Published a review on organic semiconductors and polymer blends for organic field-effect transistors #OFETs

Published in Advanced Materials Technologies a Review on the recent progress on the use of organic semiconductors blended with insulating binding polymers as active materials in organic transistors. This route leads to more reliable, less expensive devices with enhanced electrical performance. A great work by Sergi Riera-Galindo, Francesca Leonardi, Raphael Pfattner and Marta Mas-Torrent. 

A general quantum-mechanical method to address spatial dispersion effects: flexoelectricity and dynamical quadrupoles

Published in Physical Review X a study which, by combining the “long-wave method,” a mainstay of condensed-matter theory since the 50s, with modern electronic-structure techniques, researchers obtain highly accurate predictions of physical responses of crystals to nonhomogenous external perturbations. A great work by Miquel Royo and Massimiliano Stengel! 

Perovskite solar cells: The interface makes the difference

ICMAB researchers have collaborated in a study led by ICIQ researchers that look in detail at the interfaces in perovskite solar cells to understand the differences observed in their performance.

The CSIC signs the Open Acess institutional mandate

On 29 March 2019, the Presidency of the CSIC signed the institutional mandate of Open Access. It is a strong impulse for the open access of different types of CSIC research results, including peer-reviewed publications and associated research data, through the DIGITAL.CSIC repository.

Anna Laromaine is "a researcher in your classroom" in Santa Maria de Palautordera

The students of physics and chemistry of 4th ESO of the highschool "La Tordera" in Santa Maria de Palautordera received the visit on 6 February 2019 of Anna Laromaine, researcher at ICMAB. Anna visited the highschool in the framework of the #11F2019, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in which many researchers gave talks in primary and secondary schools during that week. 

What does the future hold for chemistry?

The Nature Chemistry journal celebrates its 10th anniversary asking some scientists working in different areas fo chemistry what did they think about the future development of their main field of research: the most amazing, exciting, important or challenging aspects they think are the most relevant. 

M. Rosa Palacín interviewed in the RECERCAT newsletter (Feb 2019)

In last RECERCAT newsletter, our vice-director and researcher, M. Rosa Palacín, was interviewed. She talked about her research in batteries, about the arrival of the electric vehicle, about gender equality in reserach and about materials science in general. Read the interview here!

M. Rosa Palacín in "Motorpasión" talking about the electric vehicle and the future of batteries

The online website "Motor Pasion" about the cars and motor word, opens their site today with a news post about the electric vehicle and the future batteries. M. Rosa Palacín, researcher at ICMAB, was consulted by the author of the article, Victoria Fuentes, and appers in the article giving her point of view and state of the art. Read it to know more about it! 

Urea substitutes noble metal catalysts for the photodegradation of organic pollutants

A new laser-based technique developed by the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC) uses urea, a common substance in the chemical industry and a low-cost alternative to noble metal co-catalysts, to enable a more efficient, one-step production of hybrid graphene-based organic-inorganic composite layers for environmental remediation; photodegradation of antibiotic contaminants from wastewater. The composition and chemical bonds of the urea-enriched thin layers were studied in detail using synchrotron light at the ALBA Synchrotron.

A paper that converts waste heat into electricity produced at ICMAB

  • The device is composed of cellulose produced in the laboratory by bacteria, with small amounts of carbon nanotubes, resulting very sustainable
  • The device could be used to generate electricity in wearables, in medical and sports applications, and as intelligent thermal insulator

Anna Laromaine in People First: “Tener mentores y referentes es importantísimo para elegir una profesión”

Anna Laromaine, researcher at the N&N group at ICMAB, was interviewed by People First, a platform where people from different institutions and enterprises are highlighted. Anna, included in the Top 100 Women more influent in Spain, and awarded in 2016 with the L'Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Research Award, describes her work as a researcher in nanomedicine, talks about the future of nanotechnology and women in science, about her role models in life, and about being a researcher, a university teacher and an entrepreneur at the same time. 

"Subnanosecond magnetization dynamics driven by strain waves" at MRS Bulletin

Ferran Macià, researcher at the MULFOX group at ICMAB, and at the University of Barcelona (Fundamental Physics Department) is co-author of the article "Subnanosecond magnetization dynamics driven by strain waves" published in the MRS Bulletin, the monthly Material Science publication with technical theme topics, news, reviews, and commentary. 

