Research Groups

RESEARCH UNIT: Solid State Chemistry

Solid State Chemistry (SSC)

Activities have focused on the study of battery materials, the development of carbon nanomaterials and new porous nanostructures, the use of electrochemical methods for the synthesis and control of materials and the development of oxynitrides with new electronic properties.

The Solid State Chemistry (SSC) Group’s research interests cover a diversity of topics within materials chemistry, centered in the areas of battery materials, inorganic and carbon nanomaterials, hybrid materials, biomaterials and nitride-based materials. The design of new inorganic phases, basing on crystal chemical criteria, mixed-valence character and their modification by chemical/electrochemical doping –cationic or anionic- and by changing the size and microstructure, are among their major objectives.

The development of new synthetic methodologies, specific for each targeted phase, is also a defining feature of the Research Unit. The investigated materials include high power/high capacity electrodes for rechargeable batteries, electroactive materials for neural growth, drug delivery systems, inorganic nanowires, carbon nanotubes, luminescent and electronic materials and catalysts.


  • Prof. Amparo Fuertes - Research Professor
  • Prof. M. Rosa Palacín - Research Professor
  • Prof. Nieves Casañ-Pastor - Research Professor
  • Prof. Concepción Domingo - Research Professor
  • Dr. Gerard Tobias - Research Scientist
  • Dr. Dino Tonti - Tenured Scientist
  • Dr. Ana Mª López - Tenured Scientist
  • Dr. Alexandre Ponrouch - Tenured Scientist
  • Julio Fraile - Technical Staff
  • Dr. Stefania Sandoval - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Deyana Stoytcheva - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. María Soria - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Ashley Black - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Damien Monti - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Rafael Trocoli - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Charlotte Bodin - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Laura Rodríguez - PhD Researcher
  • Alejandro Borrás - PhD Researcher
  • Eulalia Pujades - PhD Researcher
  • Marina Llenas - PhD Researcher
  • Martà Kubovics - PhD Researcher
  • Laura Fuentes - PhD Researcher
  • Albert Rosado Morente - PhD Researcher
  • Jhonatan Ricardo Guarín Romero - PhD Researcher
  • Juan Forero - PhD Researcher
  • Wenhai Wang - PhD Researcher
  • Raphaelle Houdeville - PhD Researcher
  • Celia Martínez - PhD Researcher
  • Manuel Altabas - PhD Researcher
  • Antonio Miguel Socias - Laboratory Technician
  • Marta Florensa - Project Researcher

1) Infra-red (FTIR) spectra of passivation layers on the negative electrode of calcium based batteries. (a) spectra of deposits obtained in Ca(BF4)2 and Ca(TFSI)2 based electrolytes, (b) FTIR-microspectroscopy spectra of regions A and B marked in panel (c). (c) Shows an image of the surface of the deposit formed in Ca(BF4)2 electrolyte.

2) Digital picture and SEM micrograph of a metal-based@GO composite aerogel prepared using supercritical CO2 technology.


Batteries based on multivalent ions (e.g. Ca2+, Mg2+) and metal anodes could enable very high energy densities. Bottlenecks to overcome for the study of such new chemistries are not only the development of electrolytes and cathodes enabling efficient cation diffusion, but also careful control of passivation layer on metal anode and interfacial processes such as desolvation. Activities included the screening of new materials as potential cathodes for Ca metal batteries, proof of concept of full cells using calcium based electrolytes and activated carbon and TiS2 as negative and positive electrode materials, the study of the impact of the composition of the passivation layer, and the cation solvation structure on Ca plating kinetics. Polyradical complexes have been tested as redox mediators for Li/O2 batteries, their potential can be tuned by controlling interaction between redox centers. Sn nanoplatelets have been developed as efficient anodes for Li-ion batteries.

In the field of carbon nanomaterials, "hot" radioactive nanocapsules have been developed. This has been achieved by filling carbon nanotubes with “cold” samarium (152Sm), which can then be activated on demand to its “hot” radioactive form (153Sm) by neutron irradiation.

