PhD Theses

Congratulations Dr. Laia Soler Bru, new ICMAB graduate!

Dr. Laia Soler, former PhD researcher under the supervision of Prof. Xavier Obradors and Dr. Susagna Ricart (Superconducting and Large Scale Nanostructures group at ICMAB) defended her PhD thesis entitled "Liquid-assisted ultrafast growth of superconducting films derived from chemical solutions" publicly on 1 March 2019 at the ICMAB-CSIC Auditorium. We have interviewed her to know a little bit more about her PhD and her life at the ICMAB!

05 March 2019

Why did you choose the ICMAB?

During an internship in the group I became interested in this research field.

How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?

We synthesize tapes able conduct electricity without losses. Particularly, we developed a methodology for enhancing the manufacturing throughput and reduce the production costs to make these materials feasible in a widespread number of applications

What are the main applications of your research? Could you give us an example?

High temperature superconductors can be integrated into systems with applications on energy efficiency, but they are also the only solution for devices requiring high magnetic fields. Some examples are high efficient power cables, transformers or motors; superconducting magnetic energy storage, high field magnets, fault current limiters, etc

In the time you have been here, what have you liked the most about your experience at our Research Center and in the Barcelona area?

I have grown as a professional, but I have also met many interesting people that I take as friends and with whom I have had an amazing time here.

How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?

A PhD teaches you how to solve problems, plan roadmaps, collaborate and face failure, for instance. These are attitudes valuable not only in academia.

What are your plans once you finish your PhD?

I am planning now a long trip as a break and to decide about my professional future.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD?

How quickly time passes by

Why did you become a scientist? Which have been your role models?

Just because I was curious.

Which is your favourite female scientist? 

Jane Goodall

Describe in 3 keywords…

  • Your research: oxide thin films, superconductivity, carboxylates
  • Barcelona: fun, culture, tourists
  • Your experience at ICMAB: enriching, friendly, school
PhD Thesis Abstract: This thesis was devoted to the growth of textured YBa2Cu3O7-x superconducting thin films. We present a novel technique that relies on the kinetic preference to form a transient liquid that assists the ultrafast growth (100nm/s) of the equilibrium phase. Transient Liquid Assisted Growth (TLAG) is combined with low cost Chemical Solution Deposition (CSD) from carboxylate solutions. This new approximation has been attained with the use of rapid thermal annealing (up to 80ºC/s). The reaction mechanisms are disclosed with in-situ analyses using infrared and X-ray diffraction. Finally, the supersaturation conditions for crystallization are tunned to nucleate the desired phase structure required to obtain good superconducting properties.

Her PhD Committee was formed by Juan-Manuel García Ruiz (IACT-CSIC, Spain), Felip Sandiumenge i Ortiz (ICMAB-CSIC, Spain) and Bartlomeij Andrezej Glowacki (University of Cambridge, UK). 

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