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2018 call for Severo Ochoa Internship Fellowships at ICMAB for Master Students

Call for Internship Fellowships for Master Students at Research Institutes with the «Severo Ochoa» Centre of Excellence and «María de Maeztu» Unit of Excellence accreditaion

This year's call for the Severo Ochoa Internship Fellowship for Master Students was published on May 9, 2018. We publish here the projects offered by our researchers and the information needed for the calls:

openpositions18Date of publication: 9 May 2018

Objectives:  Starting the research career, giving the opportunity to know to University students, the professional opportunities that the Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence offer.

Deadline: from 14 May 2018 to 1 June 2018

Number of fellowships at ICMAB: 7

Duration of each fellowship and salary: 5 months, 1,000 €/month 


  • Area of undergraduate studies: Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Average grade: 7.50.
  • Oficial University Master: During the academic course 2018/2019 the fellow should course an Oficial University Master in one of the following scientific areas: Materials Science and Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Biomedicine. 
Collaboration projects and researchers offered by ICMAB: The candidate must select, in a prioritized manner, up to three collaborative projects assigned to ICMAB, from the list available here: 

Projects offered by ICMAB

Núria Aliaga-Alcalde/Arántzazu González-Campo

Deposition and conductance measurements of bio-inspired polymers

Organic conductive polymers are applied as active components in solar cell devices, printing electronic circuits and biosensors, among others.  However, their expanded application suffers due to limitations as impurities, toxicity and high costs. Our goal here is to present a new approach by the synthesis of polymeric species based on curcuminoids that will present the benefits of been conjugated systems, bio-compatible, low cost and highly reproducible. We will study the conductivity of the new materials and establish methodologies for their optimal processability.

Smart and responsive metal-organic frameworks for biomedical applications

Los Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) han suscitado interés debido a su baja toxicidad y el control en su ensamblaje. El crecimiento de MOFs sobre substratos es muy importante para su posterior incorporación en dispositivos. Así, se pretende su anclaje en superficies junto con un control remoto de sus estructuras y propiedades introduciendo funcionalidades que reaccionan a un estímulo externo. Los MOFs se basarán en porfirinas y curcuminoides que han que han sido utilizados como agentes fotosensibilizantes y antioxidantes para aplicaciones biomedicas

M. Isabel Alonso Carmona

Plasmonic substrates for Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)

This proposal is aimed at optimizing plasmonic substrates useful for increasing the Raman signal of different analytes. Detection by Raman spectroscopy has unique advantages such as its molecular specificity and insensitivity to quenching. This work aims to understand the correlation between the nanoimprinted substrate morphology and the identification of hot-spots in the micro-Raman imaging SERS. The final goal is the reproducible and quantitative evaluation of the analyte spectra. 
Lluís Balcells

Integración y desarrollo de un sistema de crecimiento de nano-materiales

Se busca un ingeniero que quiera desarrollar un equipo de crecimiento de nano-partículas por pulverización catódica y su integración dentro de un sistema de preparación de láminas delgadas. El objetivo será poder crecer sistemas híbridos láminas delgadas y nano-partículas.Este objetivo tiene tres partes, por un lado se ha de implementar el equipo para que permita crecer nano-partículas heterogéneas con una estructura núcleo/corteza de diferentes materiales. En segundo lugar se necesita controlar el sistema para que las partículas se auto-organicen en una superficie formando una mono-capa en esta superficie. Finalmente se ha de auto-gestionar el proceso para que el sistema permita crecer secuencialmente capas delgadas y mono-capas de partículas y así crecer nano-estructuras hibridas. El estudiante aprenderá a desarrollar un equipo de crecimiento, diseñando nuevas piezas que permitan optimizar el sistema de preparación de las nano-partículas. También deberá aprender a controlar, programar y automatizar el equipo. Se han de poder combinar y integrar los diferentes procesos de crecimiento, tanto el de nano-partículas como los de capas delgadas. El sistema de integración se hará con Labview,  que permite gestionar todo el sistema, con los diferentes sensores y dispositivos. 
Carmen Ocal/Esther Barrena

