Top Science Results

Electric forces to characterize future biocompatible organic electronic devices

A joint collaboration between the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB) and The University of Manchester has succeeded in mapping the electrical properties of organic biosensor/electrolyte interfaces at the nanoscale by measuring local electric forces. Electronic biosensorsbased on organic materials could make soon a reality the dream of low-cost, disposable, flexible and biocompatible electronic devices for the interaction with biological systems.

Top Science Results

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New semiconductors with strong optical response in the framework of a MIT "la Caixa" Foundation project

The first article of the joint project between ICMAB and MIT in the framework of the collaborative project MIT-SPAIN "la Caixa" Foundation SEED FUND is now published in Physical Review Materials. The project is focused on the investigation of new materials for photovoltaic applications. Ignasi Fina is the ICMAB researcher involved in the study. 

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Borate-based passivation layers enables reversible calcium batteries

A study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science has combined experimental and theoretical approaches to study the passivation layers formed on calcium metal electrodes and their influence on the reversible operation of calcium-based batteries. The work is led by researchers from the ICMAB-CSIC, who have collaborated with the ALBA Synchrotron (MIRAS beamline) as well as with other international laboratories and universities. 

Press Release, Top Science Results

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Local conductance control in h-Er(Mn,Ti)O3.

NextGen nanotechnology: changing conductivity with an Atomic Force Microscope with nanoscale precision

A route to control the conductivity in the functional oxide Er(Mn,Ti)O3 through the use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) could allow for an improvement of conductivity that is not detrimental to other materials’ properties like magnetism or multiferroicity, as demonstrated in a new Nature Materials article that counts with the collaboration of ICMAB Researcher Konstantin Shapovalov from the Electronic Structure of Materials (LEEM) Group.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Quantum confinement in hybrid perovskites in the Nature Materials News & Views by Alejandro Goñi

ICMAB and ICREA researcher, Alejandro Goñi, from the NANOPTO group, is author of an article in the News & Views section in Nature Materials, in which he was asked to review one publication from Laura Herz and co-workers from the University of Oxford, published in Nature Materials about hybrid halide pervoskites and some of their fascinating properties. 

Top Science Results, 2020

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How do surface acoustic waves enhance catalytic activity?

An international team of researchers with the participation of he ICMAB have studied the mechanism by which surface acoustic waves (SAW) enhance catalytic activity. Researchers were able for the first time to measure the effect of SAW on the electronic structure of a Pt model catalyst and achieved a remarkable precision with the new experimental setup at the CIRCE beamline in the ALBA Synchrotron.

Top Science Results, 2020

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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, 2020

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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.

Top Science Results, 2020

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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, 2020

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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, 2020

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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. 

Top Science Results, 2020

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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, 2020

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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.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Vertical PFM amplitude images of PbTiO3/ SrRuO3 films deposited on DyScO3 (a) and TbScO3 (b) substrates. Lateral PFM amplitude images of PbTiO3/SrRuO3 films on GdScO3 (c) and SmScO3 (d) substrates. // Source: Ferroelectric Domain Walls in PbTiO3 Are Effective Regulators of Heat Flow at Room Temperature (DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02991)

Experiments confirm theoretical research: SiGe alloys for optoelectronics and ferroelectric phononic switches

ICMAB Researcher Riccardo Rurali, from the Materials Simulation and Theory (MST) group, has found two of his theoretical predictions to be confirmed through experimental approaches, regarding the use of hexagonal SiGe alloys for optoelectronic applications and the use of domain walls as switches for phononic devices.

Top Science Results, 2020

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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, 2020

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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.

Top Science Results, 2020

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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?

Top Science Results, 2020

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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, 2020

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Publicada en Nature Materials investigación coliderada por Mariano Campoy sobre la obtención de paneles solares que permitan un mayor rendimiento energético.

Se ha publicado en Nature Materials un trabajo de Mariano Campoy del ICMAB-CSIC y Jenny Nelson del Imperial College en el que se concluye que los polímeros con estructura molecular sin curvatura son mejores para la obtención de paneles solares más efectivos. Los materiales resultantes consiguen pasar del  4%  o el 5% de eficiencia al 8,5% 

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