A high specific radioactivity has been obtained, making the “hot” nanocapsules useful not only for in vivo imaging but also therapeutically effective against lung cancer metastases. Electrochemical methods in presence of appropriate catalysts (IrOx) have allowed the formation of extremely oxidized graphene hybrids. Nitrographene IrOx hybrids are nanostructured showing the highest charge capacity found for graphene hybrids. Depending on the thermal treatment of the graphene oxide precursors, different electrochemical behaviors are found, and a surprising transformation among them.

Supercritical CO2 has been used for the preparation of materials with applications in the area of health and energy. Sterile and solvent free scaffolds for tissue engineering have been developed. Graphene-based aerogel composites proved to have interesting applications as a contrast agent in MRI. Coordination polymers with applications in the area of gas adsorption and molecular electronics have been successfully obtained.

In the field of oxynitrides the new non centrosymmetric polar perovskite BaWON2 has been discovered. This is the first example of a hexagonal perovskite oxynitride and also the first reported perovskite oxynitride with total anion order which induces, together with large distortions of W6+ octahedra, long range ordered dipoles and a large permitivitty. New europium tungsten perovskite oxynitrides have been also developed with magnetic properties tuned by the O/N ratio.


Organic Polyradicals as Redox Mediators: Effect of Intramolecular Radical Interactions on Their Efficiency
Badetti, Elena; Lloveras, Vega; Amadio, Emanuele; Di Lorenzo, Rosalia; Olivares-Marin, Mara; Tesio, Alvaro Y.; Zhang, Songbai; Pan, Fangfang; Rissanen, Kari; Veciana, Jaume; Tonti, Dino; Vidal-Gancedo, Jose; Zonta, Cristiano; Licini, Giulia
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES 2020, 12, 41, 45968-45975, 10.1021/acsami.0c09386

Electrochemical growth of two-dimensional tin nano-platelet as high-performance anode material in lithium-ion batteries
Khabazian, S.; Sanjabi, S.; Tonti, Dino
JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL AND ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY 2020, 84, 120-130, 10.1016/j.jiec.2019.12.027

Towards standard electrolytes for sodium-ion batteries: physical properties, ion solvation and ion-pairing in alkyl carbonate solvents
Monti, Damien; Jonsson, Erlendur; Boschin, Andrea; Palacin, M. Rosa; Ponrouch, Alexandre; Johansson, Patrik
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS 2020, 22, 39, 22768-22777, 10.1039/d0cp03639k

Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects of Calcium Batteries
Elena Arroyo-de Dompablo, M.; Ponrouch, Alexandre; Johansson, Patrik; Rosa Palacin
M. CHEMICAL REVIEWS 2020, 120, 14, 6331-6357, 10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00339

Understanding the nature of the passivation layer enabling reversible calcium plating
Forero-Saboya, Juan; Davoisne, Carine; Dedryvere, Remi; Yousef, Ibraheem; Canepa, Pieremanuele; Ponrouch, Alexandre
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 2020, 13, 10, 3423-3431 10.1039/d0ee02347g

Towards dry and contaminant free Ca(BF4)2-based electrolytes for Ca plating
J. Forero-Saboya, M. Lozinsek, A. Ponrouch
Journal of Power Sources Advances 2020 6 100032 10.1016/j.powera.2020.100032

Multivalent Mg2+-, Zn2+-, and Ca2+-Ion Intercalation Chemistry in a Disordered Layered Structure
Kang, Seongkoo; Reeves, Kyle G.; Koketsu, Toshinari; Ma, Jiwei; Borkiewicz, Olaf J.; Strasser, Peter; Ponrouch, Alexandre; Dambournet, Damien
ACS APPLIED ENERGY MATERIALS 2020, 3, 9, 9143-9150 10.1021/acsaem.0c01530

Ionic Liquid-Based Electrolytes for Calcium-Based Energy Storage Systems
Stettner, T.; Dugas, R.; Ponrouch, A.; Balducci A.
JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY 2020, 167, 10, 100544, 10.1149/1945-7111/ab9c89