A molecular-scale investigation of novel organic semiconductors obtained by micro-droplet injection

The project aims the nanoscale investigation of novel organic semiconductors susceptible of being used as active layers in optoelectronic devices prepared by micro-droplet injection. An innovative method consisting of a novel micro-droplet injection system will be used for depositing non-volatile molecules in vacuum. This method uses a pulsed valve to inject small amounts of the solution containing the molecules onto suitable substrates in ultra-clean conditions. Connection of the deposition equipment and an Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) chamber equipped with Scanning Tunneling and Atomic Force Microscope will permit correlating the 2D-order of the molecular assemblies with their properties.
The student should have a background in physics or chemistry.

Intercalating atoms and molecules beneath graphene: and atomic-scale investigation

It has been recently discovered that diverse atoms and molecules can be intercalated between graphene and its substrate support, conferring new properties. Intercalation may change the electrical properties of the graphene (dopant agent) and it can be used to design nanoscale n- and p-doped regions (p–n junctions). This project will focus on an atomic-scale investigation of graphene modified by intercalation of atomic species. The experimental activity will go from the growth of epitaxial graphene and the insertion of atoms beneath to the characterization of properties by a combined STM/AFM microscope in ultra-high-vacuum (UHV).


Mariona Coll

Chemical synthesis of novel oxides for low cost photovoltaics

The discovery of visible-light absorbing in bismuth-based ferroelectric perovskite oxides has opened new perspectives in the field of photovoltaics to achieve efficiencies beyond the maximum predicted in a conventional solar cell. With the aim to overcome the limiting properties of the known oxides we will study new oxide composition and simplified structures, using abundant and non-toxic elements. The project is based on chemical synthesis of innovative thin film oxide materials and structural and optical characterization.
Josep Fontcuberta

Breaking symmetry for efficient photovoltaics and light sensing

Conventional photovoltaic technologies are based on centrosymmetric materials (for instance Silicon). However, it appears that non-centrosymmetric materials, due to rather unexplored reasons, may display a large photoresponse and open circuit voltages. Therefore, they may constitute a new generation of photovoltaic materials, not only for energy harvesting but also for higher sensitivity light sensing. 
The candidate will participate to an ongoing project characterizing some of these engineered materials, and he/she will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB. Some related works can be found at our web site

Transparent conductors for flat panel displays and photovoltaics

Displays are the most costly part of current tablets and smart telephones and some currently employed elements are expensive and rare. Therefore alternatives are required. The candidate will join a running project aiming to explore radically new routes to design and fabricate transparent metals.The student will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB 

Ferroelectric memories to emulate brain synapses

In principle ferroelectric memories can be built and designed to mimic some learning aspects of neuronal networks. The candidate will learn about how to fabricate ferroelectric memories and test them with the vision to determine their potential performance. The project will allow the candidate to be exposed and to learn on advanced nanotechnology tools for thin film fabrication, nanolithography and electrical characterization techniques.
The student will be integrated to the MULFOX group at ICMAB . Some related works can be found at our web site

José Luis García Muñoz

Tuning competing phases and strain-induced novel states in frustrated multiferroics and strongly-coupled cobaltite films

The proposed project is within the framework of the new technological opportunities offered by frustrated magnetic and multiferroic materials with strongly coupled structural-magnetic-electrical transitions. Thin films and heterostructures of multiferroic and strongly-coupled cobaltite perovskite-type compounds will be grown by pulsed laser deposition. Through the magnetic, structural and electric characterization, including the use of synchrotron and neutron techniques, we will investigate strain-induced novel electronic and magnetic states, which will be studied as a function of temperature and under external fields.
José Giner Planas

Porous Carborane-containing Metal Organic Frameworks for Energy and Environmental Applications

