Born in 1999 as a joint initiative between Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Universidad del Pais Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), the long-term aim of CFM is to push forward the frontiers of knowledge on advanced materials science research, by putting together stable teams with a record of excellence in scientific research. CFM quality work has been recognized by the Basque Government acknowledging its instrumental body MPC  (see CFM’s governance) as a Basic Excellence Research Center (BERC).

CFM headquarters are located in Donostia-San Sebastián, and offers a well configured, high quality working environment with modern facilities (building is operational since 2010), both for experimentalist and theoreticians.

CFM regularly hosts more than 120 professionals, from over 20 different nationalities. The research groups incorporate permanent scientific staff, postdoctoral researchers, predoctoral researchers as well as master and undergraduate students. Researchers receive continuous support from a strong team, in administrative, technical, computing, outreach, communication and project management activities.

CFM, a centre created to foster international excellence in materials science research


CFM is a research centre devoted to promote cutting-edge fundamental research on advanced materials, as well as to create new cohorts of highly skilled scientists who can face the challenges of excellence in research of materials science. The overall aim of CFM is to create a scientific and human environment of high quality devoted to excellence in the area of Material Physics research.


The vision of the centre is to become a world reference in topics of special interest in Materials Science and Technology worldwide, developing a focused strategy on specific research topics that can be led from a small scientific community as the one in the Basque Country. The broad guiding principles of CFM are excellence in fundamental science, training of young scientists, collaborative international approach as well as outreach.


At CFM, research activities are grouped along four main lines, although the structure remains fully horizontal and we actively seek cross-linked, multidisciplinary research. The four lines are Photonics, Polymers and Soft Matter, Chemical Physics of Complex Materials and Electronic Properties at the Nanoscale.


  •  To continue developing consistent international relationships and partnerships.
  • To assist scientists focusing their research work towards high overall impact in response to science community and market needs, maintaining the recognised track-record of research achievements and improving the technology transfer approach.
  • To develop young and world-class scientists recruitment strategies.
  • To train scientists in materials science, supporting / participating in scientists training programmes.
  • To increase the visibility of the centre, reinforce science dissemination activities and outreach events.