Steps Towards the Use of TiS2 Electrodes in Ca Batteries
Verrelli, R.; Black, A.; Dugas, R.; Tchitchekova, D.; Ponrouch, A.; Palacin, M. R.
JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY 2020, 167, 7, 70532, 10.1149/1945-7111/ab7a82

Appraisal of calcium ferrites as cathodes for calcium rechargeable batteries: DFT, synthesis, characterization and electrochemistry of Ca4Fe9O17
Black, Ashley P.; Torres, Arturo; Frontera, Carlos; Rosa Palacin, M.; Elena Arroyo-de Dompablo, M.
DALTON TRANSACTIONS 2020, 49, 8, 2671-2679, 10.1039/c9dt04688g

SEI Composition on Hard Carbon in Na-Ion Batteries After Long Cycling: Influence of Salts (NaPF6, NaTFSI) and Additives (FEC, DMCF)
Fondard, J.; Irisarri, E.; Courreges, C.; Palacin, M. R.; Ponrouch, A.; Dedryvere, R.
JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY 2020 167 7 70526 10.1149/1945-7111/ab75fd

Thermochemistry of nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxides
Sandoval, Stefania; Muthuswamy, Elayaraja; Chen, Jiewei; Fuertes, Amparo; Tobias, Gerard; Navrotsky, Alexandra
JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC SOCIETY 2020 40 16 6322 6327 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.01.043

Tuning the Nature of N-Based Groups From N-Containing Reduced Graphene Oxide: Enhanced Thermal Stability Using Post-Synthesis Treatments
Sandoval, Stefania; Tobias, Gerard
NANOMATERIALS 2020, 10, 8, 1451, 10.3390/nano10081451

Neutron-irradiated antibody-functionalised carbon nanocapsules for targeted cancer radiotherapy
Wang, Julie Tzu-Wen; Spinato, Cinzia; Klippstein, Rebecca; Costa, Pedro Miguel; Martincic, Markus; Pach, Elzbieta; de Garibay, Aritz Perez Ruiz; Menard-Moyon, Cecilia; Feldman, Robert; Michel, Yves; Sefl, Martin; Kyriakou, Ioanna; Emfietzoglou, Dimitris; Saccavini, Jean-Claude; Ballesteros, Belen; Tobias, Gerard; Bianco, Alberto; Al-Jamal, Khuloud T.
CARBON 2020 162 410 422 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.02.060

Charge transfer in steam purified arc discharge single walled carbon nanotubes filled with lutetium halides
Santidrian, Ana; Kierkowicz, Magdalena; Pach, Elzbieta; Darvasiova, Denisa; Ballesteros, Belen; Tobias, Gerard; Kalbac, Martin
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS 2020, 22, 18, 10063-10075, 10.1039/d0cp01408g

Nitro-graphene oxide in iridium oxide hybrids: electrochemical modulation of N-graphene redox states and charge capacities
Perez, E.; Carretero, N. M.; Sandoval, S.; Fuertes, A.; Tobias, G.; Casan-Pastor
N. MATERIALS CHEMISTRY FRONTIERS 2020 4 5 1421 1433 10.1039/c9qm00752k

Particle size determination from magnetization curves in reduced graphene oxide decorated with monodispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles
Bertran, Arnau; Sandoval, Stefania; Oro-Sole, Judith; Sanchez, Alvar; Tobias, Gerard
JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE 2020 566 107-119 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.01.072

Neutron Activated Sm-153 Sealed in Carbon Nanocapsules for in Vivo Imaging and Tumor Radiotherapy
Wang, Julie T. W.; Klippstein, Rebecca; Martincic, Markus; Pach, Elzbieta; Feldman, Robert; Sefl, Martin; Michel, Yves; Asker, Daniel; Sosabowski, Jane K.; Kalbac, Martin; Da Ros, Tatiana; Menard-Moyon, Cecilia; Bianco, Alberto; Kyriakou, Ioanna; Emfietzoglou, Dimitris; Saccavini, Jean-Claude; Ballesteros, Belen; Al-Jamal, Khuloud T.; Tobias, Gerard
ACS NANO 2020, 14, 1, 129-141, 10.1021/acsnano.9b04898

