News

Laminated Organic Photovoltaic Modules for Agrivoltaics and Beyond: An Outdoor Stability Study of All-Polymer and Polymer: Small Molecule Blends

Título : Laminated Organic Photovoltaic Modules for Agrivoltaics and Beyond: An Outdoor Stability Study of All-Polymer and Polymer: Small Molecule Blends
Autores: Xabier Rodríguez-Martínez, Sergi Riera-Galindo, Luis Ever Aguirre, Mariano Campoy-Quiles, Hans Arwin, Olle Inganäs
Citation and DOI: Adv. Funct. Mater. 2022, 2213220. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202213220
PlumX: Laminated Organic Photovoltaic Modules for Agrivoltaics and Beyond: An Outdoor Stability Study of All-Polymer and Polymer: Small Molecule Blends
The integration of organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules on greenhouses is an encouraging practice to offset the energy demands of crop growth and provide extra functionality to dedicated farmland. Nevertheless, such OPV devices must meet certain optical and stability requirements to turn net zero energy greenhouse systems a reality. Here a donor:acceptor polymer blend is optimized for its use in laminated devices while matching the optical needs of crops. Optical modeling is performed and a greenhouse figure-of-merit is introduced to benchmark the trade-off between photovoltaic performance and transparency for both chloroplasts and humans. Balanced donor:acceptor ratios result in better-performing and more thermally stable devices than acceptor-enriched counterparts.

Energy

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Welcome Fernanda Piña at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Fernanda Piña
Hello! I am Fer Piña, a Nanotechnology Engineer student at ITESO in Mexico. With the JAE Intro program I am in the nanostructured materials department until June. During my stay I will be working in the laser processing group to fabricate high performance supercapacitors. About me, I really like swimming and I enjoy going to the beach.

México

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Welcome Marc Ramón Moreno at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Marc Ramón Moreno
Hello everyone! My name is Marc and I'm currently enrolled in the Master's Programme in Modelling for Science and Engineering at UAB. During the first half of this year, I'll be doing my thesis research in the Soft Matter Theory group, under the supervision of Dr Jordi Faraudo. In my free time I like to keep active with sports and try out new recipes in the kitchen. Hope to see you all at ICMAB !

Spain

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The new Scientific Meeting of PhD candidates is back! #JPhD2023

Date : 2023-06-07
The deadline for the registration and abstract submission is 28 April 2023. The meeting will take place on 7-8 June at ICMAB.

2023 is the year of the 7th edition of the Scientific Meeting of PhD candidates! The registration and abstract submission for the annual conference JPhD are now open!

Please register for the event designed and conceived from and for PhD candidates that will take place on the 7th and 8th of June 2023 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Campus, at ICMAB.

Courses and Workshops, Breaking News, timeline

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Helimagnets by disorder: Its role on the high-temperature magnetic spiral in the YBaCuFeO 5 perovskite

Título : Helimagnets by disorder: Its role on the high-temperature magnetic spiral in the YBaCuFeO5 perovskite
Autores: Arnau Romaguera, Xiaodong Zhang, Oscar Fabelo, Francois Fauth, Javier Blasco, and José Luis García-Muñoz
Citation and DOI: Phys. Rev. Research 4, 043188 – Published 14 December 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.4.043188
PlumX: Helimagnets by disorder: Its role on the high-temperature magnetic spiral in the YBaCuFeO5 perovskite
Most of the spiral magnetoelectric multiferroics investigated in recent years are geometrically or exchange-frustrated magnets, where the presence of triangular or other frustrated spin networks produce low magnetic transition temperatures. This critically limits their potential uses. The exceptional stability of the spiral magnetic order (at TS) in the layered structure of the YBaCuFeO5 double perovskite involves a nonconventional mechanism: spiral order by disorder. The model has been theoretically developed by Scaramucci et al. [Phys. Rev. Res. 2, 013273 (2020)] after the discovery of a huge impact of cation disorder on TS [M. Morin et al.Nat. Commun. 7, 13758 (2016)].

Oxides

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Key Parameters for the Rational Design, Synthesis, and Functionalization of Biocompatible Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

Título : Key Parameters for the Rational Design, Synthesis, and Functionalization of Biocompatible Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles
Autores: Marta Florensa, Marina Llenas, Esperanza Medina-Gutiérrez, Stefania Sandoval * andGerard Tobías-Rossell *
Citation and DOI: Pharmaceutics 202214(12), 2703; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14122703
PlumX: Key Parameters for the Rational Design, Synthesis, and Functionalization of Biocompatible Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles
Over the last few years, research on silica nanoparticles has rapidly increased. Particularly on mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), as nanocarriers for the treatment of various diseases because of their physicochemical properties and biocompatibility. The use of MSNs combined with therapeutic agents can provide better encapsulation and effective delivery. MSNs as nanocarriers might also be a promising tool to lower the therapeutic dosage levels and thereby to reduce undesired side effects. Researchers have explored several routes to conjugate both imaging and therapeutic agents onto MSNs, thus expanding their potential as theranostic platforms, in order to allow for the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Biomaterials

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New nanoarchitectonics to enhance cell-adhesion with quatsomes

ICMAB researchers have participated in a study to create a versatile platform based on hierarchically nanostructured cell-adhesion peptides using quatsomes, which opens new possibilities for tissue engineering. The study, published in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces is a collaboration of three CIBER-BBN groups at ICMAB, IQAC (both CSIC) and IBEC.

