Research Groups

RESEARCH UNIT: Smart Molecular Inorganic and Hybrid Materials

Inorganic Materials and Catalysis Laboratory

Our research has demonstrated that boron clusters are in many cases complementary to organic compounds in biomedical, materials or energy areas of research. The extraordinary stability is given by 3D-aromaticity. The new properties of these new materials along with the fact that they are not particularly expensive, foresee their applicability in many fields.

The research core of the Inorganic Materials and Catalysis Laboratory (LMI) scientific activity is in the chemistry and applications of boron clusters. Their geometry and their composition based on Boron, a semi-metal, bestow them unique properties largely unexplored. Regarding synthesis, the chemistry of boron clusters has achieved a sufficient degree of maturity that has led to new boron structures. Current efforts aim at developing new protocols to get targeted derivatives in a region-selective way.


  • Prof. Francesc Teixidor – Research Professor
  • Prof. Clara Viñas Teixidor – Research Professor
  • Dr. Rosario Núñez Aguilera – Research Scientist
  • Dr. José Giner Planas – Tenured Scientist
  • Jordi Cortés – Laboratory Technician
  • Dr. Maria Jose Mostazo – Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Ana Begoña Buades – PhD Researcher
  • Isabel Guerrero Troyano – PhD Researcher
  • Joan Soldevila – PhD Researcher
  • Jewel Ann Maria Xavier – PhD Researcher
  • Lei Gan – PhD Researcher
  • Miquel Nuez i Martínez – PhD Researcher
  • Sohini Sinha – PhD Researcher
  • Zhen Li – PhD Researcher
  • Ruben Rodríguez Madrid – Undergraduate Student

Several examples of the application of Boron clusters in Nanomedicine and energy.


Aromatic compounds that play important roles in biochemistry and industry found numerous applications from drug delivery to nanotechnology or biological markers. We have reached an important achievement demonstrating experimentally and theoretically that neutral and anionic carboranes, as well as anionic sandwich metallacarboranes, display global aromaticity being different from metallocenes, which is local. Based on the relationship between stability and aromaticity, we have opened new applications of boron clusters as key components in the field of new materials for energy and healthcare.

Metallacarborane derivatives demonstrated to be very efficient photoredox catalysts in the oxidation of aromatic and aliphatic alcohols in water accomplishing a conversion >99% with a catalyst load 0.01 mol%. The noncovalently linked metallacarboranes supported on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles proved to be highly efficient, robust, and reusable photocatalysts for alcohols in water, resulting in a green and sustainable heterogeneous catalytic system.

Regarding biomedicine, the research has been focused on the development of new nanohybrids (carboranyl + anilinoquinazolines) and nanoparticles as vehicles of cancer drugs or as anticancer drugs that, exhibiting desirable in vitro antitumor activities, offer the possibility of dual-action (chemotherapy + BNCT and thermotherapy + BNCT), may result in significant clinical benefits for glioblastoma treatment. Metallacarboranes have proven to be effective antimicrobial agents, including a highly potent anti-MRSA agent.

We have performed an important advance on luminescent materials containing meta-carboranes to demonstrate that these materials show high fluorescence quantum efficiency in solution and moderate emission in solid. Fluorescent BODIPY-meta-carboranyl dyads show high cellular uptake, being potential theranostic agents for bioimaging and BNCT. Conversely, anionic boron clusters usually produce a significant fluorescence quenching when are attached to any fluorophore.

We have discovered novel water-stable MOFs for biobutanol recovery from a mostly water-containing ABE mixture. We report the synthesis and demonstration of a robust, water stable and porous carborane-based MOF, which can efficiently separate butanol from an aqueous acetone-butanol-ethanol mixture obtained from the fermentation of biomass feedstock.


