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Superconducting materials and levitation of magnets with Teresa Puig in "Els Matins de TV3"

On Thursday 11 October 2018, the programme "Els Matins de TV3", directed by Lídia Heredia, interviewed researcher Teresa Puig about the superconducting materials, in their section devoted to science, and presented by Daniel Arbós. The section, of more than 18 minutes long, explains what superconducting materials are, what are their main applications, and shows the levitation experiment. 

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"New perspectives for photovoltaics" by Mariona Coll at Revista de Física

The last issue of the Revista Española de Física (RdF) of the RSEF contains five articles written by the winners of the XII edition of the Research Awards "For Women in Science" from L'Oréal-UNESCO. The Editorial Committee decided to invite them to write an article about their research for the section "Temas de Física". Mariona Coll, from the ICMAB, has written the article "Oxides and low-cost chemical methods: New perspectives for photovoltaics".

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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?

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"El reto de ser científicas y madres" by Valentina Raffio in El Periódico

On Monday, 24 September, this article appeared in the printed version in the newspaper "El Periódico", both in the Spanish and Catalan version. The article is written by the journalist Valentina Raffio, and features two ICMAB researchers, Teresa Puig and Marta Mas-Torrent, in the framework of the project #LasCientíficasCuentan, an initiative by CSIC-Brussels and funded by the FECYT. We transcribe here the text. 

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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).

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New boost to future calcium batteries - A possible cathode?

  • A recent study demonstrates the feasibility of the electrochemical extraction of calcium from a metal oxide, which could be used as a cathode (positive electrode) for calcium batteries
  • The study, published in Dalton Transactions, was carried out in collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe, which shares the patent

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SOMMa in the press: "Respiro para la ciencia"

This article was published on May 28, 2018, in La Vanguardia, and is signed by Carina Farreras, Barcelona. We transcribe it here as it is. You can download here the paper version. SOMMa is the alliance of the Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu research centers and units, formed by 41 research centers and units, and by more than 5,000 researchers. SOMMa wants to promote Spanish Excellence in research and enhance its social impact at national and international levels.

Respiro para la ciencia. Una enmienda a ley de Presupuestos desencalla la paralización de los centros.

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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 MULFOX group, working with Ferran, performed some of the experiments during his secondment at NYU. 

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"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. 

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New organic and miniaturized photodetectors that absorb light beyond the visible range

A study led by the Technische Universität Dresden, in which the group of Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) participated, has developed organic photodetectors that detect light below its absorption band, with high efficiency, in a tunable way and in a very precise wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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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?

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Mariona Coll, scientist with GLAMOUR

The October issue of GLAMOUR, the most read magazine among women and female teenagers in Spain, publishes the interview to seven Spanish female researchers discussing on gender balance and the difficulties to do research in Spain. Mariona Coll, a chemist from ICMAB, is one of them.

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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. 

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Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

  • Researchers from the IBB-UAB fabricate 4 molecules of only 7 amino acids with 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.

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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

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"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. 

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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. 

SOMMa and 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.

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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

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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.

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