ICFO Schools on the Frontiers of Light

New Frontiers in Optical Trapping and Optical Manipulation
3-7 July 2017, Barcelona


The next ICFO School on the Frontiers of Light will take place from 3-7 July 2017 on New Frontiers in Optical Trapping and Optical Manipulation.

Nearly 40 years after the seminal work by Arthur Ashkin, Optical trapping and manipulation has become a transversal enabling tool involved in many aspects of Science, from fundamental Physics to Biology. This new edition of the ICFO School on the Frontiers of Light, will introduce the students to the physics of optical forces and the principal current trends in the field, including statistical physics, optomechanics, biophysics and soft matter. The school agenda includes pedagogical lectures on selected topics, research seminars, group discussion sessions,  and lab tours and is ideally designed for master-level students and beginners in the field. The school will be complemented by a one-day symposium which will bring together worldwide experts from different communities who will present some of the main emerging trends.

The school will include 4 days of lectures from 3-6 July. The scientific Symposium will run on Friday 7 July with invited talks from leading international researchers. More details about the Symposium can be found here.

Lecturers & Topics:

  • Lukas Novotny (ETH Zürich, Switzerland): Optomechanics
  • Erwin J.G. Peterman (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands): Biophysics
  • Juan M.R. Parrondo (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain): Stochastic and information thermodynamics
  • Giovanni Volpe (University of Gothenburg, Sweden): Basics of Optical trapping & Applications of optical tweezers on Soft Matter 
  • Raúl A. Rica (University of Granada, Spain): New trapping techniques 

Important Dates

  • Deadline for applications: 28 April 2017
  • School dates: 3-6 July 2017
  • Symposium: 7 July 2017


You can download the program here:


To download Juan M. R. Parrondo’s course slides click on the following links:

To download Giovanni Volpe’s course slides click on the following links:

Applications for the school have now closed. Please note that you may still register for the symposium

Registration and Fellowships

The school will be limited to a maximum of 30 students, selected on the basis of academic merit. More details can be found HERE.

International travel fellowships will be made available to outstanding applicants. All applicants will be automatically considered for travel fellowships. First priority for fellowships will be for masters-level students, although advanced undergraduate and early PhD students are welcome to apply.

Local accommodation will be provided for all participants.


ICFO – the Institute of Photonic Sciences, is a young research institution that aims to advance the very limits of the science and technology of light, tackling important challenges faced by society at large in all areas of life, including health, energy, information, safety, security and caring for the environment. ICFO is a member of BIST, the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, and is situated in Castelldefels, a small town located by the sea just outside of Barcelona, Spain.

More information about how to get to ICFO can be found HERE.


The Local Organising Committee is Prof. Romain Quidant (ICFO) , Dr. Raúl Rica (University of Granada) and Dr Robert Sewell (ICFO).

ICFO Schools on the Frontiers of Light aim at giving talented young researchers and students worldwide a first introduction to a thematic research area and a taste of an international research environment. These schools incorporate a dynamic and social learning environment beyond participating in lectures, including group discussions, direct interactions with the lecturers, student talks, poster presentations, and visits to labs.

Hosted at ICFO – the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, and supported by the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera • Ignacio Cirac Program Chair, these schools are open to a limited number of students, selected on the basis of academic merit.

International Travel Fellowships are available to outstanding applicants from around the world.