Anna Laromaine is "a researcher in your classroom" in Santa Maria de Palautordera

The students of physics and chemistry of 4th ESO of the highschool "La Tordera" in Santa Maria de Palautordera received the visit on 6 February 2019 of Anna Laromaine, researcher at ICMAB. Anna visited the highschool in the framework of the #11F2019, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in which many researchers gave talks in primary and secondary schools during that week. 

Websites, A researcher in your classroom, OUTREACH

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What does the future hold for chemistry?

The Nature Chemistry journal celebrates its 10th anniversary asking some scientists working in different areas fo chemistry what did they think about the future development of their main field of research: the most amazing, exciting, important or challenging aspects they think are the most relevant. 


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M. Rosa Palacín interviewed in the RECERCAT newsletter (Feb 2019)

In last RECERCAT newsletter, our vice-director and researcher, M. Rosa Palacín, was interviewed. She talked about her research in batteries, about the arrival of the electric vehicle, about gender equality in reserach and about materials science in general. Read the interview here!


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M. Rosa Palacín in "Motorpasión" talking about the electric vehicle and the future of batteries

The online website "Motor Pasion" about the cars and motor word, opens their site today with a news post about the electric vehicle and the future batteries. M. Rosa Palacín, researcher at ICMAB, was consulted by the author of the article, Victoria Fuentes, and appers in the article giving her point of view and state of the art. Read it to know more about it! 


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Urea substitutes noble metal catalysts for the photodegradation of organic pollutants

A new laser-based technique developed by the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC) uses urea, a common substance in the chemical industry and a low-cost alternative to noble metal co-catalysts, to enable a more efficient, one-step production of hybrid graphene-based organic-inorganic composite layers for environmental remediation; photodegradation of antibiotic contaminants from wastewater. The composition and chemical bonds of the urea-enriched thin layers were studied in detail using synchrotron light at the ALBA Synchrotron.


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Anna Laromaine in People First: “Tener mentores y referentes es importantísimo para elegir una profesión”

Anna Laromaine, researcher at the N&N group at ICMAB, was interviewed by People First, a platform where people from different institutions and enterprises are highlighted. Anna, included in the Top 100 Women more influent in Spain, and awarded in 2016 with the L'Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Research Award, describes her work as a researcher in nanomedicine, talks about the future of nanotechnology and women in science, about her role models in life, and about being a researcher, a university teacher and an entrepreneur at the same time. 


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The ICMAB in the Top 10 of the ERC research grants in Catalunya

Counting all the ERC projects, since its very beginning, in 2007, Catalunya represents the 3.2 % of all the ERC grants awarded within the European Resarch Area (ERA), and gathers 52 % of the ERC grants in Spain. The ICMAB is within the Top 10 institutions in Catalunya, with a total of 10 ERC projects in total. 


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A year in review: ICMAB most cited articles of 2018

After another year, we look back and see how was this year's scientific research. More than 200 articles, which makes a total of more than 5,200 publications (remember that we reached the 5,000 this last February?) and more than 140,000 citations since the Institue's foundation, in 1986, which makes an average of more than 13,300 citations per year, and 27 citations per article.

The most cited articles of 2018 are shown in this post. Do you want to know which ones are they?


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A year in review: ICMAB Top 10 Journals of 2018

During 2018, ICMAB researchers have written more than 200 articles in international peer-review science journals of various disciplines: chemistry, physics, materials, nanotechnology, photonics, energy, superconductivity, biochemistry, etc. We have selected in this post the journals with the highest Impact Factor (IF) in which the researchers have published an article. Do you want to know which they are?


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"Subnanosecond magnetization dynamics driven by strain waves" at MRS Bulletin

Ferran Macià, researcher at the MULFOX group at ICMAB, and at the University of Barcelona (Fundamental Physics Department) is co-author of the article "Subnanosecond magnetization dynamics driven by strain waves" published in the MRS Bulletin, the monthly Material Science publication with technical theme topics, news, reviews, and commentary. 


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Soft organic materials that change color and charge transfer with the application of an electric field

Wearable electronics, cell phones, electronic papers, smart windows, sensors, and wireless communication devices need mechanically flexible electronic components that are able to change their color and the degree of charge transfer. The development of lightweight flexible organic conducting materials with these properties has a great technological interest in this field.