Atomistic Simulations of COSAN: Amphiphiles without a Head-and-Tail Design Display Head and Tail Surfactant Behavior
Malaspina, David C.; Vinas, Clara; Teixidor, Francesc; Faraudo, Jordi
ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION 2020, 59, 8, 3088-3092, 10.1002/anie.201913257

Nomenclature for boranes and related species (IUPAC Recommendations 2019)
Beckett, Michael A.; Brellochs, Bernd; Chizhevsky, Igor T.; Damhus, Ture; Hellwich, Karl-Heinz; Kennedy, John D.; Laitinen, Risto; Powell, Warren H.; Rabinovich, Daniel; Vinas, Clara; Yerin, Andrey
PURE AND APPLIED CHEMISTRY 2020, 92, 2, 355-381, 10.1515/pac-2018-0205

Blue Emitting Star-Shaped and Octasilsesquioxane-Based Polyanions Bearing Boron Clusters. Photophysical and Thermal Properties
Cabrera-Gonzalez, Justo; Chaari, Mandi; Teixidor, Francesc; Vinas, Clara; Nunez, Rosario
MOLECULES 2020, 25, 5, 1210, 10.3390/molecules25051210

A fast and simple B-C bond formation in metallacarboranes avoiding halometallacarboranes and transition metal catalysts
Buades, Ana B.; Kelemen, Zsolt; Arderiu, Victor S.; Zaulet, Adnana; Vinas, Clara; Teixidor, Francesc
DALTON TRANSACTIONS 2020, 49, 11, 3525-3531, 10.1039/c9dt04695j

Metallacarboranes as Photoredox Catalysts in Water
Guerrero, Isabel; Kelemen, Zsolt; Vinas, Clara; Romero, Isabel; Teixidor, Francesc
CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL 2020, 26, 22, 5027-5036, 10.1002/chem.201905395

Ruthenium carboranyl complexes with 2,2 '-bipyridine derivatives for potential bimodal therapy application
Teixeira, Ricardo G.; Marques, Fernanda; Robalo, M. Paula; Fontrodona, Xavier; Garcia, M. Helena; Crich, Simonetta Geninatti; Vinas, Clara; Valente, Andreia
RSC ADVANCES 2020, 10, 28, 16266-16276, 10.1039/d0ra01522a

A Highly Water-Stable meta-Carborane-Based Copper Metal-Organic Framework for Efficient High-Temperature Butanol Separation
Gan, Lei; Chidambaram, Arunraj; Fonquernie, Pol G.; Light, Mark E.; Choquesillo-Lazarte, Duane; Huang, Hongliang;
Solano, Eduardo; Fraile, Julio; Vinas, Clara; Teixidor, Francesc; Navarro, Jorge A. R.; Stylianou, Kyriakos C.; Planas, Jose G.
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 2020, 142, 18, 8299-8311, 10.1021/jacs.0c01008

Tuning the Structure and Flexibility of Coordination Polymers via Solvent Control of Tritopic Triazine Conformation during Crystallization
Portoles-Gil, Nuria; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Borras, Alejandro; Fraile, Julio; Solano, Eduardo; Vallcorba, Oriol; Planas, Jose G.; Ayllon, Jose A.; Domingo, Concepcion
CRYSTAL GROWTH & DESIGN 2020, 20, 5, 3304-3315, 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00088

Too Persistent to Give Up: Aromaticity in Boron Clusters Survives Radical Structural Changes
Jordi Poater, Clara Viñas, Ines Bennour, Sílvia Escayola, Miquel Solà, Francesc Teixidor
J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 2020, 142, 20, 9396–9407 10.1021/jacs.0c02228

Closo-Carboranyl- and Metallacarboranyl [1,2,3]triazolyl-Decorated Lapatinib-Scaffold for Cancer Therapy Combining Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition and Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
Couto, Marcos; Alamon, Catalina; Fernanda Garcia, Maria; Kovacs, Mariangeles; Trias, Emiliano; Nievas, Susana; Pozzi, Emiliano; Curotto, Paula; Thorp, Silvia; Alejandra Dagrosa, Maria; Teixidor, Francesc; Vinas, Clara; Cerecetto, Hugo
CELLS 2020, 9, 6, 1408, 10.3390/cells9061408

m-Carborane as a Novel Core for Periphery-Decorated Macromolecules
Bennour, Ines; Teixidor, Francesc; Kelemen, Zsolt; Vinas, Clara
MOLECULES 2020, 25, 12, 2814, 10.3390/molecules25122814