Soft organic materials that change color and charge transfer with the application of an electric field

Wearable electronics, cell phones, electronic papers, smart windows, sensors, and wireless communication devices need mechanically flexible electronic components that are able to change their color and the degree of charge transfer. The development of lightweight flexible organic conducting materials with these properties has a great technological interest in this field.

Finding a needle in the haystack: 50 times faster evaluation of organic materials for solar cells

  • Researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) have successfully demonstrated a combinatorial platform that evaluates how good an organic material is for photovoltaic applications.
  • The platform method is 50 times faster and saves about 90 % of material compared to the conventional evaluation protocols.
  • The study has been published in Advanced Electronic Materials, where it has been back cover, and is performed in the framework of the ERC project FOREMAT from Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles

ICMAB researchers collaborate in a study published in Nature Physics about a "Giant topological Hall Effect"

ICMAB researchers Gervasi Herranz, Blai Casals and Rafael Cichelero, from the MULFOX group, have contributed to a study led by the group of Manuel Bibes, from Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales (France), published in Nature Physics on October 15, 2018. The study, entitled "Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films" describes the discovery of a giant topological Hall effect arising from the topology of spatial distribution of spin textures. 

Nobel Prize in Physics for for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics... how do we use lasers at ICMAB?

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems”, the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Here at ICMAB we also work with lasers. Do you want to know how?

Cancer immunotherapy recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 has been jointly awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation". At ICMAB, we also work on projects related to cancer immunotherapy and we are very excited about this prize. However, the strategy followed by our researchers and by the Nobel Prize winners is somehow different. Do you want to know why?

Marta Mas-Torrent and Teresa Puig, ERC researchers, in #LasCientíficasCuentan

The project "Las Científicas Cuentan"is an initiative of the CSIC Delegation in Brussels financed by the FECYT.The aim of the project is to bring basic science to the general public, through the story of women scientists who have been awarded with a ERC project during the past years. From the ICMAB, Marta Mas-Torrent (ERC-Starting Grant) and Teresa Puig (ERC-Advanced Grant) participate in the project.

The presentation will be on Wednesday, September 19 in Barcelona with a talk by Teresa Puig on superconducting materials (7 pm).

The ICMAB website: the most visible of the CSIC

According to the Ranking Web of Research Centers, the ICMAB has the most visible website of all the CSIC research centers and units. In addition, the ICMAB website has raised to the 2nd position in the global ranking (in 2017 it was in the 4th place, and in 2016 in the 13th), from a total of 138. 

Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

  • Researchers from the IBB-UAB fabricate 4 molecules of only 7 amino acidswith the ability to self-assemble and rapidly and inexpensively form nanomaterials for biomedical and nanotechnological purposes.
  • Four peptides were used to create one of the most resistant bionanomaterials described to date, nanocables and mini enzymes to act as a catalyst for the formation of nanomaterials.
  • The study, publised in ACS Nano included the collaboration of Isabel Fuentes and Francesc Teixidor from the ICMAB-CSIC.

ICMAB researchers develop flexible materials that switch from nano-porous 3D to 2D structures in a reversible way

  • These materials can have applications in selective gas separation or gas adsorption, as catalysts for chemical reactions, as encapsulation and drug delivery for active substances or hazardous waste adsorption.
  • The strategy is based on the spherical shape of the boron-based linkers used as ligands.
  • Look at this video, that explains the transformation:  https://youtu.be/eO9fMitBfFY

"Carbon-Gold bonds for robust molecule-electrode junctions" featured in UABDivulga

A group of researchers from the NANOMOL group at ICMAB-CSIC has studied the behavior of an organic radical as a molecular cable formed through the covalent carbon-gold bond between the molecule and the electrodes. This linkage is more stable and geometrically better well-defined than its predecessors, in which other functional groups where used. This improvement opens the door to prepare novel electronic devices for Molecular Electronics applications.

The study has been featured in UABDivulga, and we transcribe here the text. 

The industry with the Spanish research

Organizations and employers linked to R&D&I show their support for Spanish research and join the request of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa centers and María de Maeztu units (SOMMa) that encourages the political class to address the current administrative problems that affect Spanish science, as soon as possible. 

SOMMaand the organizations that support this initiative represent about 6,800 companies, societies, centers and research units, which employ more than 500,000 people in Spain and their economic activity equals 10.53% of GDP.