Top Science Results

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Synchrotron radiation based operando characterization of battery materials

Título : Synchrotron radiation based operando characterization of battery materials
Autores: Ashley P. Black, Andrea Sorrentino, François Fauth, Ibraheem Yousef, Laura Simonelli, Carlos Frontera, Alexandre Ponrouch, Dino Tonti and  M. Rosa Palacín *
Citation and DOI: Chem. Sci., 2023, Advance Article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D2SC04397A
PlumX: Synchrotron radiation based operando characterization of battery materials
Synchrotron radiation based techniques are powerful tools for battery research and allow probing a wide range of length scales, with different depth sensitivities and spatial/temporal resolutions. Operando experiments enable characterization during functioning of the cell and are thus a precious tool to elucidate the reaction mechanisms taking place. In this perspective, the current state of the art for the most relevant techniques (scattering, spectroscopy, and imaging) is discussed together with the bottlenecks to address, either specific for application in the battery field or more generic. The former includes the improvement of cell designs, multi-modal characterization and development of protocols for automated or at least semi-automated data analysis to quickly process the huge amount of data resulting from operando experiments. Given the recent evolution in these areas, accelerated progress is expected in the years to come, which should in turn foster battery performance improvements.

Energy

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Business developer and marketing specialist position for European Project on time-temperature indicators for pharmaceuticals

Deadline: 2023-02-03

The candidate will work on the project The cold-chain challenge: à la carte Time-temperature indicators enabled by patterned structural colour in organic semiconductors (VERITASCAN) within the framework of the EU ERC Proof of Concept 2022 grants. The ambition of VERITASCAN is to advance a novel class of time-temperature indicators characterized by low cost, broad application-centred customisability and ease of handling.

Jobs General & Scientific Services

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Postdoctoral Researcher Position on time-temperature indicators based on patterned structural colour in organic semiconductors

Deadline: 2023-02-03

The candidate will work on the project The cold-chain challenge: à la carte Time-temperature indicators enabled by patterned structural colour in organic semiconductors (VERITASCAN) within the framework of the EU ERC Proof of Concept 2022 grants. The ambition of VERITASCAN is to advance a novel class of time-temperature indicators characterized by low cost, broad application-centred customisability and ease of handling.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

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Disentangling electronic and thermal contributions to light-induced resistance switching in BaTiO3 ferroelectric tunnel junction

Título : Disentangling electronic and thermal contributions to light-induced resistance switching in BaTiO3 ferroelectric tunnel junction
Autores: Xiao Long, Huan Tan, Florencio Sánchez, Ignasi Fina, and Josep Fontcuberta
Citation and DOI: Journal of Applied Physics 132, 214103 (2022); https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0125040
PlumX: Disentangling electronic and thermal contributions to light-induced resistance switching in BaTiO3 ferroelectric tunnel junction
In the presence of asymmetric potential barriers, ferroelectric polarization can be reversed by light due to the photoinduced suppression of polarization. Both thermal effects and photocarrier-induced polarization screening may agree with this experimental observation, challenging its understanding. Here, we explore light-induced ferroelectric polarization switching in BaTiO3 thin films and demonstrate that the optical switch of polarization is mainly driven by photocarriers rather than thermal effects. It is shown that this response is governed by the concentration of photo-generated charges. Our conclusions can help us to better design optically switching devices based on ferroelectric materials.

Oxides

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Chemical and Microstructural Nanoscale Homogeneity in Superconducting YBa2Cu3O7–x Films Derived from Metal-Propionate Fluorine-free Solutions

Título : Chemical and Microstructural Nanoscale Homogeneity in Superconducting YBa2Cu3O7–x Films Derived from Metal-Propionate Fluorine-free Solutions
Autores: Lavinia Saltarelli, Kapil Gupta*, Silvia Rasi, Aiswarya Kethamkuzhi, Albert Queraltó, Diana Garcia, Joffre Gutierrez, Jordi Farjas, Pere Roura-Grabulosa, Susagna Ricart, Xavier Obradors, and Teresa Puig*
Citation and DOI: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 43, 48582-48597
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c11414
PlumX: Chemical and Microstructural Nanoscale Homogeneity in Superconducting YBa2Cu3O7–x Films Derived from Metal-Propionate Fluorine-free Solutions
Research involved in developing alternative energy sources has become a necessity to face global warming. In this context, superconductivity is an appealing solution to enhance clean electrical energy provided that lower production costs can be attained. By implementation of chemical solution deposition techniques and high-throughput growth methods, low-cost nanostructured epitaxial cuprate superconductors are timely candidates.Here, we present a versatile and tunable solution method suitable for the preparation of high-performance epitaxial cuprate superconducting films. Disregarding the renowned trifluoroacetate route, we center our focus on the transient liquid-assisted growth (TLAG) that meets the requirement of being a greener chemical process together with ultrafast growth rates beyond 100 nm/s.

Superconductors

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Welcome Fereshteh Masoudinia at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Fereshteh Masoudinia
Hi, I am Fereshteh, from Iran. I joined ICMAB December 2022. I’m going to work with Prof. Gervasi Herranz and Dr. Gyanendra Singh and the topic is spin generation which is controlled by electrostatic. My master is in solid state and it was not focused on experimental practices so there are a lot to learn here and I’m too much excited about that. In my free time, I love visiting interesting towns and wondering in the nature, also watching movies and football games, enjoying time with my family and friends, dancing are my favorites. I love to talk and connect with different people which I found it so easy in Barcelona due to its wonderful culture that captured my heart in such short period. See you at ICMAB! 

Iran

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Members of the EU-funded project NABIHEAL during the kick-off meeting in Barcelona on 11 January 2023.

New European Project NABIHEAL in biomaterials for complex wound healing

Press Links:

The Horizon Europe project NABIHEAL, coordinated by the Center for Biomedical Research Network (CIBER) at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), was launched on 11-12 January 2023 in Barcelona with the first meeting of the international consortium, formed by 14 partners from 7 countries, including research centers, universities, and private companies. 

New Projects, Breaking News, timeline, Press Review

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Welcome Giovanni Schievano at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Giovanni Schievano
"Hello! I'm Giovanni, bachelor in Material Science in University of Padova. Here to do the master thesis of NANOMED Erasmus mundus program. Always up for sport, outdoor activities, barbeques and beers. See you around!"

Italy

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Hierarchical Quatsome-RGD Nanoarchitectonic Surfaces for Enhanced Integrin-Mediated Cell Adhesion

Título : Hierarchical Quatsome-RGD Nanoarchitectonic Surfaces for Enhanced Integrin-Mediated Cell Adhesion
Autores: Marc Martínez-Miguel, Miquel Castellote-Borrell, Mariana Köber, Adriana R. Kyvik, Judit Tomsen-Melero, Guillem Vargas-Nadal, Jose Muñoz, Daniel Pulido, Edgar Cristóbal-Lecina, Solène Passemard, Miriam Royo, Marta Mas-Torrent, Jaume Veciana, Marina I. Giannotti, Judith Guasch, Nora Ventosa*, and Imma Ratera*
Citation and DOI:
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 42, 48179–48193
Publication Date:October 17, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c10497
PlumX: Hierarchical Quatsome-RGD Nanoarchitectonic Surfaces for Enhanced Integrin-Mediated Cell Adhesion
The synthesis and study of the tripeptide Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD), the binding site of different extracellular matrix proteins, e.g., fibronectin and vitronectin, has allowed the production of a wide range of cell adhesive surfaces. Although the surface density and spacing of the RGD peptide at the nanoscale have already shown a significant influence on cell adhesion, the impact of its hierarchical nanostructure is still rather unexplored.

Biomaterials

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Alejandro De Sousa with supervisors and PhD Committee | ICMAB, CSIC

Congratulations Dr. J. Alejandro De Sousa, new ICMAB PhD graduate!

Doctor Jesús Alejandro De Sousa Rodríguez from the Molecular Materials for Electronic Devices (eMolMat) group at ICMAB-CSIC, defended his PhD thesis "Stable perchlorinated trityl radicals on surfaces for molecular (opto)electronics and spintronics" on Friday, 16 December 2022 at ICMAB. 

PhD Congrats

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A transversal approach to predict surface charge compensation in piezoelectric force microscopy

Título : A transversal approach to predict surface charge compensation in piezoelectric force microscopy
Autores: HuanTan, Jike Lyu, Yunwei Shenga, Pamela Machado, Tingfeng Song, Akash Bhatnagar, Mariona Coll, Florencio Sánchez, Josep Fontcuberta, Ignasi Fina
Citation and DOI: Applied Surface Science Volume 607, 1 January 2023, 154991
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2022.154991
PlumX: A transversal approach to predict surface charge compensation in piezoelectric force microscopy
Piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) has demonstrated to be a powerful tool to characterize ferroelectric materials. However, extrinsic effects, most notably, those resulting from surface charges, often mask or mirror genuine piezoelectric response, challenging PFM data understanding. The contribution of surface charges to PFM signal is commonly compensated by using appropriate external bias voltage, which is ad-hoc selected and sample dependent.

Oxides

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Welcome Daniel Martín Jiménez at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Daniel Martín Jiménez
Hi there! My name is Daniel Martín Jiménez and I am a new postdoc at ICMAB. I am an expert in Scanning Probe Microscopy. In 2017, I obtained my Ph.D. certificate in Madrid, and later I was working at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen (Germany). I like science and literature.

Spain

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Welcome Liher Urrutia at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Liher Urrutia
HI, I'm Liher Urrutia and I'm 22 years old. I studied Biology in the UAB and now I'm at the master's degree in biochemistry, molecular biology and biomedicine at the UAB. I will do my master's thesis at this center and in the Vall d'Hebron, about the development of murine models for nanoparticle therapy of head and neck cancer.
I'm coming from the Basque Country and I really like travelling and cooking, but I am also a fan of soccer and chess.
Nice to meet you!

Spain

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Welcome Alfonsina Torimtubun at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Alfonsina Torimtubun
Hi! My name is Alfonsina from Indonesia (I think I am the only Indonesian at ICMAB). I have studied Chemical Engineering degree at University of Brawijaya, Indonesia, then I earned a scholarship to relocate to Taiwan pursuing my Master degree in Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at National Central University, Taiwan. After that, I received a Marie Curie COFUND fellowship to do my doctoral study at Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Spain to study ternary organic solar cells. Nowadays, under the supervision of Dr. Mariano Campoy and Dr. Alejandro R. Goñi, I am going to start my postdoctoral study in the NANOPTO group of ICMAB with the research focus on improving the efficiency of organic solar cells using advanced geometries and artificial intelligence. In my free time, I like exploring new places, connecting with nature, trying different culinary, cooking and singing. See you around!

Indonesia

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Open PhD Position: Wireless electrochemistry for energy storage

Deadline: 2023-01-28

We offer a position for a predoctoral researcher in the framework of the project “Non-contact bipolar electrochemistry and its effects on bioelectrodes, electrochemical energy storage and electrocatalysis” with Nieves Casañ and Xavier Torrelles. 

The candidate will work on the project "Effects of wireless electrochemistry in materails and devices for energy storage" in the groups of Nieves Casañ and Xavier Torrelles. 

PhD Fellows, Breaking News

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Stable nanovesicles formed by intrinsically planar bilayers

Título : Stable nanovesicles formed by intrinsically planar bilayers
Autores: Mariana Köberb, Sílvia Illa-Tuseta, LidiaFerrer-Tasies, Evelyn Moreno-Calvo, Witold I. Tatkiewicz, Natascia Grimaldi, David Piña, Alejandro Pérez Pérez, Vega Lloveras, JoséVidal-Gancedo, Donatella Bulone, Imma Ratera, Jan Skov Pedersen, Dganit Danino, Jaume Veciana, Jordi Faraudo, Nora Ventosa
Citation and DOI:

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science Volume 631, Part A, February 2023, Pages 202-211

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2022.10.104

PlumX: Stable nanovesicles formed by intrinsically planar bilayers
Hypothesis
Quatsome nanovesicles, formed through the self-assembly of cholesterol (CHOL) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) in water, have shown long-term stability in terms of size and morphology, while at the same time exhibiting high CHOL-CTAB intermolecular binding energies. We hypothesize that CHOL/CTAB quatsomes are indeed thermodynamically stable nanovesicles, and investigate the mechanism underlying their formation.

Biomaterials

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Assessing the local structure and quantifying defects in Ca4Fe9O17 combining STEM and FAULTS

Título : Assessing the local structure and quantifying defects in Ca4Fe9O17 combining STEM and FAULTS
Autores: Jon Serrano-Sevillano, Judith Oró-Solé, Jaume Gázquez, Carlos Frontera, Ashley P. Black, Montse Casas-Cabanas and M. Rosa Palacín *
Citation and DOI:

Inorg. Chem. Front., 2022,9, 6425-6430

https://doi.org/10.1039/D2QI01951E

PlumX: Assessing the local structure and quantifying defects in Ca4Fe9O17 combining STEM and FAULTS
Defects in crystalline structures play a vital role in their properties, so their proper characterization is essential to understanding and improving the behaviour of the materials. In this work, their presence in Ca4Fe9O17 has been analysed. Its structure exhibits three different iron coordination topologies and can be described as layers of corner-sharing FeO5 bipyramids stacked along the c axis together with layers of edge-sharing FeO6 octahedra, both being linked by FeO4 tetrahedra. The relative position of the FeO4 tetrahedra generates three possible stacking directions, which results in stacking faults when more than one is combined.

Energy

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