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PhD Theses

Congratulations, Dr. Núria Portolés, new ICMAB graduate!

Doctor Núria Portolés Gil from the Supercritical Fluids and Functional Matirials Group at ICMAB defended her PhD thesis on Monday, 18 November 2019. Her thesis was entitled "Green synthesis of coordination polymers using supercritical carbon dioxide", and was supervised by Dr. Concepción Domingo and Dr. Ana Maria López-Periago, from the ICMAB, and Dr. Jose Antonio Ayllón, from the UAB. Congratulations, Núria! Continue reading to know more about here next steps!

20 November 2019

Why did you choose the ICMAB?

The ICMAB offered an interesting project that was related to my Master's. It is also well located near my home and easy to access by public transport.

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

I synthetized new materials (called coordination polymers and metal-organic frameworks, MOFs) in a sustainable way. We proposed an alternative to the use of toxic organic solvents, which is the use of supercritical carbon dioxide instead.

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

Providing an alternative to the use of toxic solvents for the synthesis of coordination polymers. We synthetized compounds that have potential applications in many different areas. For example, in biomedicine as nanocarriers for drug release or for adsorptions and separation of gases.

From the lessons learnt at ICMAB, which one do you value the most?

I have acquired experience in solid state characterization techniques that I did not knwow before and which can be useful in a future work. I have also learned how to work with supercritical fluids. Personally, what I value the most is that I have learnd how to manage my time efficiently, I have worked with experts in different areas and I have learnd not to get discouraged when something is not achieved the first time.

What will you miss the most from ICMAB?

My colleagues and the opportunity to benefit from an ongoing training.

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

I hope that the acquired experience will open some doors for future professional work.

What are your plans once you finish your PhD?

I will try to find a job. If possible, a position related to green chemistry research in industry.

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

That things in science go slowly and it is necessary to have patience and being constant.

Why did you become a scientist?

I like to understand how things work.

Which is your favourite female scientist?

Every woman, known or unknown, that fights for having a job in science, and for being respected even though in some cases it is not easy. If I have to name a famous researcher, I would say Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin.

Describe in 3 keywords…

  • Your research: Supercritical, MOFs, crystallization.

  • Your experience at ICMAB: learning, self-improvement, experience

Thank you, Núria!

Thesis Title: Green synthesis of coordination polymers using supercritical carbon dioxide

by Núria Portolés Gil, Supercritical Fluids and Functional Matirials Group, ICMAB-CSIC

Date: Monday, 18 November 2019
Time: 11:00 am
Venue: ICMAB - Sala d'Actes Carles Miravitlles

Abstract: Coordination polymers (CPs) and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are considered potential candidates for numerous applications. Generally, these materials are synthetized using toxic organic solvents and high temperatures. The main aim of this work is to synthetize CPs using a green technology based on supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) solvent.

To date, the use of scCO2 in the field has been mainly limited to the post-synthetic activation steps. The use of scCO2 can go further, including the synthesis of these materials. Hence, the main objective of this work is to demonstrate this possibility, stablishing a synthetic protocol. The viability of the easy, fast and eco-friendly synthesis of new CPs and MOFs using scCO2 has been demonstrated.Supervisor:

  • Dr. Concepción Domingo, Supercritical Fluids and Functional Matirials, ICMAB-CSIC
  • Dr. Ana Maria López-Periago, Supercritical Fluids and Functional Matirials, ICMAB-CSIC
  • Dr. Jose Antonio Ayllón, UAB

PhD Committee:

  • President: Prof. María José Cocero Alonso, Departament Ingeniería Química y Tecnología del Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain
  • Secretary: Dr. Patricia Horcajada, Fundación IMDEA Energia, Madrid, Spain
  • Vocal:  Dr. Pascale Subra Paternault, Institute of Chemistry Biology Memb & Nano-objects, Bordeaux, France
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