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NANBIOSIS renews its accreditation as ICTS

On Tuesday, 6 November, the "Consejo de Política Científica, Tecnológica y de Innovación" (CPTI) from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities updated the new Map of the Singular Scientific and Technological Infrastructures (ICTS) for 2017-2020. NANBIOSIS, whose Director is Prof. Jaume Veciana from the ICMAB, and in which the ICMAB and many CSIC institutes participate, is one of these 29 ICTS that renewed its accreditation.


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Finding a needle in the haystack: 50 times faster evaluation of organic materials for solar cells

  • Researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) have successfully demonstrated a combinatorial platform that evaluates how good an organic material is for photovoltaic applications.
  • The platform method is 50 times faster and saves about 90 % of material compared to the conventional evaluation protocols.
  • The study has been published in Advanced Electronic Materials, where it has been back cover, and is performed in the framework of the ERC project FOREMAT from Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles


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ICMAB researchers collaborate in a study published in Nature Physics about a "Giant topological Hall Effect"

ICMAB researchers Gervasi Herranz, Blai Casals and Rafael Cichelero, from the MULFOX group, have contributed to a study led by the group of Manuel Bibes, from Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales (France), published in Nature Physics on October 15, 2018. The study, entitled "Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films" describes the discovery of a giant topological Hall effect arising from the topology of spatial distribution of spin textures. 


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Nobel Prize in Physics for for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics... how do we use lasers at ICMAB?

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems”, the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Here at ICMAB we also work with lasers. Do you want to know how?


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Cancer immunotherapy recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 has been jointly awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation". At ICMAB, we also work on projects related to cancer immunotherapy and we are very excited about this prize. However, the strategy followed by our researchers and by the Nobel Prize winners is somehow different. Do you want to know why?


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Marta Mas-Torrent and Teresa Puig, ERC researchers, in #LasCientíficasCuentan

The project "Las Científicas Cuentan" is an initiative of the CSIC Delegation in Brussels financed by the FECYT. The aim of the project is to bring basic science to the general public, through the story of women scientists who have been awarded with a ERC project during the past years. From the ICMAB, Marta Mas-Torrent (ERC-Starting Grant) and Teresa Puig (ERC-Advanced Grant) participate in the project.

The presentation will be on Wednesday, September 19 in Barcelona with a talk by Teresa Puig on superconducting materials (7 pm).


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The ICMAB website: the most visible of the CSIC

According to the Ranking Web of Research Centers, the ICMAB has the most visible website of all the CSIC research centers and units. In addition, the ICMAB website has raised to the 2nd position in the global ranking (in 2017 it was in the 4th place, and in 2016 in the 13th), from a total of 138. 


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Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

  • Researchers from the IBB-UAB fabricate 4 molecules of only 7 amino acids with the ability to self-assemble and rapidly and inexpensively form nanomaterials for biomedical and nanotechnological purposes.
  • Four peptides were used to create one of the most resistant bionanomaterials described to date, nanocables and mini enzymes to act as a catalyst for the formation of nanomaterials.
  • The study, publised in ACS Nano included the collaboration of Isabel Fuentes and Francesc Teixidor from the ICMAB-CSIC.


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"Carbon-Gold bonds for robust molecule-electrode junctions" featured in UABDivulga

A group of researchers from the NANOMOL group at ICMAB-CSIC has studied the behavior of an organic radical as a molecular cable formed through the covalent carbon-gold bond between the molecule and the electrodes. This linkage is more stable and geometrically better well-defined than its predecessors, in which other functional groups where used. This improvement opens the door to prepare novel electronic devices for Molecular Electronics applications.

The study has been featured in UABDivulga, and we transcribe here the text. 


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The industry with the Spanish research

Organizations and employers linked to R&D&I show their support for Spanish research and join the request of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa centers and María de Maeztu units (SOMMa) that encourages the political class to address the current administrative problems that affect Spanish science, as soon as possible. 

SOMMa and the organizations that support this initiative represent about 6,800 companies, societies, centers and research units, which employ more than 500,000 people in Spain and their economic activity equals 10.53% of GDP.


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Physicists uncover properties of a magnetic soliton of interest for brain-inspired computing

"Solitons are solitary waves, like a tsunami or a tidal bore" explains researcher Ferran Macià, one of the leaders of this study, published in Scientific Reports and in which the ICMAB has participated together with a team of physicists from the New York University (NYU). "In this work, we studied how magnetic solitons are generated and how fast they can be annihilated."