Anthracene-styrene-substitutedm-carborane derivatives: insights into the electronic and structural effects of substituents on photoluminescence
Chaari, Mahdi; Kelemen, Zsolt; Choquesillo-Lazarte, Duane; Teixidor, Francesc; Vinas, Clara; Nunez, Rosario
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY FRONTIERS 2020, 7, 12, 2370-2380, 10.1039/d0qi00127a

Nanostructure ITO and Get More of It. Better Performance at Lower Cost
Lopez, Manel; Luis Frieiro, Juan; Nuez-Martinez, Miguel; Pedemonte, Marti; Palacio, Francisco; Teixidor, Francesc
NANOMATERIALS 2020, 10, 10, 1974, 10.3390/nano10101974

Magnetic Nanoparticles Fishing for Biomarkers in Artificial Saliva
Saha, Arpita; Ben Halima, Hamdi; Saini, Abhishek; Gallardo-Gonzalez, Juan; Zine, Nadia; Vinas, Clara; Elaissari, Abdelhamid; Errachid, Abdelhamid; Teixidor, Francesc
MOLECULES 2020, 25, 17, 3968, 10.3390/molecules25173968

Highlights on the Binding of Cobalta-Bis-(Dicarbollide) with Glucose Units
Merhi, Tania; Jonchere, Alban; Girard, Luc; Diat, Olivier; Nuez, Miquel; Vinas, Clara; Bauduin, Pierre
CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL 2020, 26, 61, 13935-13947, 10.1002/chem.202002123

Bimodal Therapeutic Agents Against Glioblastoma, One of the Most Lethal Forms of Cancer
Couto, Marcos; Alamon, Catalina; Nievas, Susana; Perona, Marina; Alejandra Dagrosa, Maria; Teixidor, Francesc; Cabral, Pablo; Vinas, Clara; Cerecetto, Hugo
CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL 2020, 26, 63, 14335-14340, 10.1002/chem.202002963

Sunitinib-containing carborane pharmacophore with the ability to inhibit tyrosine kinases receptors FLT3, KIT and PDGFR-β, exhibits powerful in vivo anti-glioblastoma activity
C. Alamón, B. Dávila, M. F. García, C. Sánchez, M. Kovacs, E. Trias, L. Barbeito, M. Gabay, N. Zeineh, M. Gavish, F. Teixidor, C. Viñas, M. Couto, H. Cerecetto
Cancers (Basel) 2020, 12, 11, 3423, 10.3390/cancers12113423

Metallacarborane Assemblies as Effective Antimicrobial Agents, including a Highly Potent Anti-MRSA Agent (Issue Front Page)
I. Romero, M. Martinez-Medina, C. Camprubí-Font, I. Bennour, D. Moreno, L. Martínez-Martínez, F. Teixidor, M. A. Fox, C. Viñas
Organometallics 2020, 39, 4253, 10.1021/acs.organomet.0c00315

Tuning the Cell Uptake and Subcellular Distribution in BODIPY-Carboranyl Dyads: An Experimental and Theoretical Study
Labra-Vazquez, Pablo; Flores-Cruz, Ricardo; Galindo-Hernandez, Aylin; Cabrera-Gonzalez, Justo; Guzman-Cedillo, Cristian; Jimenez-Sanchez, Arturo; Lacroix, Pascal G.; Santillan, Rosa; Farfan, Norberto; Nunez, Rosario
Chem. Eur. J. 2020, 26, 1653010.1002/chem.202002600