El área de los Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) ha progresado enormemente durante los últimos 20 años. Estos materiales cristalinos están formados por ligandos orgánicos (basados en carbono) e iones metálicos, dando lugar a redes cristalinas porosas que presentan un amplio rango de propiedades, entre las que destaca el almacenamiento y/o separación de gases. El presente proyecto de Tesis Doctoral tiene como objetivo general resolver uno de los mayores problemas que presentan los MOFs: la inestabilidad en agua. Para ello, se sintetizarán ligandos que incorporen unidades Carborano (clústeres C2B10H12) que se utilizarán posteriormente en la preparación de MOFs. La unidad Carborano presenta una elevada estabilidad química y térmica, y presenta una elevada hidrofobicidad. Esta última propiedad es clave para que los MOFs preparados sean estables en agua.

El estudiante tendrá la oportunidad de introducirse en el campo de la nanotecnología y la ciencia de materiales, de la mano de la química, como herramienta de síntesis. Los ligandos serán sintetizados mediantes rutas convencionales de síntesis química. Los MOFs serán posteriormente preparados mediantes rutas solvotermales y finalmente caracterizados. La caracterización de los ligandos y correspondientes MOFs supone el aprendizaje de una amplia variedad de técnicas, que van desde IR, RMN, UV-vis hasta difracción en polvo y monocristal, SEM, TEM, TGA, adsorción, etc. El principal objetivo del trabajo será por tanto el desarrollo de MOFs que incorporen las unidades carborano para la aplicación en Energía y Medioambiente. Se estudiarán por tanto las propiedades físicas de los nuevos materiales, buscando la multifuncionalidad. En este sentido, se hará hincapié en aquellos MOF que muestren flexibilidad, ya que esta propiedad es fundamental para obtener “materiales inteligentes” o que responden a un estímulo de manera reversible.  

Requisitos de los candidatos: 

  • Licenciados en Ciencias Químicas, Materiales o Nanotecnología.
  • Buen expediente académico.
  • Dominio del Inglés.
Enikö György

Fabricación de supercondensadores híbridos de nanocarbono mediante técnicas láser avanzadas

El objetivo de la propuesta consiste en la fabricación de electrodos híbridos constituidos por nanotubos de carbono, derivados de grafeno y nanoestructuras de óxidos metálicos de transición mediante procesado láser avanzado. Se caracterizará la morfología, nanoestructura y composición de los materiales obtenidos, así como sus características eléctricas. Finalmente, se integrarán supercondensadores con los electrodos de mejores prestaciones.
Anna Laromaine

Evaluación de materiales en los nematodos Caenorhabditis elegans

We can chemically and structurally tune the properties of novel materials which they will shape drugs, sensors and in other biochemical applications, however their interaction with biological tissues is usually not studied in depth. The lack of a time- and batch-efficient method to evaluate novel materials and processes prevents establishing general fundamental principles and impedes the progress. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an invertebrate, transparent worm with 60% genetic homology to humans which we will use to evaluate the NPs. Student will learn to work with nanoparticles from the synthesis and characterization point of view and additionally will study the nano-bio interaction with C. elegans.
Ana M. López-Periago

Preparation of nanostructured metal organic frameworks with hierarchical porosity for biomedical applications.

The versatility of Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) has been studied extensively for multiple purposes such as biomedical applications. In this project we focus on the development of tailor-made hierarchical porous nanostructures for targeted drug delivery systems (DDS). It is well known that the structure of the drug carriers can enhance the properties of conventional drugs. Thus, in this project we aim to prepare MOF-based aerogels with hierarchical micro and mesoporosity using an eco-efficient approach based in compressed fluids.
Ferran Macià i Josep Fontcuberta

