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The Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units Alliance (#SOMMa) aims at promoting Spanish excellence science, and preserving its competitiveness

The creation of SOMMa will allow research centres and units to increase their impact, foster their cooperation, work as a network, and enrich the R+D system as a whole. SOMMa has presented the document “SOMMa Position Paper: Actions required to safeguard science competitiveness”, which aims at drawing the attention of politicians to tackle some of the current administrative issues urgently and in a long-lasting manner.

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Perovskite, the "silicon" of the future to harvest solar energy

An article about the research in perovskite appeared in "Televisión Nacional de Honduras" website, citing ICMAB, together with other research centers in Spain, where advanced research in this material is done: "Spain is one of the countries in which research (in the development of perovskite) is more advanced.

Apart from the research group in the Institute of Materials Science in Sevilla, there are many more groups specialized in its study, in the University Jaume I of Castelló, the Institute of Molecular Science (University of Valencia), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the University Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, and the Catalan Institue of Chemical Research (ICIQ)."

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X-rays reveal "handedness" in swirling electric vortices

This article appeared in Physics Berkeley website on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. 

We transcribe it here, since some previous ICMAB members participated in the study, which was recently published in PNASEmergent chirality in the electric polarization texture of titanate superlattices (Padraic Shafer, Pablo García-Fernández,Pablo Aguado-Puente,Anoop R. Damodaran , Ajay K. Yadav, Christopher T. Nelson, Shang-Lin Hsu, Jacek C. Wojdeł, Jorge Íñiguez, Lane W. Martin, Elke Arenholz, Javier Junquer, and Ramamoorthy Ramesh). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1711652115.

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More than 20 % of ALBA publications from 2017 are in collaboration with ICMAB

Researchers from ALBA Synchrotron and from ICMAB have established an enriching and fruitful collaboration over the years, which is proven by the number of publications published together since ALBA received its first users, in 2012.

In 2017, 24 publications appeared in collaboration between both institutions, which represented a 21 % of the ALBA Synchrotron articles. 

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ICMAB within the Top 10 Institutions in Barcelona according to Nature Index 2017 Science Cities

The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) is the 7th Top Institution in Barcelona, according to the Nature Index 2017 Science Cities.

This current 12-month Index, corresponding to year 2016, shows Barcelona's leading institutions for high-quality science ordered by the number of articles published (AC) in a list of science journals, and the number of authors of each institution, considering the percentage of authorship in each article (WFC) (with the correction of the centers dedicated to space science, which have a lot of coauthrs in the articles). 

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Spinning the future

The August 2017 edition of the Research*EU magazine featured an interesting overview of the ACMOL project, which is working to develop graphene-based spintronics for next-gen molecular electronic devices. This article held that ‘Spintronics, molecular electronics and graphene have a common trait: they are all considered as key enablers in the future of computing beyond the limitations of Moore’s and Kryder’s laws. The ACMOL project is contributing to their joint advancement with proof-of-concept devices.’

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Self-assembly of highly-porous crystalline particles into novel photonic materials for sensing applications

A multi-disciplinary collaboration between research centers in Spain and Holland, led by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), in collaboration with the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science of Utrecht University and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), has resulted in the formation of highly-porous metal-organic framework particles that spontaneously assemble into well-ordered 3D superstructures that present photonic crystal properties. Published in Nature Chemistry, their discoveries are expected to find applications in the design of novel photonic materials for sensing applications, among others.

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Turning the microscope upside down to measure the piezoelectricity of materials at the nanoscale

ICMAB-CSIC researchers are able, for the first time, to measure the very small amounts of charge generated in piezoelectric materials with an inverse use of the atomic force microscope (AFM). The technique, published in Nature Communications, has been implemented by incorporating a new device to the microscope that allows measuring electric currents one billion times smaller than the ones circulating in an LED.

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The revolution of nanomaterials: superabsorbers that trap sunlight

ICMAB researchers have designed ultrathin materials that maximize the absorption of light in a large range of the solar spectrum. The followed strategy, low cost and fully scalable, is based on combining the thin layer deposition of semiconductors on metals, and the nanostructuring of the material forming photonic crystals. The obtained superabsorbers materials have many potential applications, especially in the field of photovoltaic energy and photodetection.

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Nanostructured semiconductors become superabsorbers - Published at nanotechweb.org

This news article, appeared at nanotechweb.org websitee (IOP publishing), features a publication recently published by Agustín Mihi and his team in Advanced Materials "Ultrathin Semiconductor Superabsorbers from the Visible to the Near-Infrared" (Pau Molet, Juan Luis Garcia-Pomar, Cristiano Matricardi, Miquel Garriga, Maria Isabel Alonso and Agustín Mihi). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201705876.

Nanostructuring a thin layer of the semiconductor germanium using a technique called nanoimprinting lithography can greatly boost the amount of light it absorbs across the visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The broadband absorption comes from the strong interplay between Brewster and photonic crystal modes in the material and the effect could benefit optoelectronics applications such as photovoltaics and telecommunications.

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Next generation graphene-based biosensor for the fast detection of xanthine

  • Xanthinuria is a rare disease caused by the accumulation of xanthine in blood, which can lead to serious pathologies, such as renal failure or gout.
  • ICMAB researchers have prepared a novel hybrid graphene-based electrochemical biosensor for the fast and 100 times more sensitive detection of xanthine, with respect to previously reported sensors.
  • The study, published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces, combines the properties of reduced graphene oxide and those of the organic radicals to prepare next generation, low cost electrochemical biosensors.

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ICMAB collaboration at the Digital CSIC journal "CSIC Abierto" about Open Access policies and mandates

The last issue (number 16) of the Digital CSIC journal "CSIC Abierto" includes two interviews with ICMAB's Documentalist and Librarian, Alejandro Santos, and with ICMAB Researcher at the NANOPTO Group, Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles. The interviews deal with the Open Access mandates adopted by the funding agencies and the experience at ICMAB on accomplishing these mandates. 

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ICMAB researchers at the monograph on "Condensed Matter" of the Revista Española de Física

The July-September issue of the Revista Española de Física (Vol 31, No 3) includes a monogaph of 41 pages on Condensed Matter. Some ICMAB researchers have contributed in some of the articles.

You can download in this post the articles of the monograph, with the permission of the journal. If you become a member of the RSEF you'll be able to read all the journal!

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Hiding and revealing magnetic information at room temperature

Since the 1950's, magnetic materials have been used to store all kinds of information. The use of magnetic materials is ideal since they allow you to store information for very long periods of time and, moreover, information is easily accessible through well-known reading methods.

However, when storing sensitive information, easy access to information becomes a drawback rather than an advantage, and that's when hiding information becomes a necessity.

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