The scientific career of Cefe López started at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid from where he graduated in Physics (1984) and received his PhD (1989) in optical properties of semiconductors. After a postdoctoral period at the University of Oxford and a teaching stint at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid he entered the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) as a Tenured Scientist in 1993. His main research interests focus on self-assembled photonic crystals and related systems. In particular, his multidisciplinary group covers the synthesis and processing of materials – such as photonic glasses, composites, nanoparticles, and quantum dots – as well as the study of light transport, generation, and interference in ordered and disordered dielectric structures.
What motivated you to specialize in photonic crystals as your main area of research?
Optics and solid state physics have always been my favorite topics and photonic crystals perfectly unite the two in a beautiful and broad spanning subject. Being able to approach it from the self-assembly flank facilitates tacking such complex systems with modest means.
How do you see this field of research evolving in an interdisciplinary manner?
The materials aspects of the subject are one of the main sources of novelty and in fact constitute a reserve of real estate where the area can expand. Fabrication and processing ever improving the properties and functionalities of simple systems are a very fertile ground.
How do you feel about your new role as a member of the Advanced Materials Editorial Advisory Board?
It is a very humble role but one that can have strong traction. I hope to be able to help in spotting promising areas of development and attracting creative researchers to the field and to the journal.
In which area of materials science you expect considerable potential for future developments?
Self-assembly holds great promise for the inherent inexpensive methods it involves. We should expect to see great developments where price restrains the improvement in many top-down fabrication methods.