Epitaxial growth of Quantum materials and heterostructures (epiq)

Dr. Amilcar Bedoya-Pinto

Principal Investigator – CIDEGenT Distinguished Researcher
Institute of Molecular Science (IcMoL), University of Valencia

About us

Our core research deals with the atom-by-atom, layer-by-layer fabrication of materials in an ultra-clean environment (ultra-high vacuum, UHV), followed by the investigation of the physical properties of single atomic layers and well-defined, atomically sharp heterostructures.  The UHV environment guarantees optimal conditions to observe not only material properties in the ultra-clean limit, but most importantly, to visualize emerging phenomena at interfaces of structurally or chemically dissimilar materials. We rely on the molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) technique to construct layer-by-layer heterostructures on demand.

Example of a complex thin film heterostructure grown by molecular beam epitaxy (NbSe2/Ni80Fe20/AlOx) on a (0001)-oriented sapphire substrate. The interface between the 2D-layered structure of NbSe2 and the 3D-crystalline NiFe, where spin-transfer phenomena take place, is well-defined on the atomic scale.

For a rigorous investigation of the materials properties, we undertake the challenging approach to work on a “Lab in UHV”, which means to carry out all the needed physical and chemical characterization in ultra high vacuum.  This grants us the possibility to explore low-dimensional, quantum materials that easily degrade or oxidize upon exposure to air (that are not a few!), and most importantly, gives us the confidence to deal with a well-defined system from its creation to the end of the characterization chain.  As a bonus, our ordered epitaxial systems are ideal platforms to be studied with atomistic theoretical models.  You can find our success stories of the “Lab in UHV” approach focusing on 2D and topological materials in the following links:


Discovery of easy-plane magnetism in a single atomic layer of CrCl3

Atomic engineering of surface states and Fermi-level in topological (Weyl) semimetals

book chapter

You can also refer to our practical book chapter to get on the concepts of thin film growth and UHV techniques such as molecular-beam epitaxy:

Join our EPIQ team – PhD position at the Institute of Molecular Science

Epitaxial growth of 2D magnetic materials for superfluid spin transport studies»

We are looking for motivated candidates with background in physics, physical chemistry or
material science. Experience in ultra-high-vacuum methods, surface science and/or
nanofabrication is desirable, but not strictly required.

Contact us

Institute of Molecular Science (IcMoL)

University of Valencia
Catedrático José Beltrán Martínez nº 2
46980 Paterna, Valencia