3D Reduced Graphene Oxide Scaffolds with a Combinatorial Fibrous-Porous Architecture for Neural Tissue Engineering
Girao, Andre F.; Sousa, Joana; Dominguez-Bajo, Ana; Gonzalez-Mayorga, Ankor; Bdikin, Igor; Pujades-Otero, Eulalia; Casan-Pastor, Nieves; Jesus Hortiguela, Maria; Otero-Irurueta, Gonzalo; Completo, Antonio; Concepcion Serrano, Maria; Marques, Paula A. A. P.
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES 2020, 12, 35, 38962-38975, 10.1021/acsami.0c10599

Bacterial cellulose/graphene oxide aerogels with enhanced dimensional and thermal stability
Pinto, Susana C.; Goncalves, Gil; Sandoval, Stefania; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Borras, Alejandro; Domingo, Concepcion; Tobias, Gerard; Duarte, Isabel; Vicente, Romeu; Marques, Paula A. A. P.
CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS 2020, 230, 115598, 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.115598

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

Green and Solvent-Free Supercritical CO2-Assisted Production of Superparamagnetic Graphene Oxide Aerogels: Application as a Superior Contrast Agent in MRI
Borras, Alejandro; Fraile, Julio; Rosado, Albert; Marban, Gregorio; Tobias, Gerard; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Domingo, Concepcion
ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING 2020, 8, 12, 4877-4888, 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c00149

Multi-layered polydopamine coatings for the immobilization of growth factors onto highly-interconnected and bimodal PCL/HA-based scaffolds
Godoy-Gallardo, Maria; Portoles-Gil, Nuria; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Domingo, Concepcion; Hosta-Rigau, Leticia

Immobilization of BMP-2 and VEGF within Multilayered Polydopamine-Coated Scaffolds and the Resulting Osteogenic and Angiogenic Synergy of Co-Cultured Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells
Godoy-Gallardo, Maria; Portoles-Gil, Nuria; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Domingo, Concepcion; Hosta-Rigau, Leticia
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 2020, 21, 17, 6418, 10.3390/ijms21176418

Novel Zn(II) Coordination Polymers Based on the Natural Molecule Bisdemethoxycurcumin
Rodriguez-Cid, Laura; Sanudo, E. Carolina; Lopez-Periago, Ana M.; Gonzalez-Campo, Arantzazu; Aliaga-Alcalde, Nuria; Domingo, Concepcion
CRYSTAL GROWTH & DESIGN 2020, 20, 10, 6555-6564, 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00742

Single molecule magnets of cobalt and zinc homo- and heterometallic coordination polymers prepared by a one-step synthetic procedure
N. Portolés-Gil, S.Gómez-Coca, O. Vallcorba, G. Marbán, N. Aliaga-Alcalde, A. López-Periago, J.A. Ayllón, C. Domingo
RSC Advances 2020, 10, 73, 45090–45104, 10.1039/d0ra09132d

[Zn2Ac2(μ-Ac)2(bpymb)]n (Ac, acetate; bpymb, 1,4-bis(4-pyridylmethyl) benzene), a 2D coordination polymer obtained with a flexible N,N’-ditopic bipyridine linker
N.Portolés-Gil, O. Vallcorba, C. Domingo, A. López-Periago, J.A. Ayllón
Inorganica Chimica Acta 2020, 516, 120132, 10.1016/j.ica.2020.120132

Nitride tuning of transition metal perovskites
Fuertes, Amparo
APL MATERIALS 2020, 8, 2, 20903, 10.1063/1.5140056

Structural, magnetic and electronic properties of EuTi0.5W0.5O3-xNx perovskite oxynitrides
Oro-Sole, Judith; Frontera, Carlos; Black, Ashley P.; Castets, Augustin; Velasquez-Mendez, Karen L.; Fontcuberta, Josep; Fuertes, Amparo
JOURNAL OF SOLID STATE CHEMISTRY 2020, 286, 121274, 10.1016/j.jssc.2020.121274