Noncovalently Linked Metallacarboranes on Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles as Highly Efficient, Robust, and Reusable Photocatalysts in Aqueous Medium
I. Guerrero, A. Saha, J. A. M. Xavier, C. Viñas, I. Romero, F. Teixidor
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 56372, 10.1021/acsami.0c17847 

Outreach activities

Participation on “A researcher in your classroom” giving a talk at Instituto de Educación Secundaria La Romànica, Barberà del Vallès (Barcelona) (10/02/2020) by Rosario Nuñez

Participation on the Dramatized Lecture "Madame Châtelet y sus seguidoras en Instagram" (08/02/2020) in Vil·la Urània (Barcelona), to celebrate the 11F, International Day of Women in Science and also in the “Researchers Night” (27/11/2020) by Rosario Nuñez

Spotlight in JACS Publications for publication on "Aromaticity in Boron Clusters"

Spotlights on Recent JACS Publications | Journal of the American Chemical Society

Press appearance: "Descubren un material que separa el butanol en los procesos de fermentación", La Vanguardia (27/04/2020)

Press appearance: "Researchers make key advance toward production of important biofuel", (27/04/2020)

Press appearance: "MOF can Efficiently Separate Biobutanol from Fermented Biomass", AZOCleantech (28/04/2020)

Press appearance: "MOF can Efficiently Separate Biobutanol from Fermented Biomass", Green Car Congress (29/04/2020)

Press appearance: "El biobutanol, una opción atractiva para producir combustible sostenible y renovable", World Energy Trade (28/04/2020)

Press appearance: "Smart fluorescent molecular switches based on boron-based compounds", UAB (28/04/2020)

Press appearance: "Smart fluorescent molecular switches based on boron-based compounds", (28/10/2020)

Press appearance: "Smart fluorescent molecular switches based on boron-based compounds", AlKhaleej Today (28/10/2020)

Press appearance: "Smart fluorescent molecular switches based on boron-based compounds", BrightSurf Science News (28/10/2020)

Press appreance: "Desarrollan interruptores moleculares fluorescentes inteligentes basados en boro" BioTech (29/10/2020)

Press appearance: "Fluorescent efficiency of three m-carborane-anthracene derivatives", UAB Divulga (03/04/2020)


Cover in Organometallics for "Metallacarborane Assemblies as Effective Antimicrobial Agents, Including a Highly Potent Anti-MRSA Agent" by Isabel Romero, Margarita Martinez-Medina, Carla Camprubí-Font, Ines Bennour, David Moreno, Luis Martínez-Martínez, Francesc Teixidor, Mark A. Fox, Clara Viñas

Main projects

Materiales basados en clústeres boro para energía sostenible y aplicaciones medioambientales
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, CTQ2016-75150-R
Clara Viñas Teixidor, Rosario Núñez
01/2017 - 06/2020 // 220.000€

Materiales basados en clústeres de boro para energía sostenible y aplicaciones medioambientales
Clara Viñas Teixidor, Rosario Núñez
01/2020 - 06/2020 // 35.855,02€

Materiales basados en clústeres boro para energía sostenible y aplicaciones medioambientales
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, PID2019-106832RB-I00
Clara Viñas Teixidor, Rosario Núñez
07/2020 - 12/2022 // 121.000€

Grupo de Investigación consolidado en el marco del III Pla de Recerca de Catalunya
Generalitat de Cataluña (2017/SGR/1720)
Francesc Teixidor
2018 - 2020 // 20.000 €

An integrated POC solution for non-invasive diagnosis and therapy monitoring of Heart Failure patients
European Comission H2020, 768686
A. Errachid, Francesc Teixidor
11/2017 – 05/2021 // 233.492,87€

Materiales basados en clústeres de boro para energía sostenible y aplicaciones medioambientales
Ministerio de Economía y Empresa. Proyectos I+D+i - Retos 2016, BES27
Clara Viñas
7/2020 - 6/2023 // 6.250,00€

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.