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The “Nonlinear Optics and Waveguides” research group belongs to the Materials Physics Department of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and the “Nicolás Cabrera” Materials Science Institute of the same university.

Its origin may be dated back to the end of the 1980s or early 1990s, when professors Fernando Agulló López and José Manuel Cabrera Castillo began an increasing theoretical and experimental research activity on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of dielectric materials and their applications.

Ever since, the group activity has been centered around the field of photonics, being a world reference in research lines such as: i) investigation of the photorefractive effect and its applications in nonlinear optics and holography, and ii) development of optical waveguides in organic and dielectric materials with nonlinear applications. These waveguides were obtained by proton exchange or heavy-ion irradiation at the ion accelerator facility of the Center for Micro Analysis of Materials (CMAM) at UAM.

Over the last years, we have diversified the research activity relying on the experience and knowledge acquired on the nonlinear optical properties of the materials. A major part of our attention is focused on the manipulation, trapping and organization of micro- and nanoparticles, becoming a pioneering group in the development and applications of a novel technique, known as Photovoltaic Optoelectronic Tweezers (PVOT).

On the other hand, we are also undertaking a related research line with a more interdisciplinary character. We devote a significant part of our activity to the investigation of applications of ferroelectric materials in biology, as well as the production of plasmonic platforms based on metallic nanoparticles for the development of applications in biophotonics and biotechnology. This multidisciplinary activity is possible thanks to the close collaboration with professors Jose Luis Bella, Alfonso Blázquez and Carmen López Fernández from the Genetics section of the Biology Department of UAM. In fact, they can be considered members of the research group.

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