Control de corrientes de espín para positivos de bajo consumo energético

Estamos desarrollando tareas de investigación con el objetivo de conseguir una manipulación de corrientes de espín que pueden producirse en materiales con interacción spin-órbita (no magnéticos) al hacer pasar una corriente de carga no polarizada (efecto Hall de espín).  Se puede aprovechar este efecto para modificar propiedades magnéticas de dispositivos.. Nosotros buscamos materiales alternativos para la conversión de carga-espín para eliminar así el coste de los metales pesados (Pt, Pd, Ir,) que se utilizan actualmente.
Marta Mas Torrent

Control del polimorfismo en dispositivos electrónicos orgánicos

Los dispositivos basados en materiales orgánicos están despertando un gran interés en aplicaciones de bajo coste. No obstante, para que estos materiales puedan realmente ser aplicados es necesario tener un alto control del material para poder fabricar dispositivos estables y reproducibles. En este proyecto se estudiará como la morfología y estructura de las películas de semiconductores orgánicos influyen en las propiedades eléctricas de transistores orgánicos (OFETs).

Dispositivos orgánicos para el desarrollo de (bio)sensores

Los dispositivos basados en materiales orgánicos están despertando un gran interés en aplicaciones de bajo coste. En el grupo de trabajo se ha desarrollado una técnica para la impresión de películas orgánicas semiconductoras que dan lugar a dispositivos con altas prestaciones eléctricas y estables en agua. El proyecto que se propone aquí se basa en la preparación y caracterización de dichos dispositivos orgánicos para su optimización como plataforma para desarrollar sensores químicos y bioquímicos.

Agustín Mihi

Flexible and low cost plasmonic crystal films

This project pursues the use of unconventional nanofabrication techniques to produce flexible and low cost large area plasmonic crystals and metasurfaces. We will investigate the exciting optical properties of photonic architectures fabricated via soft nanoimprinting lithography (NIL) a low cost and roll to roll compatible fabrication route. The ultimate goal is to implement the photonic components into real optoelectronic devices but maintaining the low costs and ease of manufacture.

Elies Molins

Nanotechnology and clean energy: Nanoporous catalysts for hydrogen production

The research project is a collaboration between our group, with long experience in preparation of porous materials, and a group at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). The objective of the project is the building of microreactors for the production of hydrogen from water and/or ethanol using in most cases solar light. The group at the ICMAB is in charge of developing new catalysts that are tested by the group at the UPC. These catalysts are composed of one or more metal oxides (titania, zirconia and ceria) in some cases doped with noble metal nanoparticles.
Judit Guasch/Imma Ratera

Dynamic supramolecular hydrogels for cancer immunotherapies

Despite the enormous efforts in Cancer research worldwide, we are still far from efficient medicines in many cases. Encouragingly, Dr. C. H. June (Penn University, US) and collaborators described the remission of otherwise terminal leukemia patients with genetically modified autologous T cells using an adoptive T cell therapy. This therapy consists of the isolation of T cells, their ex vivo activation and expansion, and the subsequent autologous administration. Nevertheless, the ability to expand T cells in high quantities with a determined phenotype and at a reasonable cost remains a limiting factor for the translation of cancer immunotherapies to clinics. To improve such limitation, we are designing and synthetizing artificial stimuli-responsive supramolecular hydrogels. These hydrogels will have tunable chemical and mechanical properties which we expect to enhance T cell proliferation rates while controlling the cellular phenotypes ex-vivo. The student will purify T cells from human peripheral blood and analyze T cell adhesion, activation, proliferation and differentiation in dynamic supramolecular hydrogels with different techniques such as ELISA tests, flow cytometry and optical microscopy to help improving adoptive T cell therapies.

Imma Ratera

Dynamic molecular bio-interfaces for controlled environments towards vascular morphogenesis

Cellular morphogenesis is orchestrated by multifaceted signaling pathways of the surrounding environment, which enable cells to differentiate. The work will consist in the modification of surfaces with molecular and bio-nanomaterials to control the cell-material interface for cell guidance studies.
Towards this aim, the student will use electroactive molecular self-assembly monolayers (SAMs) as dynamic, model substrates to trigger the organization of growth factors in a biomimetic way, to stimulate the spatial and temporal cues of the natural microenviroment.Using surface characterization techniques like AFM, electrochemical SPR, fluorescence confocal microscopy, or SEM the role of the student in the project will consist to find effective ways to anchor (by specific self assembly monolayers, etc…) and pattern (by microcontact printing or other lithographic techniques) the biomolecules or bio-nanoparticles onto surfaces to stimulate cell proliferation, differentiation and motility.

Imma Ratera/Jaume Veciana

Organic Nanoparticles (ONPs) as Nanothermometers for Biological applications

The work will consist on the design, synthesis and characterization of molecular multifunctional materials based on octupolar and quadrupolar systems based on organic radicals for the preparation of organic nanoparticles (ONPs) for 2-Photon Absorption Microscopy (2PM). Structural characterization of the ONPs will be addressed by appropriate techniques (DLS, TEM, confocal microscopy, spectroscopic absorption, emission and non-linear optical,  microscopic and calorimetric).
Moreover, the good stability and luminescence properties of these ONPs with emission in the red-NIR region (650–800 nm), together with the open-shell nature of the emitter, make these materials promising candidates for optoelectronic and bioimaging applications. i.e. in the framework of this grant, the candidate will evaluate its application as nanothermometer in cells due to its already observed ratiomeric variation of emission with  subtle changes of temperature around human body T.
Susagna Ricart Miró

Preparation and characterization of colloidal and UV sensitive inks used in the chemical solution approach towards functional nanocomposite superconducting layers

The objective of the proposal is the preparation and use of metalorganic chemical solutions for the Inkjet printing approach towards functional superconducting layers. A pre-polymeric solution of metalorganic salts will be studied. Using preformed oxide nanoparticles stable colloidal solutions will be produced and its compatibility with Inkjet deposition and UV/ thermal treatment evaluated to produce superconducting epitaxial layers. An additional step will be to study of a silver ink as a protecting layer.
Anna Roig

Multi-material Nanoparticles

Multicomponent nanoparticles can be a strategy for achieving functional anisotropy.
The motivation for studying multi-material nanoparticles is the diversity and complexity brought into a colloidal system.  This project will address the chemical synthesis of multicomponent colloids. The final aim is to study how the functional properties of each material are being modified by the close proximity of the other one. The project includes activities in colloidal chemistry and the structural and functional characterization of colloids We seek students from chemistry, physics, double degree of physics and chemistry, nanoscience and nanotechnology or chemical engineering.
Riccardo Rurali

Nanoscale heat transport for phononics

The goal of this project is providing a theoretical framework aimed at understanding and controlling the manipulation of heat flux within emerging 2D materials and nanostructured semiconductors. The successful candidate will perform quantum mechanical numerical simulations in order to devise realistic approaches for the engineering of a thermal diode and a thermal transistor, the fundamental building blocks of phononics.
Massimiliano Stengel

Switching a polar metal via strain gradients

Although rare, a spontaneous breakdown of inversion symmetry sometimes occurs in a material which is metallic; these are commonly known as "polar metals", or "ferroelectric metals". Their interest lies in the unusual physics that emerges from a coexistence of inversion symmetry breaking and spin-orbit effects. Their "polarization", however, cannot be switched via an electric field, which limits the experimental control over band topology. Here we shall investigate, via first-principles theory, flexoelectricity as a possible way around this obstacle.

Flexoelectricity in two-dimensional materials from first principles

The polarization response to a bending deformation, commonly known as flexoelectricity, is known to be inversely proportional to the sample thickness. This observation implies that a two-dimensional material such as boron nitride, graphene or a MoS2 sheet should be among the strongest flexoelectric systems available on the market: One simply cannot go any thinner than this. Verifying this hypothesis via state-of-the art electronic-structure calculations will be our main goal in this project.

