emphasis in the understanding of the strain-disorder vortex pinning mechanism and their consequences in the condensation energy of the overdoped state, to approach theoretical physical performance values. Angular electrical transport measurements at high fields and low temperatures, charge carrier measurements, transmission electron microscopy, scanning tunneling spectroscopy and measurements of the density of state at Synchrotron sources are envisaged. This is part of an ERC-project that is investigating a new ultrafast low cost non-equilibrium growth method (TLAG) [3] and the routes to approach theoretical limits for their performances. HTS films and nanocomposite layers will be investigated where nanoparticles are incorporated in the superconducting matrix to manipulate the local atomic-strain distribution. The electronic state will be modified by oxygen doping treatments.

[1] J. Gutierrez et al, Nat Mat 6, 367 (2007)

[2] A. Llordes et al, Nature Materials 11, 329 (2012)

[3] L. Soler et al, Nature Communications 11, 344 (2020)


– Bachelor in physics and master in physics, nanoscience or related fields.

– Good knowledge in Condensed Matter Physics

– A high level of English. All working meeting are held in English

– High motivation to experimental research.

– Working aptitudes in a collaborative group.

Excellent candidates, from anywhere in the world, should send their CV, academic grades certificate and reference letters to:

First recruitment deadline is for July 15th. The recruitment process will be closed when a suitable candidate is found.

Candidates with a master degree for summer 2020 will also be considered.

Contact Person: Teresa Puig, CSIC Research Professor.

Superconductor Week talks with Teresa Puig about new improved growth process for YBCO epitaxial films

Teresa Puig appears on the 34th volume of Superconductor Week, a monthly newsletter dedicated to bringing news and analysis about superconductivity to all related parties, from scientists to investors in the industry. Their latest issue covers the breakthrough achieved by the Superconducting Materials Research Group (SUMAN) in the field of growth of YBCO epitaxial films, which was already covered in Nature Communications 11, 334 (2020).

Continue reading

Breakthrough in the ultrafast growth of superconducting films with high performances (PRESS REALISE)

  • The new low-cost, environmentally friendly and scalable method, designed by ICMAB-CSIC researchers, represents a breakthrough in the production of superconducting materials
  • transient liquid phase is formed with the new precursors, from which the superconducting films grow at speeds of 100 nm/s
  • This method is fully compatible with the incorporation of nanoparticles into the superconductor structure, essential for high magnetic field applications in wind generators, electric aviation or particle accelerators

Continue reading

ICMAB, 3 DEC 2019: European Research Council (ERC) funding opportunities – a 360° overview

On Tuesday, 3 December 2019, the ICMAB organizes an event to talk and share experirences on ERC projects called “European Research Council (ERC) funding opportunities – a 360° overview”. The event will count with the presence of Nadine Vermorel, from the ERC Executive Agency (ERCEA) and with Lucía Benito, from the CSIC European Program. Five of the ICMAB ERC grantees will talk about their ERC experience from their own point of view. Come and join us, if you want to know more about funding opportunities for these ERC excellent projects!

Continue reading

Congratulations Dr. Silvia Rasi, a new SUMAN graduate!

Dr. Silvia Rasi, former PhD researcher under the supervision of Prof. Jordi Farjas and Prof. Teresa Puig defended her PhD thesis entitled  Advanced thermal analysis of ReBCO superconductor precursor films and functional oxides publicly on 12 November 2019 at the Superior Politechnic School Auditorium of University of Girona.

Continue reading

Teresa Puig in “Hablando con Científicos” radio programme talking about her new ERC PoC on superconductors

Teresa Puig was interviewed in the digital radio programme “Hablando con Científicos” by Ángel Rodríguez Lozano, to talk about superconducting materials and her recent ERC Proof of Concept Grant on the scale-up production of high-temperature superconducting tapes.

Continue reading

Teresa Puig receives one ERC Proof of Concept Grant for enabling high-temperature superconducting technologies

Teresa Puig is among the awardees for a project to scale-up a new manufacturing process of high-temperature superconductors. The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded top-funding totalling 9.3 M€ to 62 ERC grant holders via its Proof of Concept Grants. They are meant to explore the commercial or societal potential of their research.

Continue reading

Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona ICMAB CSIC


Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
+34 935 801 853 ext 371