Physicists uncover properties of a magnetic soliton of interest for brain-inspired computing

"Solitons are solitary waves, like a tsunami or a tidal bore" explains researcher Ferran Macià, one of the leaders of this study, published in Scientific Reports and in which the ICMAB has participated together with a team of physicists from the New York University (NYU). "In this work, we studied how magnetic solitons are generated and how fast they can be annihilated."

"Like a tsunami, the mechanism behind their formation is complex, and we needed a lot of experiments and simulations to understand them. Solitons are very interesting because they can be used to propagate energy or information, in a similar way as our neurons work. This is why they have promising applications in neuromorphic computing applications, for example" continues Ferran.Nahuel Statuto, PhD student at the MULFOXgroup, working with Ferran, performed some of the experiments during his secondment at NYU. 

MIT-Spain grant for ICMAB project: new materials for photovoltaics

ICMAB is the recipient of one of twelve MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund grants under a brand new funding programme in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The presentation of the grants took place on 18 April 2018 at Palau Macaya (Barcelona). A common objective of all the awarded projects is to face some of the challenges of the XXI century: organs on a chip to fight cancer, polymers against antibiotic resistance, in vitro biologic 3D ears, quantic computers for data processing, or new materials to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells, to name a few. This latter is the project from Dr. Ignasi Fina, from the MULFOX group at ICMAB, who will work together with Dr. Rafael Jaramillo, at MIT

"Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen" featured in UABDivulga

A study from Dr. Angel Pérez del Pino et al. was featured on 13 April in the website UABDivulga: Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen. We transcribe here the full article:

Graphene-based materials are an efficient, cheap, abundant and non-toxic alternative for catalysing the obtaining of hydrogen, which can be used as a removable fuel, through the photoinduced water splitting. A group of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB) has developed, based on laser technology, a nitrogen-doped graphene powder material in different experimental conditions for different catalytic functions through the process, in a simple, versatile and scalable to industry way. 

Iridescent photonic cellulose, mimicking the structural color of insects, with optical applications

  • The study developed at the ICMAB and published in Nature Photonics describes, for the first time, the technique to provide structural coloration on a cellulose derivative through its nanostructuration
  • The colors obtained do not depend on pigments but on nanostructures that interact differently with the incident light, therefore presenting different colors. 
  • The applications of this technology include eco-friendly production of color in packaging systems or decorative paper, anti-counterfeiting technology, or biocompatible, biodegradable, washable and edible and low cost detectors, sensors or labels for the food or medical industry.

PLANT HEALING: Biopolymer to heal plant wounds: a collaboration between ICMAB and CRAG

Dr. Anna Laromaine, from ICMAB-CSIC, and Dr. Núria Sánchez-Coll, from CRAG (Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics) have developed an effective method for plant tissue regeneration that involves the use of a bacterial cellulose-based biopolymer. It enhances the formation of new cell layers which boosts the healing processes.

Bacterial cellulose biopolymer
Wounds in plants can be caused by several agents like weather events (hail, wind…), predators (herbivores, insects) or humans (pruning, grafting), among others. 

The revolution of nanomaterials: superabsorbers that trap sunlight

ICMABresearchers 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.

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)."

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.

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.

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. 

Research Award L'Oréal-Unesco FWIS 2017 for Mariona Coll and her project on new materials for photovoltaics

As we already announced on July 2017, Mariona Coll, researcher at the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB) in the SUMAN group, has been awarded with the Research Award L'Oréal-Unesco "For Women in Science" 2017. The awards ceremony took place this last Wednesday, 22 November, in Madrid. Mariona will receive 15.000 € that will be invested in her research project which "can contribute to one of the most important challenges of this century: find a new energy system for the production of clean energy". 

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.’

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.

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.

Identified for the first time a mineral that until now was only present in meteorites

Researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and the National University of Córdoba (Argentina), in collaboration with researchers of the ALBA Synchrotron, have identified a mineral in the region of Córdoba (Argentina), until now only observed in meteorites

ERC, 10 años de excelencia en la ciencia

El Consejo Europeo de Investigación (ERC, por sus siglas en inglés) cumplió 10 años el 24 de marzo de 2017. A lo largo de esta década de vida, se ha financiado a unos 7.000 investigadores, permitiendo la publicación de cerca de 100.000 artículos en revistas científicas internacionales.