Engineering Polar Oxynitrides: Hexagonal Perovskite BaWON2
Oro-Sole, Judith; Fina, Ignasi; Frontera, Carlos; Gazquez, Jaume; Ritter, Clemens; Cunquero, Marina; Loza-Alvarez, Pablo; Conejeros, Sergio; Alemany, Pere; Canadell, Enric; Fontcuberta, Josep; Fuertes, Amparo
ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE -INTERNATIONAL EDITION 2020, 59, 42, 18395-18399, 10.1002/anie.202006519

Outreach activities

Outreach activities in which the group has participated in 2020:

  • Publication on the Revista de la Societat Catalana de Química, 19, 7-20, 2020: "Nanopartícules inorgàniques per al diagnòstic i el tractament del càncer" by Carlota Ramos Casanova, Marina Llenas Martínez, Stefania Sandoval, Gerard Tobías Rossell
  • Participation on the Nit de la Recerca with a video talk and the video version of Madame Châtelet by M. Rosa Palacín
  • Publication on the magazine "Circle" by Ecoembres on the sustainability of Li-on batteries by M. Rosa Palacín
  • Roundtable about ODS and sustainable energy #CSIC4EUSEW (25/06/2020) by M. Rosa Palacín
  • Collaboration on the exhibition "Científiques Catalanes 2.0" by M. Rosa Palacín
  • "Energia i Canvi Climàtic" at UAB #11F (12/02/2020) by M. Rosa Palacín

Main projects

Main projects in which the group has participated in 2020:

Nanoengineering of radioactive seeds for cancer therapy and diagnosis (NEST)
ERC Consolidator Grant. Agreement number: 725743
Gerard Tobías
01/10/2017-30/09/2022 // 1.999.965 €

CAMBAT: CAlcium and Magnesium metal anode based BATteries.”
ERC Starting Grant 2016. Contract number 715087
A. Ponrouch
01/2017 - 06/2022 // 1.688.705 €

eMAGIC: European MAGnesium Interactive battery Community
H2020 FET-PROACT Project: (Call H2020-FETPROACT-2018-01. Contract number
M. Rosa Palacín, Alberto Blazquez (CIDETEC, Spain)
01/2019 - 12/2022 // 365.158 €

CARBAT: CAlcium Rechargeable BAttery Technology
H2020 Project: (Call FET-OPEN-01-2016-2017, Contract number 766617)
M. Rosa Palacín
10/2017 - 03/2021 // 583.086 €

BIG-MAP: Battery Interface Genome - Materials Acceleration Platform
H2020 Project: (Call LC-BAT-2020-3, Contract number 95718)
M. Rosa Palacín
09/2020 - 08/2023 // 348.858 €

Materiales en gradiente y electroquimica dipolar inducida: efectos cascada en energia, catalysis y electroestimulación
Proyecto AEI RTI2018-097753-B-I00
Nieves Casañ-Pastor
01/2019 - 12/2021 // 72.600 €

Diseño de materiales inorgánicos para tecnologías de energía emergentes
Proyecto AEI MAT2017-86616-R
Amparo Fuertes Miquel, M.Rosa Palacín Peiró
2018-2020 // 181.500 €

Ampliando el alcance de aplicaciones de compuestos de celulosa bacteriana (RISE-BC)
Spanish Government (RTI2018-096273-B-I00)
A. Laromaine, J. Faraudo
01/2019 - 12/2021 // 217.800 €

Materiales nanoporosos en tecnología supercrítica (Namaste)
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad CTQ2017-83632-C2-1-P
C. Domingo, A.M. López-Periago
01/01/2018 - 31/12/2020 // 101.640 €

Inducción a distancia de campos eléctricos en la generación de celdas de flujo acopladas bateria/condensador
Proyecto AEI MAT2017-91404-EXP
Dino Tonti
1/1/2018-31/10/2020 // 62.700 €

Sistema de almacenamiento de energía a gran escala mediante batería de flujo redox de vanadio: demostración experimental a escala de 1 kW
PIE CSIC 201980E101
Dino Tonti
15/10/2019 - 15/1/2021 // 20.000 €

Zn coating for enhanced cycling of Zn-air batteries
Llavors Generalitat Catalana, Government of Catalonia
D. Tonti
2020 - 2021

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