Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Leonardo Soriano
  • Email:

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - Departamento de Física Aplicada Facultad de Ciencias
  • Address: c/ Francisco Tomás y Valiente 7, 28049 Madrid
  • Province: Madrid

Research Area

  • Physics (PHY)

Brief description of the institution:


Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The Autonomous University of Madrid together with CSIC constitute a Campus of Excellence (UAM+CSIC) located in Madrid. Currently UAM is one of the 3 top universities in Spain. The Faculty of science is integrated by more than 500 PhD lecturers having important infrastructures for research in Bio and Earth sciences.


The group is led by Prof. Soriano who has more than 30 years’ experience in surface science with more than 70 indexed articles and more than 1300 cites. Prof Soriano has also led 7 national projects and more than 30 projects in European synchrotron installations. Besides, Prof. Luis Galán (Honorary Professor) has participated as principal investigator in more than 10 research projects on this subject with the European Space Agency and space-industry companies. Most of these projects were related to secondary electron emission and Multipactor. The group has important experience in electro-optical devices (photocathodes), hard-coatings, oxides, membranes and nanostructures in general. The group has also important infrastructure for this project, such as up to 5 high vacuum chambers for the growth of coatings and thin films, two XPS spectrometers and one SEY measurement system, apart from many other techniques for characterization of the coatings (SEM, EDX, XRD, AFM, STM, RBS) supported by UAM; as well as mechanical and electronic workshops.

Project description:

Nanostructured surfaces of low secondary electron emission yield (SEY) for the suppression of Multipactor in high-power RF devices in space. This topic is of great interest in space technology and industry, like in Communication and Earth Observation satellites. It is also of great interest in high-energy particle accelerators like in CERN, SLAC, or KEK.

Multipactor is an impairing electron avalanche discharge in those devices which is initiated and maintained by SEY. The final solution is the use of surfaces of low SEY in the critical parts of devices. Surface roughness of high aspect ratio is the most influencing property in achieving low SEY and of great technological interest at present. This will be studied theoretically and experimentally.

Surface treatments for modifying chemical, physical, and morphologically the surface of devices will be developed in order to achieve very low SEY. Important constrains are maintaining maximum electrical conductivity at high frequencies and long-term chemical stability in air. All these competing requirements will be tackled by a multilayer coating approach based on the different depth scales of those properties. Submicron surface roughness scale is demanded by the conductivity requirement.

Apart from the SEY test, other laboratory techniques, like XPS, AES, REELS, SEM, EDX, and AFM will be available for analysis. Ultimate nanotechnology techniques (nanocolumns, nanoparticles, Grephene layers) will be used for preparation of the anti-multipactor coatings.

Real Ku-band wave-guide devices will be treated with the successful treatments and tested for RF behaviour and Multipactor power level in ESA or in a space technology company. The research will continue previous projects with ESA and space industry partners.


Applicants should submit their CV, and a letter of motivation to the leader of the group before September 1st

I want to contact the Institution

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