Dino Tonti

Baterias de flujo zinc-aire

Las baterias de ion litio han revolucionado la electronica portatil, sin embargo para aplicaciones de mas larga escala como los vehiculos electricos y el almacenamiento de energia renovable  su coste y densidad de energia permanecen como factores limitantes. Celdas de flujo y baterias metal-aire son entre las alternativas mas prometedoras. Este proyecto propone unir ambos conceptos , proponiendose el desarrollo de una celda y de los materiales de electrodo necesarios.
Xavier Torrelles

Aumento de la eficiencia de fotocatalizadores de TiO2 por efecto de la polarización en sustratos ferroeléctricos de BiFeO3(111).

La eficiencia de la superficie de un fotocatalizador (FC) para dirigir la reacción en una dirección y minimizar la descomposición de sus productos puede controlarse a través de las propiedades ferroeléctricas (FE) del sustrato sobre el que ha sido crecido. El proyecto pretende diseñar films de TiO2 de diferentes espesores crecidos sobre films FEs de BiFeO3 en soportes cristalinos de SrTiO3(111) con el fin de mejorar la eficiencia del proceso de descomposición del agua. La polarización remanente del FE en el FC separa los pares electrón/hueco lo que ralentiza su tiempo de recombinación.
Nora Ventosa

Nanovesicles for acid nucleic delivery

Quatsomes are a novel class of lipid-based nanovesicles, showing outstanding properties as nanocarriers. In particular, they show small size, high surface charge density, spherical shape and unilamelarity. Compared to other vesicular systems they show an outstanding particle-to-particle homogeneity as well as long term colloidal and chemical stability (up to 2 years). These nanovesicles are ideal candidates for nucleic acid delivery. In the frame of this project, the student will be involved in Quatsomes/Nucleic Acid complexes preparation and in their  characterization by dynamic light scattering, z-potential, cryo-TEM and gel electrophoresis assays.

Formalización de solicitudes

Las solicitudes se cumplimentarán únicamente en el formulario disponible en los servidores de información del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, https://sede.csic.gob.es/becas-severo-ochoa-maria-de-maeztu-2018
Junto a la solicitud, los candidatos deberán adjuntar en formato pdf la documentación adicional que se relaciona a continuación: 

  1. Documento acreditativo de identidad. En caso de solicitantes extranjeros no comunitarios que carezcan de permiso de residencia, el pasaporte.
  2.  I) Certificación académica personal del título de grado o licenciatura expedida y firmada por la Universidad, en la que conste el número total de créditos obtenidos en el grado o licenciatura y la nota media obtenida en dichos estudios, en la escala decimal de 0-10 y con 2 decimales.
    2) En el caso de no disponer del título de grado o licenciatura en el momento de la solicitud, pero estar en disposición de obtenerlo en el curso 2017-2018, certificación académica personal expedida y firmada por la Universidad, en la que conste el número total de créditos obtenidos hasta el momento y la nota media correspondiente.
    3) En el caso de estudios cursados, parcial o totalmente, en sistemas universitarios extranjeros, documento generado por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (MECD) con el cálculo de la equivalencia de las calificaciones obtenidas con la escala española de calificaciones, a disposición de los usuarios en el portal “Equivalencia de notas medias de estudios universitarios realizados en centros extranjeros
  3. Impreso de estar matriculado, inscrito o preinscrito en el curso académico 2018-2019 en un Máster Universitario oficial.
  4. Currículum vítae del solicitante, según modelo que figura en la dirección deInternet https://sede.csic.gob.es/becas-severo-ochoa
  5. Documentación oficial que acredite la formación complementaria de cursos, idiomas, becas de colaboración, Erasmus, etc., que figure en el CV.

El impreso de solicitud cumplimentado y firmado, junto a la documentación adicional indicada, se enviarán mediante correo electrónico a master@icmab.es indicando en el asunto: “Becas de colaboración”.


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