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The OPTOFEM 2020 school counted with 85 participants from around the world

The OPTOFEM 2020 School on Optically Controlled Ferroelectric Memristors held its first edition in an online format on 22-23 October 2020. The ICMAB school was a huge success, and counted with more than 85 participants from 18 countries around the world, who attended more than 16 hours of lectures on the topic. 

Anna May
09 November 2020

The OPTOFEM 2020 was organized by ICMAB researchers Josep Fontcuberta and Ignasi Fina, from the MULFOX group. Their intention was to organize a "school" in which the Lecturers explained the fundamentals, basics and application of some key concepts, including:

  • Photoresponse in semiconductors
  • Band alignment in M/SC and M/SC/M junctions
  • Conduction mechanisms across ferroelectric capacitors, tunnel barriers and diodes
  • Photoresponse in ferroelectric capacitors and optically modulated electroresistance
  • Bulk Photovoltaic effect
  • Optically accessible memristors

The school programme consisted of 4 lectures of 2 hours per day (class and discussion) from 7 lecturers experts in their respective fields. The lecturers did a great job in explaining in a clear way all the topics of the school, the participants were very active in terms of attendance and asking questions, and the chairs were fantastic session managers. 

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Figure: Josep Fontcuberta opening the OPTOFEM2020 online ICMAB school. 


The School counted with more than 85 participants from 18 countries around the world, 60 % PhD researchers, 33 % Postdoctoral researchers and 7 % Master and Undergraduate students.

optofem participants stats

Figure: Distribution of country of institution of the participants and by career position.  

The feedback from the participants was positive, since 81 % evaluated the school with > 4/5, and 86 % evaluated the Lectures very positively (>4/5). For more information about the feedback, take a look at the figures below. The top-right graph shows how the participants would like to maybe join a 4-day course with lectures only in the morning, and being face-to-face, although most of them agree that they would repeat the experirence of a 2-full-day online course. All of them would like to join another course in the future. The bottom-left graph shows the level of knowledge before the course, after, and the profit of the lectures (0:low, 5: high). The previous knowledge was between 0 and 3, and after the school the knowledge was between 1 and 4, and mostly between 3 and 4. The bottom-right graph shows the feedback regarding the duration of the lectures, discussion sessions, breaks and the school in general. Participants say that lectures were either too long or adequate, discussion slots, breakd and school duration was mainly adequate, although some found the breaks and the school too short. 

optofem evaluation

Figure: Evaluation of the school by the participants.  

 The participants also valued positively the programme of the school, as stated in the following comments: 

"I really value that the lecturers covered the basic principles required prior to the main theme they were about to present. The flow of concepts was crucial and unattainable from research papers." 

"I value the diversity of the lectures and the fact that speakers are between the most important researchers of their fields. It is also of great value the accessibility of the lecturers during the discussion time."

 Some other comments referred to the duration of the school and the fact that the school had to be online, and not face-to-face:

" I would love to have three lectures a day, with more time for discussions and questions. I would like to see more time allotted to discussions. In most cases, students are shy, but as more time passes, one realizes that he/she could ask basic and fundamental questions. So probably three lectures a day with a bit more time for discussions would be great. I think Pep and Ignasi did a great job already... Having a school such as this even during the pandemic is a kind gesture. I appreciate the organizers and the student technical team for providing us this school."

"It would probably be better if the lectures were 2 or 3 per day, rather than 4, so the material would be better understood."

optofem participants 2

Figure: Some of the participants of the OPTOFEM2020 school. 

Thank you to all the lecturers, registered participants, chairs, and organizing and support team for making it possible.

More information about the lecturers, school topics and programme, in the OPTOFEM 2020 website

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