"Like a tsunami, the mechanism behind their formation is complex, and we needed a lot of experiments and simulations to understand them. Solitons are very interesting because they can be used to propagate energy or information, in a similar way as our neurons work. This is why they have promising applications in neuromorphic computing applications, for example" continues Ferran.Nahuel Statuto, PhD student at the MULFOX group, working with Ferran, performed some of the experiments during his secondment at NYU. 


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MIT-Spain grant for ICMAB project: new materials for photovoltaics

ICMAB is the recipient of one of twelve MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund grants under a brand new funding programme in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The presentation of the grants took place on 18 April 2018 at Palau Macaya (Barcelona). A common objective of all the awarded projects is to face some of the challenges of the XXI century: organs on a chip to fight cancer, polymers against antibiotic resistance, in vitro biologic 3D ears, quantic computers for data processing, or new materials to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells, to name a few. This latter is the project from Dr. Ignasi Fina, from the MULFOX group at ICMAB, who will work together with Dr. Rafael Jaramillo, at MIT

Websites, Radio, Newspapers

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"Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen" featured in UABDivulga

A study from Dr. Angel Pérez del Pino et al. was featured on 13 April in the website UABDivulga: Graphene-based photocatalysts to obtain hydrogen. We transcribe here the full article:

Graphene-based materials are an efficient, cheap, abundant and non-toxic alternative for catalysing the obtaining of hydrogen, which can be used as a removable fuel, through the photoinduced water splitting. A group of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB) has developed, based on laser technology, a nitrogen-doped graphene powder material in different experimental conditions for different catalytic functions through the process, in a simple, versatile and scalable to industry way. 


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Iridescent photonic cellulose, mimicking the structural color of insects, with optical applications

  • The study developed at the ICMAB and published in Nature Photonics describes, for the first time, the technique to provide structural coloration on a cellulose derivative through its nanostructuration
  • The colors obtained do not depend on pigments but on nanostructures that interact differently with the incident light, therefore presenting different colors. 
  • The applications of this technology include eco-friendly production of color in packaging systems or decorative paper, anti-counterfeiting technology, or biocompatible, biodegradable, washable and edible and low cost detectors, sensors or labels for the food or medical industry.


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The revolution of nanomaterials: superabsorbers that trap sunlight

ICMAB researchers have designed ultrathin materials that maximize the absorption of light in a large range of the solar spectrum. The followed strategy, low cost and fully scalable, is based on combining the thin layer deposition of semiconductors on metals, and the nanostructuring of the material forming photonic crystals. The obtained superabsorbers materials have many potential applications, especially in the field of photovoltaic energy and photodetection.


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Perovskite, the "silicon" of the future to harvest solar energy

An article about the research in perovskite appeared in "Televisión Nacional de Honduras" website, citing ICMAB, together with other research centers in Spain, where advanced research in this material is done: "Spain is one of the countries in which research (in the development of perovskite) is more advanced.

Apart from the research group in the Institute of Materials Science in Sevilla, there are many more groups specialized in its study, in the University Jaume I of Castelló, the Institute of Molecular Science (University of Valencia), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the University Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, and the Catalan Institue of Chemical Research (ICIQ)."


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Nanostructured semiconductors become superabsorbers - Published at

This news article, appeared at websitee (IOP publishing), features a publication recently published by Agustín Mihi and his team in Advanced Materials "Ultrathin Semiconductor Superabsorbers from the Visible to the Near-Infrared" (Pau Molet, Juan Luis Garcia-Pomar, Cristiano Matricardi, Miquel Garriga, Maria Isabel Alonso and Agustín Mihi). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201705876.

Nanostructuring a thin layer of the semiconductor germanium using a technique called nanoimprinting lithography can greatly boost the amount of light it absorbs across the visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The broadband absorption comes from the strong interplay between Brewster and photonic crystal modes in the material and the effect could benefit optoelectronics applications such as photovoltaics and telecommunications.


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X-rays reveal "handedness" in swirling electric vortices

This article appeared in Physics Berkeley website on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. 

We transcribe it here, since some previous ICMAB members participated in the study, which was recently published in PNASEmergent chirality in the electric polarization texture of titanate superlattices (Padraic Shafer, Pablo García-Fernández,Pablo Aguado-Puente,Anoop R. Damodaran , Ajay K. Yadav, Christopher T. Nelson, Shang-Lin Hsu, Jacek C. Wojdeł, Jorge Íñiguez, Lane W. Martin, Elke Arenholz, Javier Junquer, and Ramamoorthy Ramesh). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1711652115.


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