Neutron Science

Neutron science is strongly used in all activities of BCMaterials and it will continue to be one or the cornerstones of advanced materials characterization. SANS, diffraction, reflectometry and inelastic experiments are being performed in Dubna, ILL and ISIS in areas including magnetism, MOFs, energy generation and storage, soft matter and nanoparticle. In this new research period, this research line gains a clear structure to generate an ambitious dynamics and a coherent structure.


Anzola Martínez, Mikel Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Mikel Anzola Martínez graduated in Physics in 2020 at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His degree thesis, “An alternative manner of calculating Wannier functions”, focused on the simulation of electronic structures with tools such as Quantum Espresso.

Subsequently, he finished his master degree in Quantum Science and Technologies in 2021 at the University of the Basque Country with a thesis named “Ab initio treatment of the electron-phonon interaction and anisotropic superconductivity” using the EPW project code.

After a change of focus for a more experimental approach he is currently working on his PhD about nanomagnetism and artificial spin-ice at BCMaterials.

Petrenko, Viktor Ikerbasque Research Fellow

Dr. Viktor Petrenko is experienced in small-angle scattering and reflectometry techniques for structural characterization of various colloidal solutions and soft matter in bulk and at interfaces. His current interest is focused onto application of small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering as well as reflectometry techniques for development of various type colloidal solutions for different applications. The main objects of his study are ferrofluids, solutions of bio-macromolecules, surfactants&polymer solutions, colloidal solutions of fullerenes, layered nanostructures, planar and developed electrochemical interfaces etc. For the moment Dr.V.I.Petrenko has 81 publications in Scopus, h index = 12.

In 2005 he received Master Diploma with Honor at Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University (Ukraine) and then PhD in molecular physics in 2008. Doctor of science diploma in physics and mathematics was received in 2017 at Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University (Ukraine) and title of the work was “Structure and physical properties of magnetic fluids”.

During PhD study he has performed a lot of small-angle scattering experiments at IBR-2 reactor in JINR (Russia) as well as at Budapest Neutron Center (Hungary). The PhD work was devoted to small-angle neutron scattering study of magnetic fluids and surfactants which are used for its stabilization.

During postdoc researches Dr. Petrenko personally participated in scattering experiments at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Villigen, Swiss); MLZ (Garching, Germany); HZG (Geesthacht, Germany); DESY (Hamburg, Germany) etc. Also he has received several grants/fellowships for short term stay in Germany, Slovakia and Hungary.

For the last several years he was invited to international conferences with Invited talk as well as to present his works at various seminars.

During scientific career Dr. Viktor Petrenko was awarded by different diploma and prizes for the neutron scattering research works. Thus, in research team he got

  • First JINR prize for 2018 in Applied physics research (Russia, 2019);
  • Prize of President of Ukraine for young scientists (Ukraine, 2013);
  • Prizes of FLNP JINR for scientific works in condensed matter physics (Russia, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017);
  • M. Frank scholarship (Russia, 2017);
  • National Scholarship Program of the Slovak Republic for PhD (Slovak Republic, 2015 and 2017);
  • Letter of commendation from Presidium of Ukraine National Academy of Science for cycle of scientific works (Ukraine, 2012);
  • L. Shapiro scholarship (Russia, 2011).
Porro, José María Ikerbasque Research Fellow

Dr. Jose María Porro is currently an Ikerbasque Research Fellow at BCMaterials, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain. He obtained his “licenciatura en física” (2008), his Master in Nanoscience (2010) and his PhD in Materials Physics (2014), from the University of the Basque Country. He developed his PhD at the nanomagnetism group of CIC nanoGUNE (Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain), under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Vavassori. After his PhD, he was a post-doctoral research associate at the ISIS neutron and muon source of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxfordshire, UK) until September 2017. At the same time, he was a visiting scientist at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron of the UK. In 2017 he secured a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship (MSCA-IF) at BCMaterials, followed by an Ikerbasque Fellowship in late 2019 at the same institution. He has undergone research stays at leading international research institutions such as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California, USA), the Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York, USA), the Institute Laue-Langevin (Grenoble, France), the Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut of the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and the Nanotechnology Core Facility of the University of Illinois at Chicago (USA).

He has secured funding for this research activities, both as PI and as project member, from European (H2020, MSCA actions), international (EPSRC, UK), national (MINECO RETOS) and regional (PIBA, ELKARTEK) funding schemes. He is author and co-author of around 30 research articles published in indexed international leading peer-reviewed journals. He contributes to the organization of conferences and workshops, participating as member of the Program Committee of international conferences and workshops. He participated in international and national conferences with invited and oral talks. He is currently member of the Magnetic Materials Committee of the TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) of the USA, and of the user committee of the IBR-2 neutron source (Dubna, Russia). He is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Magnetochemistry (IF: 2.193), an evaluator for the Spanish AEI on “Generación de conocimento” project calls, and scientific expert (evaluator of neutron beamtime proposals) in the panel “Nanosystems and soft matter” for the IBR-2 neutron source, as well as for ANSTO, the Australian Neutron Source. He has supervised three Master Thesis, as well as several TFGs and short research internships, and currently supervises three PhD students.

Research interests
His expertise focalizes in the investigation of magnetic shape memory alloys in polycrystalline, single-crystal and thin film forms, as well as in nanomagnetism, and in particular in thin film and interacting nanostructures’ magnetism. Complementary to these, his research interests also include the design and fabrication of patterned magnetic micro and nanostructures by means of advanced lithography techniques, and in the characterization of all the aforementioned materials by means of large-scale facilities such as synchrotron and neutron radiation sources. His current research activities include the design and development of ferromagnetic shape memory alloys undergoing patterning processes, the study of all-optical switching phenomena in magnetic multi-layered thin films, and the study of a novel class of interacting magnetic materials called Artificial Spin-Ices.

Río-López, Natalia Ahiova Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Natalia Río López graduated in Chemistry in 2019 at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Her degree thesis was on “Synthesis and characterization of carbon nanomaterials for its use in supercapacitors”. Afterwards, she continued her studies with a masters´ degree in New Materials, which she finished developing a thesis on “Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys for its use as micro and nanoactuators” at BCMaterials and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

Currently, she is starting her PhD focused on the development of smart and tunable surfaces made of magnetic shape memory alloys.

Villar Luque, Aritz Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Aritz Villar graduated in Physics in 2020 at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His degree thesis was titled “Shape memory alloys elaborated by powder-metallurgy”.

After that, he continued his studies with a master’s degree in New Materials, which he finished in 2021. His master’s thesis was “Ultra-short pulses, application to magnetism” which was his starting point to his currently developing PhD thesis “Ultrafast All-Optical switching in nanostructured magnetic metamaterials” at the BCMaterials and the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) under the supervision of Dr. José María Porro. Both thesis are focused in the study of the All-Optical Switching phenomena in ferromagnetic thin films.

Research Associates

In this research line also take part several Research Associates, that belong to the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and perform part of their activity within BCMaterials. Thus, the work of the different lines is carried out in close collaboration with research groups at the University, promoting excellence and worldwide impact.