Research Lines

  • RL1: Sustainable energy conversion and storage systems

    Mission: Contribute to the global energy challenge by advancing the next materials generation for efficient clean-energy conversion and storage.

    Objectives & Goals 2020:

    • Develop sustainable materials & processes for energy (TRL1-3).
    • Implement developed materials in novel energy conversion & storage concepts (TRL2-4).
    • Conceive energy as a service making it available for full autonomous operation (TRL3-6).

    Strategic Fields 2020:

    • Light harvesting & management
      • Organic photovoltaics
      • Functional-oxides photovoltaics
      • Management (absorption, emission, sensing)
      • Heat harvesting & management
          • Thermoelectricity (organic & hybrids)
          • Heat transport (at the nanoscale).
          • Electrochemical storage
            • Beyond Li-ion batteries
            • Flow batteries
            • Electrodes (low-dimensional materials)

            Achievements 2020:

            • High throughput screening or organic solar cells
            • Electrolyte and solid electrolyte interphase for Calcium metal anode based batteries
            • Soft nanoimprinting litography for energy harvesting applications
            • Laser fabrication of supercapacitor electrodes containing low dimensional materials
          • RL2: Superconducting materials for emerging technologies

            Mission: Promote and develop superconducting materials as a solution for key emerging technologies of our society

            Objectives & Goals 2020:

            • Stimulate low cost and high throughput processing of nanostructured superconducting coated conductors
            • Boost the superconducting state by tuning vortex pinning, charge carrier density and local strain
            • Explore new functionalities for energy-efficient cuprate superconducting electronic devices
            • Accelerate superconducting materials customization for their integration in large scale infrastructures: Energy, Fusion, High Energy Physics, Astrophysics applications

            Strategic Fields 2020:

            • Superconducting materials design with high-throughtput low-cost processes
            • Energy transition with high temperature superconductors for electricity transport, distribution, generation and use
            • Compact fusion with high temperature superconductors
            • Energy-efficient electronics with high temperature superconductors
            • Future of high energy physics and astrophysics with Superconducting materials

             Achievements 2020:

            • Ultrafast transient liquid assisted growth of nanostructured high temperature superconducting films
            • Synthesis of BaMO3 perovskite nanoparticle for nanoengineering superconducting materials
            • Electric field-effect oxygen migration in YBa2Cu3O7-x films
            • Enhanced quench propagation of coated conductors by nanocoated current-flow diverters
            • Coated conductors as low surface impedance materials at microwaves for the new generation of high energy accelerators
            • Superconducting Transition Edge Sensors as radiation detectors
          • RL3: Oxides for new generation electronics

            Mission: R&D related to fundamental physics of oxide-based materials and their application to help finding solutions to Global Challenges towards efficient, energy friendly data storage and advanced computing.

            Objectives & Goals 2020:

            • Development of CMOS-compatible ferroelectric devices
            • Flexoelectric systems: oxides, 2D materials and membranes
            • Room-temperature magnetoelectrics and multiferroics
            • Spintronics based on spin-charge conversion
            • Photoresponsive materials for photonics and GHz-THz

            Strategic Fields 2020:

            • Ferroics and Flexoelectrics: ferroelectrics, flexoelectrics and multiferroics
            • Spintronics & Magnetic Storage: magnetic and resistive memories, low-dimensional and quantum materials
            • Photoresponsive Materials: Photonic/GHz-THz Devices

             Achievements 2020:

            • Understanding coupled orders (spin/orbital/charge) and phase transitions in multiferroics 
            • Stabilization of epitaxial ferroelectric phases on Si with high polarization, endurance and retention 
            • Giant enhancement of electromechanical response under light 
            • Flexible Antiferromagnetic Tapes as Memory Elements 
            • Design of new polar oxynitride perovskites 
          • RL4: Tuneable and low cost molecular electronics

            Mission: Development of novel electronic platforms based on molecular materials for the fabrication of (bio)chemical and physical sensors with high impact on our societal well-being and contributing to technological advances.

            Objectives & Goals 2020:

            • Design, synthesis and characterization of promising molecular materials to be integrated in devices (TRL1-2 level).
              • Synthesis/characterisation of functional molecular materials and theoretical rationalization and prediction.
              • Understanding and optimisation of device performance.
              • In situ and in-operando characterisation of the structural and electronic properties of the materials in devices across different spatial scales.
            • Fabrication of sensing devices (biosensors, ion sensing, light detectors, etc.) employing different electrical transducers  (TRL2-3).
            • Protocol validation (TRL3-4). Evaluation of the fabricated proof-of-concept devices in terms of stability, reproducibility, specific figures of merit and compatibility with up-scaling manufacturing processes.

            Strategic Fields 2020:

            • Development of molecular switches in solution and on surface to tune the molecular physical/chemical properties upon the application of an electrical stimuli and synthesis and characterisation of novel organic/molecular emitting materials.
            • Design and synthesis of functional molecules to be integrated in molecular junctions in order to gain insights into the influence of the molecular electronic structure, grafting groups, metal contact or molecular conformation on the transport properties.
            • Processing of organic semiconductors with low cost techniques compatible with up-scaling with the aim at controlling the thin films structure and morphology to achieve an optimised device performance (i.e., organic field-effect transistor, solar cell, etc.).
            • Development of (bio)sensors or light sensors employing organic/molecular electronic transducers.
            • In situ and in operando characterisation of devices at nanoscale employing surface probe microscopy techniques and theoretical rationalisation and predication of the materials properties.

