Raúl A. Rica is associate professor of Applied Physics at the University of Granada since 2020. He leads the Nanoparticles Trapping Lab (NanoTLab), where he uses optical tweezers and Paul traps to manipulate micro and nanoparticles with exquisite precision. His research interests include statistical physics and non-equilibrium phenomena with trapped particles, electro-thermally induced flow in microfluidics and the study of levitated aerosol particles.
Raúl Rica obtained his PhD in physics at the University of Granada in 2011, and then moved to the University of Milan-Bicocca to work as a postdoc researcher on a FP7 project devoted to the study of porous supercapacitors for the extraction of renewable energy from salinity differences. In 2012 joined the The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, Barcelona), where he worked first as a postdoc in the Optical Tweezers group (2012-2014), and as a research fellow in the Plasmon Nanooptics group (2014-2016). During his stay at ICFO, he was trained with state-of-the-art experimental techniques in photonics and electronics, being involved in two ERC projects. In the period 2016-2017 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the TRAPSENSOR lab (Department of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics, University of Granada), aiming at ultraprecise mass measurements of ions trapped in ultra-high vacuum. Finally, in the period 2017-2019, he was a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación at the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Granada. In that period, he introduced a new research line in the University of Granada, combining optical tweezers and Paul traps for the manipulation of nanoparticles. Since then, he has been PI in a number of projects, including one infrastructure project (MICINN) and one excellence project (Junta de Andalucía), allowing him to create the NanoTLab.
Prof. Rica has published a number of papers in high impact factor journals, including Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Nano Letters and Physical Review Letters. He has supervised one PhD thesis and several Master theses and is currently supervising 2 PhD students. He currently teaches Fluid Mechanics for Electronic Engineering students and Experimental Physics and General Physics to Physics students in Granada.