Physicist, Condensed Matter & Photonics at ICMAB-CSIC, Barcelona

Researcher @ Institute for Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, MULFOX).

The potential of transition metal oxides, a class of strongly correlated systems, motivates my research to find pathways to fundamental discoveries and applications in Condensed Matter Physics and Photonics. These materials are distinguished by their rich variety of physical properties, which come from a delicate balance of different energy scales. This makes them particularly susceptible to external perturbations, inducing transitions among different electronic phases (magnetic, ferroelectric or superconductive).

Active Projects in Nanophotonics and Quantum Transport in Oxides (Quantum Wells, Spin-dependent Phototransport).

Laboratory of Multifunctional Oxides and Complex Structures, Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona ICMAB-CSIC, Campus de la UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Phone: +34 93 580 18 53 (ext. 357) Fax: +34 93 580 57 29;


Google Scholar

My CV: here.  Email:


Photoinduced Persistent Electron Accumulation and Depletion
in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Quantum Wells

Yu Chen, Yoann Lechaux , Blai Casals , Bruno Guillet, Albert Minj
Jaume Gázquez, Laurence Méchin, and Gervasi Herranz

PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 124, 246804 (2020)

Electric-field-induced avalanches and glassiness of mobile ferroelastic
twin domains in cryogenic SrTiO3.

Blai Casals, Sebastiaan van Dijken, Gervasi Herranz, and Ekhard K. H. Salje

Yu Chen, PhD defense: “Artificial Synapses based on the Photoconductance of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 QuantumWells”, 14th November

Optical synapses with spike-timing-dependent plasticity

Optical synapses with spike-timing-dependent plasticity

We uncover time-asymmetric photoresponses in oxide quantum wells that can mimic time-correlated plasticity as observed in biological synapses. This work can be checked out at, “Solid-State Synapses Modulated by Wavelength-Sensitive Temporal Correlations in Optic Sensory Inputs”

Time correlations of optical inputs may lead the way to replicate cognitive map building as observed in the brain

All you ever wanted to know about the present and future of oxide electronics, compiled in a roadmap (link to the ICMAB webpage)

Click here for more for information .
Plasticity of Persistent Photoconductance of Amorphous LaAlO3/ SrTiO3 Interfaces under Varying Illumination Conditions

Oxides Roadmap
Magnetoplasmonic couplers

We have studied the magneto-optic responses of magnetoplasmonic couplers in a variety of platforms, including commercial digital disks. Our study reveals pathways to exploit enhanced optical functionality, of potential interest for other nanophotonic devices, such as metasurfaces.

Non-reciprocal diffraction in magnetoplasmonic gratings,
Unexpected large transverse magneto-optic Kerr effect at quasi-normal incidence in magnetoplasmonic crystals,


Our group has collaborated in a study published in Nature Physics about a “Giant topological Hall Effect”

The study, led by the group of Manuel Bibes, from Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales (France), published in Nature Physics on October 15, 2018, describes the discovery of a giant topological Hall effect arising from the topology of spatial distribution of spin textures.


Xavi Domingo: Project “Neuromorphic Photonic Devices using Photoconductive Quantum Wells

Òscar Díaz: Project “Neuromorphic Photonic Devices using Photoconductive Quantum Wells

Guillem Müller: Project “Topological Photonic Metasurfaces


In situ imaging of ferroelastic domains under electric fields. Blai Casals et a., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 217601 (2018),