            Achievements 2020:

            • Metal's specificity on the de-fluorination of C60F48 dopants used in organic devices

            This work provides experimental and theoretical proofs of the metal-dependent de-halogenation of fluorinated fullerenes (strong acceptor molecules used as p-type dopants in organic devices) through the modification of the energy barrier for C-F cleavage. The mechanisms determining the degree of stability of chemical species on surfaces are the clue for the specific chemical reactivity of metals and their role in on-surface synthesis and reactions.

            • Rapid&high-resolution patterning of microstructure and composition in organic semiconductors

            We show a methodology to write with light or heat microstructure and composition with the resolution of conventional lithography and the speed more typical of printing techniques. We show local patterning of molecular orientation and conformation, as well as local composition. For the latter, we show examples such as local doping, as well as patterning of ternary composition for white LEDs.

            • Exploiting the versatile alkyne-based chemistry for expanding the applications of stable organic radicals 

            The incorporation of terminal alkynes into the chemical structure of persistent organic perchlorotriphenylmethyl (PTM) radicals provides a new chemical tool to expand their potential applications. The chemical functionalization of hydrogenated SiO2-free silicon (Si–H) resulted in a light-triggered capacitance switch. Further, the click reaction between the alkyne-terminated PTM radical on a gold substrate and a ferrocene azide derivative led to a multistate electrochemical switch.

            • Organic field effect transistors based on organic semiconducting blends for bio-sensing and as X-ray detectors

            The processing of organic semiconductors blended with polystyrene by solution-shearing has permitted to prepare thin films with a controlled structure and morphology. Such films have been exploited as active layers in organic field-effect transistors to develop an X-ray detector with unprecedented performance. In addition, the films have also been applied in electrolyte-gated field-effect transistors to develop a biosensor to detect the Parkinson biomarker alpha-synuclein and to record the activity of cardiomyocyte cells.

            • Tuning Single‐Molecule Conductance in Metalloporphyrin‐Based Wires via Supramolecular Interactions

            Supramolecular wires are created in a confined nanoscale junction by using metalloporphyrin coordination chemistry in a similar fashion to that found in bacteria nanowires. Slight chemical changes in the axial ligands and in the porphyrin ring determine the exact final supramolecular scaffold, which defines the electron pathway along the supramolecular wire.

          • RL5: Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis

            Mission: Contribute to the current nanomedicine challenges providing platforms that integrate therapeutic and/or diagnostic capabilities.

            Objectives & Goals 2020:

            • To push forward the frontiers of knowledge in the design of new methodologies for the preparation, processing and advanced physicochemical characterization of bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis (TRL1-TRL2) (nanovesicles, nanocapsules, nanoparticles, dendrimers, nanotubes, containing bioactive molecules…) and its ability to tune their physicochemical and biological characteristics.
            • To understand the interaction of the developed materials with biological entities and confirm their selectivity and efficiency, in order that selected systems reach higher TRLs (TRL3-4 and TRL5-TRL7 for at least one nanomedicinal system)
            • To set up transversal enabling technologies for quality, efficacy and safety (QES) methods of characterization, cell culture laboratory, C.elegans models for in-vivo assays, and  molecular simulation tools.

            Strategic Fields 2020:

            • Biomimetic scaffolds for cellular growth in tissue engineering
            • Luminescent, multimodal nanocarriers and MRI materials for bioimaging
            • Drug delivery nanocarriers for therapy
            • Materials to address diseases such as cancer, rare diseases (i.e. Fabry), infections as well as regeneration therapies (i.e. ocular dressings, neurorepair after stroke) among others.

             Achievements 2020:

            • Tissue Engineering:
              • Bacterial nanocellulose to treat corneal pathologies
              • Reduced Graphene Oxide Scaffolds with a Combinatorial Fibrous-Porous Architecture for Neural Tissue Engineering
              • Development of substrates with gradients for a highthroughput study of cell motility
              • Stable anchoring of protein nanoparticles for enhanced cell guidance through Focal Adhesions
              • Polydopamine coating to immobilize growth factors on highly-interconnected bimodal PCL/HA scaffolds
            • Bioimaging:
              • Fluorescent quatsome nanovesicles for optical bioimaging
              • Green and Solvent-Free Supercritical CO2-Assisted Production of Superparamagnetic Graphene Oxide Aerogels as a Superior MRI Contrast Agent
              • Radical dendrimers with High relaxivity per molecule compared to currently used gadolinium complexes for MRI
            • Theranostic Nanocarriers:
              • Enhance ischemic tissue remodeling by encapsulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC)-secretome into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanocapsules (PLGA-NC)
              • π-Donor/π-Acceptor Interactions for the encapsulation of neurotransmitters on functionalized polysilicon-based microparticles.
            • Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis:
              • Development of ultra-sensitive imaging and therapeutic agents sealing radionuclides in the interior of hollow carbon nanostructures
              • Closo-Carboranyl- and Metallacarboranyl [1,2,3]triazolyl-Decorated Lapatinib-Scaffold Combining Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition and Boron Neutron Capture Therapy; iii) Towards Biomimetic Lymph Nodes for Cancer Immunotherapy.
            • Molecular simulations:
              • Interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with different materials
              • Self-assembly properties of COSAN, their ability to penetrate across biological membranes and their interactions with proteins and nucleic acids.
            • Patent protected nanoliposomal formulation of GLA enzyme, for Fabry disease treatment, has reached pre-clinical regulatory evaluation (TRL5)
          Anna May-Masnou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
          Anna May-Masnou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
          Web & Graphic Editor
          José Antonio Gómez  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

          José Antonio Gómez This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
          Albert Moreno     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.