Entrevista a Xavier Granados

Xavier Granados García es Científico Titular del CSIC y miembro del Departamento de Materiales Superconductores y Nanoestructuración a Gran Escala. Desde 1987, ha colaborado con el grupo de Superconductividad en la Universidad de Barcelona y posteriormente en el Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona desde su fundación, contribuyendo en el desarrollo de actividades de I+D+i en el campo de la Superconductividad y sus Aplicaciones  en el Área  “Large Scale” de sistemas electrotécnicos, liderando las actividades en este área dentro del grupo de Investigación.

Un manresà lidera un dels projectes de superconductivitat més importants d'Europa

REGIO7 | 15/03/2017

El coordinador del projecte, Xavier Obradors, ha explicat que Eurotapes és un "projecte europeu de referència de superconductors", resultat de la col·laboració entre el món acadèmic i la indústria. "Les cintes superconductores poden fer passar 100 vegades més corrent que la fibra de coure", ha informat Obradors, i això permetrà "transportar molta energia i disminuir el cost de producció d'aquesta cinta". 

Presentació a Barcelona dels resultats del projecte europeu Eurotapes sobre superconductivitat

Els resultats d'Eurotapes es van presentar a Barcelona, en una roda de premsa que va comptar amb la participació del coordinador del projecte, Prof. Xavier Obradors; la responsable del departament de superconductivitat de l’ICMAB-CSIC, Prof. Teresa Puig; el director executiu d'OXOLUTIA Dr. Albert Calleja; i el director de la Representació de la Comissió Europea a Barcelona, Ferran Tarradellas i l'Agencia EFE, Agència catalana de Notícies, Expansión, La Sexta i El Periódico.

ICMAB Teaches Students About Science and Technology with 3Doodler Pens and Imagination

by  | 3DPrint.com
"Rodríguez and Guillermo de Andrés put together the two-day YoMo workshop, called “Bridg3D: Learning, Engineering, Playing with 3D Printing Technology.” It allowed students to be scientists for a day, thanks to the popular 3D printing pen 3Doodler. ICMAB clearly favors the 3Doodler, having used it last summer in a course the organization designed to teach high school students about materials science. "

“Hay que promover la actividad de NANBIOSIS, tanto en el ámbito académico como industrial, en la Unión Europea y otros países”


Jaume Veciana
 lleva más de 20 años liderando el trabajo del grupo Nanomol en los campos de la nanomedicina y el procesamiento de materiales moleculares y poliméricos para aplicaciones biomédicas. Coordina, además, las plataformas del CIBER-BBN y es director científico de NANBIOSIS. En esta entrevista, adelanta alguna de las líneas maestras del Plan Estratégico de esta Infraestructura Científico-Técnica Singular, que incluye una clara apuesta por su internacionalización.

Entrevista a M. Rosa Palacín

M. ROSA PALACÍN PEIRO (ICMAB-CSIC), Coordinadora de ALISTORE-ERI, Instituto Virtual de Investigación Europea, es investigadora en el Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) y desde hace 18 meses vicedirectora. 

Magnetismo en superconductores de alta temperatura

Hasta ahora se pensaba que la superconductividad y el magnetismo eran fenómenos excluyentes, pero investigadores del Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona y del Sincrotrón ALBA han encontrado una nueva fuente de magnetismo derivada de defectos puntuales en un tipo de superconductor: los cupratos de alta temperatura. El descubrimiento ayudará a mejorar las propiedades de estos materiales.

Antiferromagnetic spintronics goes USB

2016 03 07 9 22 34

Xavi Marti 6 mar. 2016  
Interesting and useless - this was the common perception of antiferromagnets expressed quite explicitly, for example, in the 1970 Nobel lecture of Louis Neel. Today, 6th March 2016, we operated the first USB-compatible antiferromagnetic memory device.

M. Rosa Palacín, ICMAB-CSIC, y Anne de Guibert, SAFT, explican por qué pierden prestaciones las baterías

Por qué pierden prestaciones las baterías? 

Un artículo publicado en la revista Science escrito por la Dra. M. Rosa Palacín, investigadora en el Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB) del CSIC en colaboración con la Dra. Anne de Guibert, Directora de Investigación de la empresa francesa SAFT, fabricante de baterías, recopila las causas del envejecimiento y pérdida de prestaciones de las baterías. 

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