I was responsible for the design, start up and management of the Institute for 21 years, since the Materials Science Institute was set up. I have had to become a specialist in the analysis and knowledge of the change of functional preparation and characterization of materials of a high added value. For this reason, I have closely followed the development that has taken place during recent years in advances in these techniques. It may be said that I have also had to follow and get to know the applications of these materials and the evaluation of the different possibilities of their industrial application. This knowledge, of a general character, refers to materials that are prepared and characterized into molecular, supramolecular, porous etc. However, this knowledge, due to my previous training, has been polarised fundamentally towards the ambit of structure-property relationships that are, without doubt, the key, together with their applications, that configure the core of knowledge necessary for the development of new materials of an industrial interest. On the other hand, I am also interested in the repercussions that different scientific policies, at an EC, Spanish State and Autonomous Community level, have on the normal development of research work that is carried out within research groups at the ICMAB and other research groups, both from the economic point of view as from the point of view of selecting scientific and technical personnel. Of the different states of matter, the solid state is without doubt the most attractive due to its regularity and order, both at a macroscopic and microscopic level. The relative ordering of molecules and atoms within a crystal are really a work of art that conditions its physical and chemical properties. However, while we represent this set in a rigid way, we should bear in mind that crystals have their own life, as crystalline solids are subject to interesting dynamic processes such as those which occur in gases and liquids. From this point of view, the subject that studies these phenomena is crystallography, a field in which I have worked for many years, solving crystal structures by x-ray diffraction of numerous inorganic, organic and metallorganic compounds jointly with different research groups from all over the world. Since I did my post-doctorate under the direction of Dr. G. Germain in Leuven and subsequently in Louvain-la Neuve, I have been interested in different methodologies that allow the solution of phase problems, such as direct methods and different types of Patterson functions. Together with Dr. J. Rius, we have done work in this field in recent years on the development of new methods for the solution of complicated structures, both from diffraction data in monocrystals and from powder diffraction data. Important subjects of surface crystallography have been studied by applying modified direct methods for the solution of the exact, precise structure of the top layers that make up the crystal surface, methods that have allowed a revolution in the techniques used up to now. Finally, in collaboration with Prof. J. Casabó, we started a new research line in the development of new materials based on carbon nanotubes. I left the institute’s management to lead the Eduardo Torroja Institute of the Cement and Construction in Madrid. I was Acting Director of this institute during the two years that were needed to prepare its Strategic Plan which was approved by an International Scientific Committee. On 2012 I was appointed Professor Ad-Honorem by the CSIC and I devlop my duties at the ICMAB.
+ 34 935 801 853
Internal Phone Number:
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miravitlles (at) icmab.es
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona