Press

Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, a simple method to visualize moiré superlattices

A recent publication in Nature Nanotechnology in which Massimiliano Stengel, ICREA scientist, and Konstantin Shapovalov, postdoctoral researcher at ICMAB, participated, show how Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM) is an effective tool to visualize and characterize moiré patterns in a wide range of twisted bilayer systems including twisted bilayer graphene. The publication is a collaboration between researchers from Columbia University in USA, the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, Nanjing University in China, Stony Brook University in USA, the Flatiron Institute in USA and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona.

Top Science Results

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How do superconducting coated conductors respond to the extreme temperature, frequency and magnetic field conditions of the CERN Future Circular Collider?

A new publication in Scientific Reports by researchers of the Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group at the ICMAB, the ALBA Synchrotron, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and CERN, has studied the surface resistance and vortex properties of seven superconducting coated conductors at microwave frequencies, high magnetic fields and low temperatures (mimicking the expected conditions of the Future Circular Collider at CERN) to study how they respond.

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Summary of effects in magnetophoresis due to magnetic and hydrodynamic interactions beyond the classical model. The cartoon indicates the physical interactions behind the cooperative effect and the magnetic-induced convection, illustrated by the images

The challenge of understanding low-gradient magnetic separation

Low-gradient magnetic separation (LGMS) is a complex phenomena with a behaviour so contradictory with classic magnetophoresis models that it was considered to be almost paradoxical. An Editor’s Choice feature article at the Langmuir journal, co-authored by ICMAB Researcher Jordi Faraudo, proposes a unified theoretical framework to understand and control this helpful separation technique.

Top Science Results

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Practical and versatile micro-patterning for organic electronics and photonics

Scientists have managed to draw at high resolution and speed, local patterns in organic semiconductor films used in optoelectronic and photonic applications. The new method enables the patterning of material characteristics and concomitant final properties, including molecular conformation, orientation, crystallinity and composition. The technique, published with open access in Nature Communications, has also been patented and industrial partners are sought for further co-development.

Press Release, Top Science Results, TT Patents & Techno Offers

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Cost effective approach for the fabrication of large area metamaterials

Metamaterials have revolutionized the field of photonics because of their exotic optical properties absent in natural materials. Made from the arrangement of subwavelength units, the properties of metamaterials do not derive from their chemical composition but rather from their physical structure. Therefore, properly designing the geometry, size and media involved in a metamaterial, it is possible to engineer the overall electromagnetic response beyond the conventional behaviors. 

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Biomedical engineers conduct experiments for blood filtering treatment

Xavier Ferràs: "In a post COVID-19 world, we need to rethink how we organize science"

The way the different countries in the world reacted to the emerging crisis that a global pandemic brings and the results they achieved can illuminate the path for a new way to structure scientific innovation. ESADE Professor Xavier Ferràs helps us understand what was the scientific paradigm when COVID-19 hit and how can we expect it to shift.

Websites

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Emulating the plasticity of synapses between neurons in a physical system by light stimuli

This is the first case of a 2D electron system, in which the electron population can be increased and reduced in a controlled way by light. The study, published in Physical Review Letters, has been carried out by Gervasi Herranz and co-workers from the Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Sructures (MULFOX) group at the ICMAB. 

Press Release, Top Science Results

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SIESTA logo

New developments and applications for SIESTA program

The SIESTA methodology and program, first described in 2002, is a simulation paradigm that has allowed for extensive and precise theoretical research in the properties of materials based on first principle electronic-structure methods. Almost two decades later, a new publication details the improvements made to the paradigm and how this new tools can be applied.

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ICMAB Researchers in front of the ICMAB building

15th Edition of Spanish Researchers Ranking features ICMAB researchers

The 15th edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities has been published, ranking researchers in Spain as well as Spaniards doing research abroad, and the list features more than a hundred ICMAB researchers. This initiative developed by CSIC intends to boost online publication of research.

Websites

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New fluorescent nanoparticles to see what is invisible to the eye

Researchers from the Nanomol group at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the CIBER-BBN network and the ICTS Nanbiosis U6, and members of the TECNIO technology transfer network ACCIÓ-Generalitat de Catalunya, together with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT, USA) and the University of Parma (UNIPR, Italy) have developed a new nanomaterial for bioimaging. The results of the study are the result of the TECNIOspring PLUS project co-financed by ACCIÓ and the European Commission.

Press Release, Top Science Results

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Kids at a MATHEROES exhibit

MATHEROES, or how to make materials science appealing, in Material-ES

As scientific developments get more and more complex, the challenge of communicating any innovation increases. Despite the increasing amount of applications of new materials in day to day life, explaining how they work is not an easy task, especially with younger people, who might not see any of the more advanced concepts in their science classes. Anna May Masnou, Head of the Communication Department at the ICMAB, has written an article at the SOCIEMAT magazine Material-ES about the MATHEROES initiative, which personalizes material properties into superheroes.

Newspapers, Books and articles

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Nanoneedles to increase the capacity and robustness of digital memories

Researchers at the ICMAB, UAB and the ALBA Synchrotron, in collaboration with the UB and ICN2, have developed a new technique to locally modify the properties of a metamagnetic material. The method consists in applying local pressure to the surface of the material using nanometric needles and allows a much more easy and local modification than current methods. The research opens the door to a more accurate and precise control of magnetic materials and allows to improve the architecture and capacity of magnetic digital memories.

Press Release

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Light-boosted flexoelectricity properties discovered in perovskites

A research recently published on Nature Materials, carried out jointly by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), Nanchang University (China) and Chongqing University (China), has demonstrated that light can increase by orders of magnitude the electricity produced by bending (flexoelectricity) in semiconductors. This phenomenon, called photoflexoelectricity, allows a single device to harvest energy from multiple environmental sources.

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Teresa Puig in the Lab

Superconductor Week talks with Teresa Puig about new improved growth process for YBCO epitaxial films

Teresa Puig appears on the 34th volume of Superconductor Week, a monthly newsletter dedicated to bringing news and analysis about superconductivity to all related parties, from scientists to investors in the industry. Their latest issue covers the breakthrough achieved by the Superconducting Materials Research Group (SUMAN) in the field of growth of YBCO epitaxial films, which was already covered in Nature Communications 11, 334 (2020).

PRESS, Websites

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Researcher holding a sample

Xavier Obradors talks about the new era for materials in "Innovadores"

New technologies are frequently supported on innovative functional materials that allow for improvements in performance in order to leave behind the physical limitations of current materials. The economic supplement of La Razón Innovadores talked with 6 expert researchers on the field of materials, amongst which was ICMAB's Director Xavier Obradors, to find more about the future of hardware in advanced technologies. 

Websites, Newspapers

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Banner for Via Lliure on RAC1

José Vidal-Gancedo talks about COVID-19 and temperature on RAC1

The relationship between environmental factors and SARS-CoV-2 will shape the ways in which we respond to the virus as the weather changes. It is still soon to have a definitive idea of how it is affected by variables like temperature, humidity, or ultraviolet radiation, but José Vidal-Gancedo has been compiling what we know and developing a comprehensive article on the topic. His findings have been echoing on the media: he first published the article on La Vanguardia, which was followed by an interview on Aquí Cuní on SER Catalunya.

Radio

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Aromaticity in 3D Boron clusters is better than expected!

Although the concept of aromaticity in chemistry is something that chemists have in their minds very clearly, they find it very difficult to define. Moreover, among chemists, there are two currents with two distinct points of view: the experimental chemists and the theoretical chemists. What happens when we look at the aromaticity of 3D boron clusters?

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"Key breakthrough in search for gasoline replacement" by Pepe Giner et al. hit the American TV

The article published in JACS by Pepe Giner et al. in which the international team reports a MOF (metal-organic framework) that can separate biobutanol from the biomass fermentation products has received much attention in the American media, since there is a high demand for gasoline, and one of the research collaborators was from Oregon State University.

TV, Websites, Newspapers

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New ruthenium-based metallocarboranes for bimodal cancer therapy

With cancer as the second leading cause of death worldwide, investigation on its treatment stays relevant. New mononuclear ruthenium–carboranyl complexes bearing bipyridyl derivatives are being developed for bimodal therapy applications, unifying BNCT (boron neutron capture therapy) and chemotherapy on a single smaller dose and giving a more effective response thanks to a synergistic effect. These complexes are being characterized and tested against melanoma and glioblastoma, and showing successful results so far.

Top Science Results

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Designed a new family of molecules with high affinity to join altered receptors in neurodegenerative diseases

An article published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry , and with the participation of Elies Molins, shows a new family of molecules with high affinity to join imidazoline receptors, which are altered in the brain of those patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. According to the preclinical study, the merge of these specific ligands to I2 receptors improves cognitive skills and some biomarkers which are indicators of brain neurodegenerative processes in murine models.

Websites

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Towards green energies: new materials for biobutanol separation

Researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) have discovered a water stable metal-organic framework (MOF) that allows for the separation of butanol from acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) mixtures that are extracted from the fermentation process of biomass feedstock, as part of the standard industrial process to produce biofuels. This new compound, mCB-MOF-1, shows promising results compared to other methodologies or other MOF materials. The study is published in JACS on 27 April 2020. 

Press Release

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Ignasi Fina interviewed at "La Buena Tarde" in Radio Asturias

On 1 April 2020, the ICMAB researcher Ignasi Fina, from the Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films And Complex Structures (MULFOX) group, was interviewed in the radio show “La Buena Tarde”, broadcasted in Radio Asturias  to talk about the flexible antiferromagnetic tapes. “La Buena Tarde” is a light variety show that discusses culture and science, with a few different collaborators on every episode.

Radio

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Biologically active bacterial nanocellulose ocular bandages for corneal regeneration featured in R+D CSIC

First results of bacterial nanocellulose ocular bandages for innovative ophthalmic treatment have been published at Biomaterials Science. The bacterial nanocellulose, which is more affordable and easier to maintain than current treatments for corneal repair, will be impregnated with growth factors to accelerate corneal regeneration. The research is developed by the Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites Groups (NN) in close collaboration with the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre in Barcelona, which supports this project from a clinical perspective.

Websites

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Nora Ventosa at “La Nit dels Ignorants 3.0” in Catalunya Radio

On 26 March 2020, ICMAB researcher Nora Ventosa, from the Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials (NANOMOL) group, was interviewed in the radio show “La Nit dels Ignorants 3.0”, broadcasted in Catalunya Ràdio. “La Nit dels Ignorants 3.0” is a night time show that focuses on knowledge and company, both asking and answering public interest questions.

Radio

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Judit Morlà talks about the Coronavirus on “Som-hi” on TAC12 TV

On 2 April 2020, ICMAB researcher Judit Morlà, from the Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials (NANOMOL) group, had her first appearance in “Som-hi”. Her section aired on tac12, a TV channel that can be tuned in from any point in the Tarragonès and is also available online. “Som-hi” is a television magazine that offers local news and information as well as some light educative sections.

TV, Outreach Videos, OUTREACH

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Barcelona equips itself with a European first-class collaborative microscopy platform through the joint action of nine research institutions and the support of ERDF

The ALBA Synchrotron will host two new major experimental facilities, one dedicated to materials science, valued at 4.1 million euros and led by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), and another meant for molecular biology, valued at 1.7 million euros and headed by the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC).

Websites

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Acoustic spin waves: towards a new paradigm of on-chip communication

For the first time researchers have observed directly sound-driven spin waves (magnetoacoustic waves) and have revealed its nature. Results show that these magnetization waves can go up to longer distances (up to centimeters) and have larger amplitudes than the commonly known spin waves.

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New flexible, robust and secure tapes for information storage in wearable devices

Researchers from ICMAB-CSIC have obtained a flexible tape of an antiferromagnetic material (FeRh, iron-rhodium system) able to store information in a more robust and secure way than the ubiquitous ferromagnetic materials. This innovation may have application where flexibility and data storage robustness are required, such as credit or identification cards.
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Nanocapsules “3-in-1” for in vivo biomedical imaging: an ICMAB and VHIR study

An interdisciplinary research group synthesizes drug delivery nanocapsules with three contrast agents for three biomedical imaging techniques to study their biodistribution. The approach is modular and allows including the contrast agents together or separately on the nanocapsules, without affecting their size or shape, nor interfering with the encapsulated therapeutic agent. The study is co-led by researchers from VHIR and ICMAB-CSIC, and is part of a European project (MAGBBRIS) to prepare safe, biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials for biomedical imaging and brain repair after stroke.
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The contribution of Clara Viñas and Francesc Teixidor at HALCHEM highlighted in C&EN News in Japan

Clara Viñas and Francesc Teixidor were Invited Speakers at HALCHEM IX, the 9th International Meeting on Halogen Chemistry (HALCHEM IX), which was held at the University of Perugia, Italy, between 23 and 26 of September 2019. The Japanese industry has a high interest in halogens (especially in iodine), and they have always participated in the HALCHEM conferences. This is possibly the reason why the Japanese version of the C&E News has highlighted this scientific event in their pages. 
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Productivity and impact of ICMAB researchers according to the Webcindario h-index ranking

Nine ICMAB researchers appear on the Webcindario h-index ranking. A database which contains information of the researchers working in Spain in different areas, which have a high h-index (higher than a certain threshold). Our researchers appear in 7 different research areas, being Multidisciplinary Chemistry, Inorganic & Nuclear Chemistry and Applied Physics the most common ones. 

Websites

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